10th Mayfest rocks the Plaza

May 12, 2010

by Kelly Belton

The clock tower glowed behind the stage Monday night as local bands jammed for students in Centennial Plaza.

Despite KLPI’s 10th annual Mayfest started at 1:20 p.m., headlining bands The Vettes and 6 Pack Deep did not play until after 9 p.m.

Jed Wilson, KLPI general manager, said the station intentionally had these bands play last to get more students out. Wilson, a senior medical technology major, said he was pleased with the turnout this year and was happy to bring out bands from Louisiana.
He also said he was glad KLPI could put on Mayfest for free.

“KLPI gets so much money from each student for general operations and events like this,” he said. “We’ve been fiscally conservative, but thankfully we were able to plan ahead and have a great show.”

When The Vettes went on stage at 9:30 p.m., lead singer Rachel Vette brought the crowd of students to__ their feet.

“Usually, college shows aren’t that fun,” she said. “But this was good.”

Vette, who sported a hot pink romper, said the wind in her face was an obstacle, but the energy outweighed it. The Vettes, a New Orleans-based band, is made up of four brothers: Chad, Brian, Todd and Mitch, and their sister Rachel.

They successfully got students on their feet with their upbeat, 1980s-influenced rock.
While the Vettes got the students up, 6 Pack Deep had them jumping with their six-man band, which includes two trombones and a trumpet.

“We call it powerhouse rock because we’re not quite a ska band, but we’re close,” trombone player and singer Geoff Grice said.

A powerhouse it was; the band jumped around wildly onstage and brought high energy to the plaza.

“We do calisthenics. We do pilates,” Grice joked about staying so hyped up throughout the show. “We practice; we have to work.”

Grice said the crowd of students was a treat, especially on a Monday night.

“It was a blast,” he said. “It’s so rare that you get to play for a fun crowd early in the week.”

Grice also said the band loves playing for college students.

“We prefer college bar venues,” he said. “People like to come out and have a good time.”

In fact, the band has a show planned for next Friday at Sundown Tavern.

Stephanie Manis, a sophomore music education major, said she was at Mayfest for most of the day.

Her favorite bands were 6 Pack Deep and Heavens to Betsy.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said after the last performance. “It started out with the free drinks to get you started, and this just topped it off.”

The free event included soft drinks and hamburgers for students.

Manis said the event was convenient, too.

“KLPI did a very good job,” she said. “I’m right here at Harper, so it was perfect.”