After a semester of too little sleep and too many assignments, it’s time to celebrate. Happy LDOC, y’all.
Stop Light Observations is bringing their alternative rock sound to Little Fraternity Court tonight, to end spring semester with a bang. It all began with Louis Duffie and John-Keith Culbreth, who met at their guitar lesson when they were 13 years old. Now they’re on a national tour.
“While other kids were playing basketball or football or something, we’d be playing music,” Duffie said. “That just made sense.”
When asked what got him into music, Culbreth said he became obsessed with The Rolling Stones. He said he played “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” in his fifth-grade talent show to win over the heart of his childhood crush. It must have worked, because they’re getting married in two weeks.
Duffie graduated from Clemson University, where he was part of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He said their parties would typically have live music performed by bands the frat brought in.
John Riccitelli, the band’s publicist, said one place that touring bands have found success in making money has been fraternity shows.
“There’s a changing trend in the taste of college kids — particularly Greek life kids — that, there’s kind of a shift from having DJs and cover bands to real actual bands playing original music,” he said.
Riccitelli said this trend is becoming more popular due to the number of kids who go to music festivals. High schoolers go to these events and become hardcore music fans, Culbreth said. It’s a break away from the typical Spotify playlists that are played at parties.
The three men agree that it’s not an easy shift to make from DJs to quality live bands, but they can see the change start to happen.
Culbreth said the stigma just needs to be broken.
“There’s kind of a stigma behind fraternity shows, you know, they’re ‘college-y,’ or there’s kind of like that douchiness to it,” he said. “There’s a bunch of guys with their shirts off, promiscuous girls and a shitty cover band in the background.”
But bands like Stop Light Observations are trying to break the stereotype. Culbreth and Duffie both said the fraternities they have performed for welcome the band more than what they’ve experienced at other venues. They enjoy connecting with the students, who become fans if they like the music.
“Open-minded fraternities are going to be the ones that pave the way for this next generation of how artists can perform music and how people can find out about bands,” Culbreth said.
At their shows, Stop Light Observations usually plays an equal ratio of cover songs to originals.
Duffie said he’s excited about this particular show because they are putting on the whole production. The band set up the event, including everything from the stage and speakers to the confetti blowers.
“Getting to be able to play with everybody on their last day of college, (that's) such a special thing," Duffie said.
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