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WRFL 30th Birthday BASH RECAP

Friday: 30 years calls for more than just one celebration – it calls for three. That’s why WRFL threw a three-day Birthday Bash in celebration of the college radio station’s 30th anniversary. The weekend kicked off Friday the 2nd at the Burl with musical acts, Idiot Glee, Helado Negro and Washed Out.

Idiot Glee

Local musician and former WRFL D.J., James Friley (A.K.A. Idiot Glee), opened the show. Idiot Glee’s poppy and enchanting music entranced the full crowd of the sold-out concert. The songs ranged from broody and mysterious to lighthearted and danceable. Consistent across the songs were dreamy, chill vibes and Friley’s impressive vocal range. “I don’t remember the words, but whatever,” joked Friley as he went into his third song.

Idiot Glee’s performance was certainly appreciated by the audience. They watched, transfixed, nodding their heads to the smooth electronic beat as the soloist performed songs like “Pinkwood,” and “I Don’t Feel Right.” One audience member said she had seen Idiot Glee before in her hometown of Ashland, where Friley is also from. She thought Idiot Glee gave a great performance at the Birthday Bash. WRFL D.J., Cameron Childress, later likened watching Idiot Glee for the first time to a, “religious experience.” “One or two more?” asked Idiot Glee towards the end of his set. “We want three more!” shouted an audience member in reply.

Helado Negro

Roberto Carlos Lange, who performs under the moniker, Helado Negro, took to the stage second. Helado Negro was accompanied by his “Tinsel Mammals,” two backup dancers dressed in Cousin Itt-like costumes made of shiny tinsel. The Tinsel Mammals moved slowly behind Lange throughout the performance with the grace of two massive lava lamp blobs. “I loved those furry monsters,” said one audience member, Kathryn, who thought Helado Negro gave a fantastic performance. “I wish that was my job, to dance around in one of those costumes.” Lange performed a set showcasing his variety including “It’s My Brown Skin,” and “Lengua Larga.” To say Lange knew how to play to his audience would be an understatement.

The singer, with his wild curly hair and mustache, carried himself with an aura of pure sexiness. As he crossed from one side the stage to the other, Lange often flirted with the audience members closest to the stage. Groovy techno music accompanied the Latino singer’s suave voice and romantic, bilingual lyrics.

Washed Out Washed Out

Finally, the most anticipated act of the night, Washed Out, took to the stage. The excited crowd concentrated closer to experience lead singer, Ernest Greene Jr., in all his glory. The alternative pop band gave an energetic and psychedelic performance, playing songs like “Feel It All Around,” and “It All Feels Right.” As the band played, a projector covered the performers and the screen behind them in a colorful and trippy film. Throughout the evening many attendees mentioned coming to the Birthday Bash to see Washed Out. The band did not disappoint. Their fast-paced yet hypnotic music had the audience excitedly dancing along with them.

The sold-out concert at the Burl was an exciting kickoff to WRFL’s 30th birthday. Every artist brought their A-game to an enthusiastic audience that was passionate about the music.

Saturday Birthday Bash Day 2 Jason Schroeder March 3, 2018

WRFL’s 30th Birthday Bash started off with bang and the drum keeps beating on. Last Saturday the old mixed with the new as current and former WRFL staff attended the WRFL 30th Year Homecoming Reception held at the Downtown Arts Center. WRFL Alumni had the chance to see how the station has been doing and how it has progressed since they worked there.

a collection of WRFL Ephemera

“I remember when we were ten kids in a moldy basement in Miller Hall,” said Mark Beaty, one of the co-founders of WRFL. The day also featured an art exhibit titles “F.M.Era: 30 Years of WRFL.” The exhibit was curated by incoming general manager Franki Arroyo “There were old RiFLe magazines, posters, name tags and stickers there. It was a bunch of memorabilia,” said Tre Lyerly, the assistant promotions director at WRFL.

a collection of WRFL Ephemera

The event had a good turnout of both past and present DJs and workers from WRFL and reeled in some familiar WRFL faces. People like Uncle Bill, a long time DJ and the designer for the Yellow Belts concert poster, and Keen Minter who designed many covers for RiFLes in the 90s, were at the event.

a collection of WRFL Ephemera

The homecoming lasted from noon to 4 p.m and Kakie Urch, another co-founder of WRFL, hosted a small pizza party afterward as a side event. The fun didn’t stop with the reception and instead continued on to the Burl where the bands Cults and Hair Police played alongside emcee Devine Carama and house producer Ellie Herring. Thank You For Coming To Our Parties closed out Saturday night at the Burl and the audience went home knowing there was more fun to have on Sunday.

Sunday By Noah Oldham March 4th, 2018 Day 3

WRFL’s Birthday Bash concluded on Sunday, March 4, with a Brunch Bash at the Burl. Local bands took to the stage to celebrate 30 years of WRFL. Many of the artists were former WRFL D.J.’s.

The Brunch Bash kicked off with Duck Fat, the band of married couple, Nick and Eli Warner and their newest band member, three-year-old Oscar Warner. The family, all dressed in bright and colorful outfits, sang “Happy Birthday” to WRFL. Oscar Warner also delivered an unplanned yet thrilling rendition of “The Alphabet Song,” receiving tons of applause.

Duck Fat

Following Duck Fat, People Planet took the stage. The teenage rock band included Jack Quinn on drums, Madeline Farrar on bass, Charlie Overman on guitar and Daisy Helmuth on guitar and singing lead vocals. People Planet’s music has a mellow and classic sound.

Sour Cream

Especially impressive was Helmuth’s vocal performance with both range and emotional expressiveness in their song, “Moment of Silence.” The entire band showed great potential. Next to take the Burl stage was the teenage heavy metal band, Sour Cream. With talent comparable to rock bands well beyond their years, Sour Cream rocked the Burl. The band includes Colby Grant on Bass, Haran Cecil on guitar and Jon McGee on drums. Their music is loud and wild but at the same time well composed and expertly performed. Grant and Cecil jumped excitedly around the stage as they played, flipping their long hair and banging their heads. The ecstatic audience danced along to the ear-blasting loud music.

Following Sour Cream was the first of the three headlining bands, Johnny Conqueroo. Johnny Conqueroo includes Grant Curless on guitar, vocals and keys, Wils Quinn on drums and vocals and Shawn Reynolds on bass and keys. The band performed their signature style that’s a mixture of vintage blues and psychedelic rock. The band, which has been around since 2014, is a local favorite. Next up was 10 Foot Pole, a band that’s been together since 1988. Band members include Billy Quinn, David Farris, John Turner, Brian Arnett and Danny May. The band gave an energetic performance. The band’s music is a fusion of rock and jazz- a feat the band compares to walking a tightrope, without a net. Their songs are funky and upbeat and got the crowd dancing along with them.

Finally, Nine Pound Hammer, a band that has played together since the mid 80’s, concluded the show. Band members include Scott Luallen with vocals, Blaine Cartwright on guitar, Brian Pulito on drums and Mark Hendricks on bass. “I’m excited to see Nine Pound Hammer play, I haven’t seen them in years,” said Dan Shorr, owner of POPS Resale, a WRFL underwriter. Nine Pound Hammer has a southern rock sound. The band is influenced by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and the Ramones among many others. The band gave an outstanding performance to an excited crowd. The Brunch Bash was a great celebration of WRFL. Local bands, new and old, came together to jam out and pay tribute to a station that has served as inspiration and support to local artists for 30 years.