In an effort to increase support for local acts and new musicians, the Carolina Union Activities Board hosted a live showcase Thursday in the Union Cabaret.
The evening opened with the Chapel Hill bands Cities and Boxbomb, followed by Winston-Salem natives Evoka.
Bryan Hollander, chairman of CUAB’s New Sounds Committee, helped organized the event. Part of his position, he said, is responding to the University’s high demand for live music on campus.
Three CUAB committees deal with bringing music to the student body.
“My committee is more focused on local music and exposing UNC students to the North Carolina music scene,” he said.
After two successful music showcases at the Great Hall this year, CUAB members chose to host the event in the newly renovated Cabaret theater, located in the basement of the Student Union. Hollander said the venue was better suited for the show’s local-rock format.
CUAB recently has increased its focus on providing students with high-quality performances at little or no cost.
Nonstudents had to pay $3 to get into the show.
“We get a small portion of all student fees, and our charge as CUAB is to use that money through educational and entertainment opportunities for students,” Hollander said.
He said the committee is discussing plans to bring similar showcases to campus, but because of contractual obligations, he could not divulge more specific details.
Both Cities and Boxbomb are regulars at Chapel Hill venues such as Local 506 and Cat’s Cradle.
Evoka, however, is new to the Chapel Hill music community.
The bands played to a modest crowd, which by most accounts seemed to enjoy the show.
Since Hollander’s committee showed interest in the bands, he took the opportunity to showcase “a great band that’s up and coming on the North Carolina music scene but hasn’t had much exposure in Chapel Hill.”
Evoka is a four-piece ensemble consisting of singer and songwriter J.M.Taylor, drummer Bryan Ledbetter, bassist and keyboardist Pete Small, and guitarist Price Stevens — a newcomer.
The group brings a twist to the concept of modern atmospheric rock, playing off British influences ranging from Pink Floyd to more modern groups such as Radiohead and Ours.
With a frontman presence rivaling that of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, the group could be on its way to a career on the rock circuit.
If all goes according to plan, Hollander said, CUAB will continue to bring more bands in the same vein.
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