When Carmen Perry ’15 paused between songs to speak, people in the crowd hushed each other, and the room almost immediately became quiet. “It’s never happened before that we’ve started talking and people have shushed other people,” Perry said to the attentive crowd that had been boisterously dancing and screaming to the music of Remember Sports only seconds before.
Remember Sports’ concert this past Saturday marked a homecoming for the band that formed at Kenyon just a few years ago when vocalist/guitarist Perry, guitarist Jack Washburn ’16 and bassist Catherine Dwyer ’14 were members of PEEPS O’Kenyon together. The band performed at Kenyon under the name SPORTS and recorded some of their first songs for WKCO.
Three albums, one name change and a few member shifts later (Connor Perry, no relation to Carmen Perry, joined the band as the drummer about two years ago), the group returned to the place where it all started: The Horn Gallery.
“The Horn was a pretty huge part of all our lives here, so it’s nice to see it still going strong,” Washburn said. “It feels very special to be back. It already feels familiar and comfortable even though it’s been a few years.”
Perry echoed Washburn’s sentiment. “I like looking at all the posters upstairs. There’s a lot of old shows we played,” she said. “We had our very first practice in the practice room here before we had a name or anything.”
Remember Sports’ music is the kind of exuberant and fiery indie-pop-punk that always seems to ignite an audience. The second the band started playing the crowd broke into a joyful, messy mosh pit. When the densely packed crowd began to boil over between songs, Perry paused. “Are you all good with the intensity?” she asked. The crowd reassured her, waving her off good-naturedly and continuing to dance with unabated fervor.
At the core of Remember Sports’ high energy, upbeat rhythms lies a strikingly emotional center. The band’s most recent work, “Slow Buzz,” is in many ways a breakup album, but resists the sap and syrupy angst that typically accompanies such works. Songs like “You Can Have Alonetime When You’re Dead” temper the poignant, wistful quality of its lyrics — “We spent our whole lives wishing we were elsewhere and / Now that we’re gone we’re just trying to get back there” — with brisk, invigorating pop-punk beats.
Earlier in the evening, the set opened with Kenyon band Mark Twang, whose indie rock vibes set the concert’s energetic tone. Following Mark Twang was Dehd, a Chicago-based indie rock trio whose glitter-covered guitar and smoky, retro, punky sounds enlivened an already lively crowd. By the time Remember Sports took the stage, the crowd was more than ready.
Remember Sports played a show that was filled with verve and life from beginning to end. “We didn’t think, going to college, that our job would be this,” Perry said as the evening came to a close. The cheers that followed her statement indicated the crowd was happy things turned out the way they did.