Ghost Guest and Very Nervous Haunt Beatnik’s

I can’t go to the bar tonight. I’m too busy. Instead, here’s a piece I wrote about a friends band that I saw two weeks ago at Beatnik’s

I didn’t take Beatnik’s “Be You” sentiment to heart last Thursday when Ghost Guest and Very Nervous took the stage. If I had, I would’ve upended my beer and howled while looking for a place to get air in my ’96 Buick.

The emotionally charged performance on March 24 was something to behold. I had never been to a folk punk show nor listened to either Ghost Guest or Very Nervous before, but after seeing that one performance, I’m itching for more.

I made it to Beatnik’s in time to see Ghost Guest’s set which featured Very Nervous on a the first few songs. Very Nervous is a solo acoustic artist named Jake Killay from Athol, Mass. who performed the prior set. A Narraganset in hand, I posted up under the warm glow of the March Madness sweet sixteen game on the television above. As more people, mostly students, filed in, five people shuffled onto the stage and began setting up instruments. Two guitars, one bass, two mics, and one cajon (something I had never seen before) slowly took form across the stage.

Live music is hit or miss. A band needs to have chemistry on stage and, more importantly, play with passion. Ghost Guest and Very Nervous lacked neither. In fact, judging by the faces of both Scotts on stage (Canavan (‘15) on Guitar/Vocals and Levine (‘17) on Cajon) the band had passion to spare. They were joined onstage by vocalist Heru Black (‘15) and bassist Alex Rothfelder (‘16).

Beatnik’s itself, I think, bolstered the atmosphere of the show. The small, dimly lit stage, crammed between dartboards and amplifiers, lent to the intimacy of the music. The crowd ate it up, as every break gave way to enthusiastic applause.

During the second set, the Ghost Guest played “The Spitting Image,” a track off of their Kindred Spirits EP. Those who had stood in the back of the room perked up and migrated to the front, those in the front started to dance, and everyone drank. Passions fed off passions and the band delivered in spectacular fashion.

In between songs, Ghost Guest’s quirkiness shined through. Caitlin Indermaur (‘15) (Guitar and Vocals) expressed her surprise that such a crowd had shown up to watch them play. At first I thought this to be a lack of confidence, though that turned out to be folly. In the heat of howling and blistering strumming, the band radiated confidence and intensity.

If you missed Ghost Guest and Very Nervous at Beatnik’s, check out their Facebook page and their bandcamp.com page for any upcoming shows and to stream their EPs. Check out a live performance when you get the chance, you will not be disappointed.

First published in The Scarlet.

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