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Thunder Down Under Music Fest entertained small crowd at CSU-Pueblo

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Music from the Thunder Down Under Music Fest resonated the south side of Belmont Residence Hall at Colorado State University–Pueblo as performers and a small crowd withstood the cold weather.

Temperatures of 34 degrees, and lower, generated a small crowd of about 15 students to the Thunder Down Under Music Fest on Friday, Oct. 23, and expectations of the student events manager, Mark Bush, fell short.
The crowd was sparse at the Thunder Down Unders concert. photo by DaMarkus James
The crowd was sparse at the Thunder Down Unders concert. photo by DaMarkus James

During an interview before the music fest, Bush said that he spoke for all of the performers, as a lead singer for one of the performing bands, Mark’s Midnight Carnival Show, when he said the performers’ goal was to exhaust the crowd, but with such cold weather, the small crowd stayed mellow as they attempted to keep warm while they listened to the performances.
 
Bush said the Office of Student Activities (OSA) had some issues to work with, one of which included a miscommunication of booking the Occhiato University Center Ballroom as a backup in case of cold weather.

One student intern for OSA said the ballroom had been booked for a different event the night of the music fest, so they were obligated to stick with the initial plan of performing outdoors.   

Yet the cold weather did not stop some students from enjoying the music and free food which was offered from the pig roast from the earlier pep rally.
 
“I’m so excited. There’s good music playing and free pork,” said CSU-Pueblo student, Reid Clark.

Another group of students that was seen enjoying the performance from start to finish said their motive for enduring the cold was the great music and its diversity in styles.

“I loved the first band (Dechen Hawk) that played the Stevie Wonder cover,” said CSU-Pueblo student, Kenny Norman.

While another student, Joey Puskedra, a mass communications major, said he enjoyed the rhythm and vocals of the music performed by the band Making Movies.

“They just groove,” said Puskedra.

Student Event’s Manager, Mark Bush, said he wanted to create a diverse concert but not have such an extreme difference that students would be listening to rap music followed by country music.

“I put together the type of show I would want to see,” Bush said, and he said he had personally seen all of the bands perform previously.
With music genres of jazz, new wave salsa, independent rock and country Americana, the bands proved to be diverse.

The four performing groups were The Lusitania, Making Movies, Mark’s Midnight Carnival Show and Dechen Hawk.

Dechen Hawk, of Boulder Colo., began the night with some jazz and light R&B music. His band consisted of a saxophone player, Mirco Altenbach, a drummer, Todd May and Hawk played the keyboard while singing.

Mark Bush said neither Hawk’s band, nor his band, had performed in Pueblo before. 

Mark Bush, lead singer and guitar player in Mark's Midnight  Carnival Show. photo by DaMarkus James
Mark Bush, lead singer and guitar player in Mark's Midnight Carnival Show. photo by DaMarkus James

After Hawk’s show, Mark’s Midnight Carnival Show performed with some independent rock. 

Starting as a solo act, Bush said his band actually began performing together about two months ago in Colorado Springs, with himself as the lead singer and lead guitar, Gavin Struab on drums and Scot Bien on guitar.

Making Movies, of Kansas City, Mo., followed Bush’s band and played a variation of songs with English and Spanish lyrics.

Leader singer and guitar player, Enrique Chi, said the band’s goal is to incorporate old Latin rhythms into their music which creates a style he labels as “new wave salsa.”

Most of the Latin rhythms that are heard in the music Making Movies plays are created by various percussion instruments played by Juan-Carlos Chaurane.

The band also consists of a bass player, Nic Kolar, and a drummer, Bendan “Caveman” Culp, who help complete the sound.

Chi said Making Movies was invited by Mark Bush, who first met them in Denver at a performance where Mark’s Midnight Carnival Show was also performing.

The final performance for the night was The Lusitania who finished the night out strong with several songs in the style of, what the lead singer and guitar player Mike Duncan referred to as, “Country Americana.”

The Lusitania consists of Duncan as lead singer and guitar player, his brother Blake Duncan on bass, Odi Kanlic on keyboard and Charles Berry on drums.

Three of the four members of Lusitania. photo by DaMarkus James
Three of the four members of Lusitania. photo by DaMarkus James

 The band is named after a shipwreck, Duncan said, for the wreck of the Lusitania which was instrumental in bringing the U.S. into World War I.

The band performed for nearly an hour and was cheered at the end by the remaining crowd for an encore, which the band said, they were compelled to carry out and performed two more songs.

Bush said the decision of bringing in four less-known bands rather than paying for one well-known band or singer was an issue the office of student activities had to debated on.

“We knew we wanted to put on the music fest but we still weren’t sure which way we wanted to go,” Bush said.

In the end, the decision worked out for both the performers as well as the office of student activities, he said.

Student Events Coordinator, Kellie Close, said payment for three of the bands varied. Hawk’s band was paid $200 because they were the opening act and they were traveling from within the state. Making Movies and The Lusitania were paid $500 a piece because they were traveling from out of state.          

Since Mark’s Midnight Carnival Show was a student band, they were not paid for their performance Close said, but Bush said he was still excited to be performing.

All of the bands provided Web sites, or MySpace links to which students can listen to music clips, read further on bands’ history and read biographies of the band members.

Dechen Hawk – http://www.myspace.com/dechenhawk or www.dechenhawk.com

Mark’s Midnight Carnival Show- http://www.myspace.com/themidnightcarnivalshow or www.marksmidnightcarnivalshow.showitsite.com

Making Movies- http://www.myspace.com/makingmovies or www.makingmoviesband.com

The Lusitania- http://www.myspace.com/lusitaniarock