“Wisco!” highlights local bands

Abby Vandermolen

Reeve Union Board welcomed “Wisco! The Music Fest: The Fourth Awakens” for local bands to interact with students and other locals to appreciate the current music Wisconsin is producing.

There were eight musical acts that took the stage on March 12: Michael Gillespie, Sayth, The Vegans, Final Motive, Pangaea, Filter Free Rodeo, NATIVE TONGUE and The Millenium.

According to Holly Bloom, one of the event coordinators, the purpose of the event was to connect students with local artists and enjoy music.

“The goal of the event was to celebrate the Wisconsin music scene,” Bloom said. “I don’t think a lot of people understand how lucky they are to be going to school in Wisconsin where there are so many talented artists around them. We wanted to provide the students a chance to see that.”

Bloom and Jessica Fedie were in charge of finding bands to play the festival.

All of the bands had to be Wisconsin natives and have a sound that resonates with the college music taste.

“We have a master list of a lot of local bands that Jessica and I narrowed down to specific genres that have done well here in the past,” Bloom said. “After that, we brought it to our Reeve Union Board committees and they voted on them based on what they thought the campus would like best.”

Filter Free Rodeo formed in 2010, and performed at the festival.

“We’ve been on and off since 2010,” Phil Hoge, lead singer said. “We have this horrible tactic of releasing new music, then hitting the road for a month or two to tour in support, just to disappear again. We basically play sexy hard ball with our fans.”

Hoge said Filter Free Rodeo doesn’t consider itself tied down to one genre.

“We try and give off a vibe that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and like-minded people are the people who dig our music,” Hoge said. “We just wanted to make music that we would listen too. So we just released a goofy little pop number that sounds nothing ‘like us’ just because we can, and it makes us smile when we hear it.”

The event connected alumni and current students. Final Motive lead singer Parker Janes is an alumnus, and bassist Markus Huffman is in his final semester at UWO. “We love Oshkosh and the campus, and were super stoked that the University decided to let us play again,” Janes said. “We’ve played a few times in the past, but it’s been a while.”

Janes said he hopes Final Motive’s audience takes away the meaning of the lyrics during its performance.

“We like to give a high-energy performance, but I think our lyrics are elaborate and a little more in-depth than some hard rock acts tend to get,” Janes said. “If they head bang and then go ‘wow, I really liked that lyric’ or they can tell that the music is reflective of the lyrics’ tone and emotion, then we’ve done our job as performers.”

The night ended with The Millenium, a band based out of Eau Claire.

Newly founded in May 2014, members Kyle Culver, Matt Hasenmueller, Kyle Featherstone and Sean Koran banded together following the demise of their former bands. Culver said they enjoy performing at local colleges.

“We always love college shows,” Culver said. “There is definitely a certain aura to them. Each song is an extension of us, much in the same way as our arms and legs. Considering our live set is much higher energy than what the album exhibits, we want people to be able to forget about their day in a sense, to spend 30 minutes with us with no inhibitions.”