Last Friday, Davenport Landing brought students together for a night of good food and great music at Kimball’s Guac ‘n’ Roll. The self-proclaimed hard rock band provided a refreshing contrast to the electronic/alternative rock/R&B student music groups on campus. Lead guitarist Brandon Warren ‘18, drummer Adam Ellner ‘18 and bassist Roger Romani ‘18 formed Davenport in Oct. 2014, picking up James Ordner ‘18 for rhythm guitar the following spring quarter. As for vocals, each member of the band sang at least one song throughout the night, sometimes pairing off with one another in powerful duets, giving Davenport Landing a versatility not many bands possess.
The four-member band began the night with a crowd favorite, the Eagles’ “Hotel California” with Ordner on vocals. Glancing around the room, I saw surprised grins and nods of approval — many in attendance hadn’t yet heard Davenport, but were clearly impressed. The group kept this momentum up all night, performing a set that included sing-alongs like Modest Mouse’s “Float On” and a number of original songs. From the start, they delivered an engaging and dynamic performance. A number of songs were spiced up by Warren’s energetic antics onstage as he bounced back and forth, once time even bumping into the singing Ordner. Both laughed and shook it off, never letting the music stop.
After another faithful cover of American rock song “Tighten Up” by the Black Keys, Davenport mixed it up by inviting vocalist Daria Lamberson (‘16) to sing alongside Ordner for the band’s rendition of “Unconsolable” by the X Ambassadors. Here, the group added their own twist to the music, featuring Ordner’s and Lamberson’s harmony much more prominently than in the original, and with great results. Ordner dazzled the crowd with his vocals, going from the mid-range of “Hotel California” to the falsetto of “Unconsolable,” as Ellner kept up a lively beat on the drums to maintain the spirited energy of an otherwise deliberate song.
About a third of the way through the night, Davenport treated the audience to an original, “Since October.” Bassist Romani took care of vocals, adding yet another unique style to the group’s repertoire with his richer, fuller voice as compared to Ordner and Warren.
Overall, Davenport’s sound was full and immersive, whether capturing the mellow energy of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” or the rock ‘n’ roll vibes of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” Though at times the vocals could have come out stronger, Davenport definitely left the audience wanting more of its smooth, in-sync jamming. The band closed its set with Free’s “All Right Now” as an encore, a song familiar to everyone present. By the end of the song, Davenport had the whole room singing along, wishing the set would never end. For a band that fully formed only half a year ago, Davenport Landing’s potential is off the charts, and they’re definitely a band to keep an eye on.
Contact Serena Wong at serenaw ‘at’ stanford.edu.