Winter Rising’s reputation is looking good as an audience of 60 students came to watch them play the Rock and Soul Café. Old friends met up and supported a talented local band.
The band, which played Friday Jan. 29, is composed of three graduates and a current student from Nederland High School. Mac Decker, 17, sings and plays the guitar, though Decker said he wishes he could play more.
“I would rock the cowbell if the other guys ever let me,” Decker said.
The other members are 18-year-old Erik Skeie who plays lead guitar, 18-year-old Hank Navarre who plays the bass and 19-year-old Chris Briardy on drums.
Band members played multiple roles, typified when they all played the guitar at least once and frequently changed singers.
Decker said that they formed Winter Rising just for fun.
“Our band started roughly two years ago when we were all in our school’s musical,” Decker said. “We had all sort of joked about starting a band until one day when we were bored during rehearsal and we made plans to jam that weekend and it went from there.”
Decker said that the members of the band have varying tastes in music; Decker listens to progressive and indie rock; Skeie and Briardy like metal; and Navarre is into alternative and emo music. This was apparent by the band’s performance and their songs were all over the place.
Winter Rising began the night off with a screamo-vibe, but that slowly cooled off.
Mollie Cochran, a 19-year-old sophomore broadcast news major said that she didn’t like that part of the concert.
“I didn’t like the screamo at the beginning, but then they mixed it up which I enjoyed,” Cochran said.
They began quite rocky and disorganized. The songs weren’t following each other well, but they came together with “Your Guardian Angel,” written by Navarre.
Decker sang “Your Guardian Angel” and Navarre accompanied him. They complemented each other well, giving the song a warm touch.
Decker then sang a couple of songs solo. One that stood out was “Seattle,” which he wrote. Half-way through, the rest of the band joined in. “Seattle” highlighted Decker’s unique vocal stylings.
After that, the band was on a roll. Alex Decker, a 21-year-old senior marketing and finance major says she’s seen Winter Rising many times and likes their energy.
“I loved [the concert],” Decker said. “They are so fun. They really get the crowd riled up.”
Skeie was excellent on lead guitar and his solos really had the crowd going. Emily Gutterman, a 19-year-old sophomore speech, language and hearing sciences major said that Skeie was really impressive and that Winter Rising wasn’t what she expected.
“I was surprised,” Gutterman said. “I wasn’t expecting it to be that entertaining.”
Navarre by himself was quite entertaining on bass because he moved throughout the performance and presented the image of a rock star full on.
Only a couple of the band’s songs were covers. Their original material varied greatly but had a special touch that was distinctly theirs.
One cover they played was Blink 182’s “All the Small Things,” which they play at all their gigs. Navarre called it a “crappy punk rock classic.” Their version was better than the original and got the audience to its feet, singing along and dancing in the small café.
On Valentine’s Day, Winter Rising will play at The Next Big Thing Tour hosted by the Gothic. The organizers selected local bands for the event, and Decker said much to his surprise they choose Winter Rising, and he hopes something will come from it.
“Right now we are all in for attempting to make something out of our small town band, and I think that we will continue to play together even if we decide that we aren’t going to make a real go at being a band,” Decker said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Brigid Igoe at Brigid.firstname.lastname@example.org.