This past weekend, music was filling the air here at Brandeis University. Student musicians were jamming in the Stein on Friday, and Saturday saw two performances on campus. While AlunaGeorge entertained students at Levin Ballroom on Saturday night, Sept. 19, The Vaughns gave a performance at Chum’s that had the crowd shaking and yelling.
The Vaughns are an indie rock band from Springfield, NJ. For two years now they have been playing their own shows all around New Jersey. Their performance at Brandeis was one of their first outside the state of New Jersey besides Philadelphia.
Before their concert The Vaughns had time to answer a few questions for The Brandeis Hoot.
The band members—lead singer Anna Lies, bass guitarist Tom Losito, drummer Ryan Kenter and guitarist David Cacciatore—had all gone to the same high school, but it wasn’t after they’d graduated that they formed the band.
Apart from music, they enjoy bowling. In fact Losito, the bass player, was on the high school bowling team and won state championship. They get their inspiration from indie rock and 60s rock and pop; they love bands like The Beatles, the Beach Boys, Grouplove and Nirvana.
Lies says their favorite song to perform is “What’s Cooking,” which has been played on the radio a few times. “Yeah I think people just think it’s fun … it’s very groovy. And it’s also kind of funny in a way. The audience sometimes laughs when we say ‘what’s cook’n good look’n.’” When asked what goals they have for a show, they responded, “We like to interact with the crowd a lot … make people feel happy and laugh, create positive experience more up-beat you know?”
Although Chum’s has the vibe of a small local coffee shop, The Vaughns turned the coffee shop into a cool bar-like rock venue for one night. The music they played had the audience grooving and going wild. The enthralled crowd was small, but big enough to take up most of the limited space inside Chum’s. Walking in, one would have seen a vibrant group of people moving their bodies to the music, couples dancing together and everyone else bobbing their heads up and down. Their music alternates between levels of sound; some of the songs start off with a soothing rock rhythm, then elevate toward heavy rock sound and energy.
The one song that received the greatest reaction was “What’s Cooking.” The song starts off with a powerful bang that sets the energy radiated by the audience for the rest of the song. Everyone inside Chum’s was screaming and dancing to it. The band also had songs that were interactive with the audience. In “Roses,” Lies told the crowd that she needed them to sing a part. It didn’t take but seconds to get the crowd to co-operate. Everyone inside Chum’s was harmonically saying, “Bum bum bum.”
The band was excited to play at Brandeis. They have one album, “Tomfoolery” and one EP, “The Vaughns” made up of singles they use to book shows. Their music can be found on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Also, if you will like to stay updated with their music and shows you can follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheVaughnsnj/; Instagram: thevaughnsnj and twitter @thevaughnsnj.