On Friday the 13th, the Horn Gallery shook from the thumping bass, supplemented by the thumping of students moshing under the full moon. Hairstyles of the audience flipped unapologetically as their heads banged to the beat. Once Clovis took the stage with their heavy, wandering, metal sound, no one could resist moving. As the crowd grew in size, people flooding into the gallery from the hilltop, more and more feet stomped along to the songs with unknown names. The ripple effect was felt from every part of the Horn, only adding to the intense ambiance.
The three Brooklyn locals—Attila Anrather, Ben Arauz and Adam Sosnicki—have been touring liberal arts colleges in a graffitied white van, stopping at schools such as Bennington College (Vt.), Bard College (N.Y.) and, of course, Kenyon. The trio have been playing together for around two years, making their way from backyard concerts to small venues around New York City and larger spaces. “We never say no to a show,” lead drummer Anrather said.
Word spread around campus that a “punk” band was performing at the Horn, but the members of Clovis have a slightly different view of their style: When the band was in its early stages, they experimented with the “post-punk genre.” “And then, we all had this revelation, this awakening, at the same time [to start making] Sabbath-Riff Raff-Rock ‘n Roll,” Sonicki said. This “Sabbath-Riff Raff-Rock ‘n Roll” is Clovis stuffed into a made-up genre: a conglomeration of screaming, dynamic bass, with dispersed incoherent lyrics which had a hypnotic, cathartic impact on the audience. The musicians cited Black Sabbath as their biggest influence, alongside Sleep, MC5 and Fu Manchu, as well as some 70s rock artists.
The night opened with Shane Wells ’22, who performs under the name Organs, donning stylized glitter eyeshadow in an emulation of David Bowie. Organs’ creative, lyrics presented a contrast to the stark beats yet to come. At the introduction of Clovis, the intimate circle that surrounded Organs gradually expanded to an explosive audience that reached outside the Horn. People flooded into the Horn from the hilltop, and the crowd grew rowdier and rowdier.
Each member of Clovis had their own signature movements, the combination of which created a unique and memorable performance. Arauz was often on his knees low to the floor, leaving audience members wondering where he disappeared to, while deliriously strumming the guitar in different positions with passion. Sosnicki had an intense focus and gait while methodically playing the guitar, shouting lyrics with emotional fervor. And finally, Anrather’s shirtless drumming featured his long, dark hair flying everywhere. Somehow he managed to effortlessly hit the drums on beat, despite being drenched in sweat by the conclusion of the intense show.
When the performance came to an abrupt end, Kenyon students were hungry for more. They remained standing in the gallery, waiting expectantly for another song to play. Alas, the lights went on, and the band had to start packing up. Students were left stunned that the concert was already over. There was no better way to celebrate Friday the 13th.