By Adelle Brodbeck
After a last minute change of location, Ohio Wesleyan’s best known student band with no name played a successful show for fellow students in the basement of the Chi Phi fraternity house.
The band is comprised of OWU seniors Erika Nininger, Michael Cormier and Sam Sonnega and junior Connor Stout. The quartet has been playing together since Stout’s freshman year.
The band had originally scheduled to play in the largely unused “amphitheater” located near the Benes room. But when they realized that the weather reports called for thunderstorms, they were forced to change their venue.
“You can’t be mad at the weather,” said Cormier, the band’s drummer.
Despite the last minute rearrangement, attendance was still relatively high. The band had scheduled to begin performing at 8:30 p.m., but in true rock star fashion, did not actually begin playing until 9 as Cormier warned on the event’s Facebook page.
Most students trickled in and out of the concert as the night progressed, however there was a solid line of enthusiastic audience members dancing in the front throughout the show.
“We’ve played in Chi Phi before,” said pianist/vocalist Erika Nininger. “And the last show we did here had a great turnout.”
The band said they had not planned a back-up location, but bassist/vocalist Stout volunteered Chi Phi as the new venue, and his fellow brothers were willing to open up the house to the band and their fans.
The venue allowed for the band to have a more complex setup then they are usually accustomed to. Chris Hinshaw, a technician for OWU’s Building and Grounds Department, helped set up a more professional and fully equipped sound system.
In addition to the more elaborate sound setup, there was a light show that colored the whole room in blue, red and yellow hues. The room exuded a tranquil and hip aura, right down to the candle carefully placed on Nininger’s keyboard and Sonnega’s t-shirt that said “I came to get down.”
Throughout the three years they have been together, the band has played in many venues, including J. Gumbo’s and Tree House, but they have yet to settle on a name despite a mutual desire for one.
According to the band, it has been very difficult to choose because they have come up with so many different names. Cormier said they keep a list of all of the ones they have thought up in the past.
Currently they refer to themselves as Vladimir Tootin’s Theory of Everything, but Sonnega said it’s a bit of a mouthful. After some debate among the members they said that the name they were using previously was Twitch, but they weren’t satisfied with that either.
“I mean, would you go to a Twitch show?” Nininger said.
Their flexibility with the name also transfers into their song choices. According to Cormier, the band always changes up its set list based on their moods or the environment or the attitude of the audience. The band said they tend to play a lot of covers in addition to their own original pieces.
The band said they hope to continue to play at OWU throughout this year, as well as after they graduate.
“It’s all we’ve got going for us,” Cormier said between laughs.