By Devon Musgrave-Johnson
Around 9 p.m. on Saturday, singer Bobby T. and Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker of the band Girlpool sat lounging on the sunken-in couch of the Horn Gallery, waiting for the go-ahead to start their show.
Their opening act should have technically already started at this point but like any true musicians, they were OK with being fashionably late. Tucker sat writing in her journal and Tividad chatted with Bobby T. and members of the Horn Gallery.
“Girlpool is ready for whatever,” Tividad said, “as long as we get to play.”
Both Girlpool and Bobby T. are originally from Los Angeles, but their similarities stop there. Girlpool specializes in the punk folk genre while Bobby T. has a more alternative style, taking elements from pop and psychedelic rock music. Despite their differences in style, Girlpool and Bobby T. worked well together to create a cohesive show.
After a few short songs by opener Jack Washburn ’16 soloing on bass, the small crowd grew when the group still outside was drawn in by the strumming of Bobby T.’s guitar, and he began his set. After a few chords, he paused to say, “Oh yeah, I’m Bobby T., guys.” This was all the introduction the performer needed, as his music and talent spoke for themselves. Throughout the show, he paused his set only to check his set list or give short introductions such as, “I wrote this song when I was 15,” and, “this one is pretty new.” It was clear that his focus was on the music.
As his set continued, more audience members were drawn away from the uncharacteristically warm night air in favor of the crowded and slightly musty Horn, where they could get a better view of Bobby and hear his angsty yet beautiful music.
“It was a perfect example of good ‘sad boy music,’” Brent Matheny ’19 said. “It kinda brought me back to early high school.”
Girlpool took the stage next. They didn’t need a cue to get the audience’s attention; a full crowd was already standing at the ready.
The duo started perfectly in sync, and remained that way throughout the show. Both Tividad and Tucker acted as one, and their music reaped the rewards.
Their harmonies wavered only when the two gave an impromptu and partial rendition of “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked, in which they both sang the both parts of the duet.
Girlpool took a different yet no less effective approach to interacting with the audience than Bobby T. From taking a quick pause to question the audience about Kenyon’s mascots (or lack thereof), to attempting to take a poll of where people were from, the musicians took many opportunities to get to know their audience and create a friendly and inviting atmosphere.
Members of the audience were able to talk to the band, answering their questions and making jokes along with them. The night felt more like a jam session than an actual show.
“The Horn is one of my favorite places on campus, and I think their performance tonight was a great example of why,” Jackie Rayson ’18 said.