Psychedelic music pulsated throughout the Horn Gallery on Saturday at 11 p.m. The rock band Tonstartssbandht, comprised of brothers Andy and Edwin Mathis White, used a rainbow-trimmed guitar and drum set to captivate a full house.
The show opened with a performance by Katie Mach ’17, a mellow Indie singer and guitar player. Mach was one of many Kenyon students who publicized their music by opening for the Horn’s shows. She drew a small, intimate crowd and created a laid-back atmosphere that served as a stark contrast to the main act: Tonstartssbandht’s performance at the Horn was high-energy and prompted jumping, swaying and even snapping from the audience.
Guitarist and lead vocalist Andy White, a lean man with shaggy blonde hair and a thick moustache, overtly fed off of this energy, mimicking some of the students’ dance moves and praising the general air of excitement throughout the show. His eccentric performance featured an expressive handle on the guitar and full use of the Horn’s space, complete with kicking barefoot in the air. His persona was matched by the cool handle his brother, Edwin, a soft figure with deep set eyes and light brown hair, had on the drums. The brothers left a cardboard box filled with records at the foot of the kick drum to serve as a stabilizing weight, adding to the set’s unusual aesthetic.
The duo’s music and performance style was as unconventional as their name, which not even the White brothers agree on how to pronounce — although their Bandcamp site lists the pronunciation as “TAHN-starts-bandit.”
“We were making album artwork for earlier bands we used to play in,” Andy said. “We liked how the word looked and decided if we ever made a duo it would be called Tonstartssbandht.”
The two brothers hail from Orlando, Fla. and officially formed the band in 2007. They have always loved playing together and tend to “kind of inform each other,” according to Andy, who also does keyboard, guitar and backup vocals for popular Canadian artist Mac DeMarco. The band’s music could be classified as rock or experimental, but draws from a wide variety of music styles, resulting in a unique sound that evokes elements of the Grateful Dead as well as more recent electronic groups. Andy also explained that he was never classically trained, so the band’s music lacks distinct technique, resulting in something that is “kind of jammy.”
The Horn Gallery will next host Indiana rapper FLACO — joined by musical artists Ganglia X Kuest DJ, Gabe Monro and Crames and Adama — tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. Hopefully they will reach the bar Tonstartssbandht set.
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