The crispness of fall came early and the Olde Club show started late last Friday evening. That night the first major concert with an off-campus group performing went off without a hitch. It featured music from two experimental pop groups, By 10 p.m a crowd had already started to form and it was sizable though it still allowed for room to move around and breath in. Calypso Baby, a Swarthmore student band, played first and premiered a new song. They were met with hearty applause from their numerous loyal fans in the audience. The difficult to classify but rapidly gaining in fame group “Diet Cig” headlined the night. The band’s popularity has taken since they performed a NPR Tiny Desk concert, and Friday’s show was their last stateside gig before setting off their European tour.
Diet Cig describes itself on its website as “two homies just making tunes and eggs on the regs.”,These particular homies are called Alex Luciano, who plays on guitar/vocals, and Noah Bowman who drums. The duo formed in September 2014 in New Paltz, New York after meeting when Alex interrupted Noah while he was performing at a house show to ask for a light for a cigarette. Noah gave Alex a bottle of wine instead, apparently lacking a means of combustion. After a series of successful tours and albums, they released their new album Swear I’m Good At This was earlier this year.
Olde is a student run concert space, and so accordingly Friday’s show was organized by Julian Turner ’18 and Gabriel Meyer-Lee ’19. Meyer-Lee explained that booking the band was not to difficult.
“Diet Cig’s agents had a night open on their tour in the Philly area and we thought Diet Cig would be perfect for our first show of the semester,” Meyer-Lee recounted.
The choice of a student band was made based on the complementary sounds of the two acts, Meyer-Lee explained.
“Calypso Baby! was the natural choice because their synth-punk is a great complement to Diet Cig’s pop punk,” Gaberial said. Turner and Meyer-Lee were really happy with the turnout and plan to have another show at Olde Club on October 6th, though the details have not been finalized yet.
Turner, who listened to Diet Cig even before they were booked at Swat, got a chance to meet the band before the show as everything was being set-up. He reflected positively on their personal interactions.
“The band was real cool and friendly. Creative people who really just love playing music. They’re right in the middle of a tour and getting ready to head out to Europe so they were real tired but still brought lots of energy and enthusiasm,” Turner recounted
Turner then added that he learned that the drummer Noah had one of the band performed at Olde Club back in 2004 with his first band. Noah’s band’s manager asked if it was true that Nirvana played, and agreed to play a show once they learned it was true.
Calypso Baby performed some of their beloved numbers like “Lily” and “Fuck Fuck” and also premiered a new song “Gay Tutor”. Lead singer Blake Oetting was observed to be working the crowd with his irascibile charisma and sheer stage presence as usual. Diet Cig performed an energetic set which featured much jumping by the lead singer.
Keyboardist for Calypso Baby Dina Ginzberg ’18 said her group felt good about their performance and that everyone in the crowd was enamored with the band.
“Everyone fell in love with the lead singer she was super sweet and it was a really fun show. The whole band was super friendly and nice.”
Noah Ruben, ’18, Drummer for Calypso baby noted the positive vibes of the night’s show. “It felt like everyone, including Alex and noah, were having a good time. I thought the set-list was well done and that Alex was reading the room pretty well.”
Willa Glickman, ‘18, attended the show with several of her friends and she expressed her delight with the show.
“Diet Cig had a really energetic sound and matched with some really energetic jumping by the main singer. They were able to get a full crowd moving which is what I am looking for on a friday night,” Glickman said.
Details about the October 6th show will be announced as soon as they are known.