Coffeehouse seeks to bring unknown bands to campus

Photo by V.M Photography

With the school year well under way, it is perfectly natural to be thinking about healthy diversions from all that studying.

Strapped for ideas?

Student Government Association’s Program Board has just the solution:  the Coffeehouse series.

This monthly, on-campus concert series is free to students.  Free food. Free admission. Free swag.

Katie Carlson, co-chair of Coffeehouse and a junior public relations and advertising major, said that the series wants to bring bands to campus  so that students have a break from everyday Butler University life.

This reprieve gives students a chance to experience bands that will broaden students’ musical horizons and give bands a little recognition before they hit it big she said.

“We strive to bring in acts that are ‘up and coming’ so in a year or two our students can say, ‘I saw them when,’” Carlson said.

Indeed, some bands have grown from their humble beginnings at the Coffeehouse and gone on to sign labels all over the country, and one of those bands is coming back.

Walk the Moon, who recently signed a record deal with RCA/Sony, will be making an encore performance in the Reilly Room Dec. 2, and Nicholas Petricca, lead singer of the band, said their history at Butler makes them happy to come back.

“One of the first times we felt like we were really building something away from home was playing for those Butler kids in Indianapolis,” Petricca said. “They’ve always been good to us.”

Elissa Chapin, co-chair of Coffeehouse and a sophomore recording industry studies major, said students get Coffeehouse confused with Concerts Committee. In reality, she said the two are opposites of each other.

The job of Concerts Committee is to bring in big names.  The job of Coffeehouse is to give a voice to smaller bands.  The smaller Coffeehouse groups features artists who may not have big names yet.

“It’s about providing alternative artists to counterbalance what is being played on the radio,” Carlson said.

Typically held in Starbucks, Coffeehouse tries to bring in at least one event per month, Carlson said.

The size of the venue creates an intimate atmosphere for the bands to have an opportunity to connect with the audience and even chat with them afterwards.

“These shows are always special to us because it feels like we are sitting in a living room with a bunch of friends singing songs together,” said Marc Walloch, lead guitarist for Company of Thieves, a band coming in November.

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