West Chester students supported local musicians and the Chester County Special Olympics at Alpha Xi Delta’s first annual XIFEST. Alpha Xi Delta, along with Sykes and WCUR made the event come together Thursday night.Alpha Xi Delta President Tiffany Graver explained that the sorority, which had in previous years put on the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” for a fundraiser, was trying something new this year. “We sometimes bowl with the kids in the Special Olympics on weekends,” Graver said. They hope to raise about $500.
A $200 cash prize was awarded to the band in first place, Original Low. The band came out to play at XIFEST from Pittsburgh. They describe their style as having a “rock sound” and said they were influenced by Peter Gabriel, Pearl Jam and Coldplay. They have an album coming out soon called A Broken Record.
Other bands participating in the battle included Long Shot Hero, Transient, Nook the Crook, and Crack Actor.
Long Shot Hero, who describe themselves as “Punk with horns” also played at the battle. Their major influences are Reel Big Fish, Blink 182, and New Found Glory. They are releasing a EP soon, titled, Old Enough To Know Better, on their label Say-Ten.
Opening the show Thursday was Nook the Crook, a cover band that boasts a wide range of influences. They have a style that ranges from funk to classic rock. “We even cover Eminem,” one band-mate said.
Crack Actor, describing their style as “abstract rock,” announced at the beginning of their set that they would be changing their name to A Divine Invasion. Bassist Steve Machonis, a senior here at West Chester, said “No one got the allusion to the David Bowie song people thought we were a drug band.”
The band’s name change did not bring any luck, however. Front man Billy Johnson snapped a string towards the beginning of the first song. “How embarrassing,” he said to the audience: “We’re not going to play that song again. It’s conducive to breaking things.”
The band, in fifth place, asked that it be reported that they came in eighth, “after the sound guys and the sorority.”
A raffle was included in the ticket price of $5. Some of the prizes were CDs and gift certificates for local businesses.
“Alpha Xi Delta will hold the event again next year,” Graver said. They hope to have more bands participate at XIFEST the next go-around, so local bands, start practicing!