Siberian Front raises the roof at Sigma Chi

Jan. 30, 2015, 1:33 a.m.
Siberian Front lead singer Thomas Reidy fired up the crowd at Sigma Chi with his impassioned singing.
Siberian Front lead singer Thomas Reidy fired up the crowd at Sigma Chi with his impassioned singing. GABRIELA GROTH/The Stanford Daily

Celebrating its debut EP release, the student-led alternative rock band Siberian Front fired up the crowd last Friday night at Sigma Chi. Ever since its debut performance at the same place last February, Siberian Front has garnered a large following on campus, having previously performed at Wine and Cheeses, Beer and Pretzels and F*uck the Man at Columbae. Returning to Sigma Chi, lead singer Thomas Reidy, along with bandmates Gio Jacuzzi (lead guitar), Damian Mcglothlin (bass), Shamik Mascharak (drums) and Walter Torres (rhythm guitar), presented an animated performance, featuring songs from their EP, as well as new originals.

The band started the night off with a forceful rendition of the group’s first single “Seattle,” bringing refreshing vitality to the party. Reidy’s vocals, though at times overshadowed by the instrumentation and the commotion of the crowd, were powerful and invigorating. The room was immersed in a whirlwind of sound, the driving rhythms flowing through the audience. Occasionally, the storm would relent for a softer, soulful bridge with mellow tones, as it did in their original song “Black Hole” — a tender aspect that was somewhat underappreciated by a crowd looking for excitement. Yet the upbeat pulse of “Intentions,” “Are You Ready” and “Skinny Jeans” offered abundant opportunities for musical highs.

During the performance, the band members themselves appeared absorbed in the music, oblivious to the crowd in front of them. Reidy, both hands grasping the mic and eyes gazing intensely ahead, seemed caught in a trance, particularly in the opening bars of “Freedom.”

Listeners were clearly charmed, as well. With their bold, snappy movements — heads nodding, bodies jerking, arms punching the air — the band hyped up the tightly congregated audience, which responded with gleeful whoops, enthusiastic clapping, crowd surfing, and appreciative laughter at Reidy’s jokes:  “What do you get when Batman doesn’t go to church? …Christian Bale!” Jokes aside, the band’s terrific music, compounded with loosened inhibitions of party-goers, resulted in a festive vibe that felt, one student commented, “more fun than the typical bad DJ-ing at frats.”

Student-led alternative rock band Siberian Front presented an animated performance at Sigma Chi. RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily

What is perhaps most impressive about Siberian Front is their confident originality of style, even in their covers of songs by The Strokes and Young the Giant. Toting indie rock influences, Siberian Front’s reliance on extensive instrumental solos, contrasting textures and dynamics, and Reidy’s soaring vocals, as well as their evocative, if not sometimes mysterious, lyrics mark them as a maturing presence on the regional music scene.

These characteristics, however, were not as evident in their live performance, partly due to the small size of the venue, which, although intimate, stifled the energy of the show. Space was an issue, as bodies squeezed uncomfortably by each other, and the acoustics were not flattering either — you had to frequently strain to hear the lyrics over the clamor of the crowd. But for those who just wanted to have a good time, it didn’t matter. Siberian Front was there to entertain, and Siberian Front delivered. Although their performance may not have been an accurate representation of the extent of their talent, their EP album is. Listen to it:

Contact Marisa Lin at mlin3 ‘at’

Marisa Lin is Music Desk Critic for the Stanford Daily. An undeclared freshman, she hails from Rochester, Minnesota. Contact Marisa at mlin3 'at'

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