MUSIC at Terrace Club
Music is an essential part of Terrace’s identity. We asked alumni from a range of class years to share recollections of their favorite musical moments. Thanks to all alums who responded to our questionnaire. Be on the lookout for spring’s featured theme, which is public service and social justice.
What live show(s) at TFC will you never forget, and why?
“Hot Buttered Rum. I love the eclectic music scene at Terrace, but to get to hear amazing bluegrass in my own house was a special treat for this hippie! I’ve since seen them several times on both coasts, but first at TFC.” —Arielle (Notterman) Debira ’04
“Chrome Sparks, Dean’s Date 2015. Incredible sound & showmanship, felt like everyone was really there to appreciate the experience.” —Jack McNeil ’16
“The absolute highlight was Flipper, a hardcore West Coast punk band whose “hit” was “Sex Bomb.” WPRB announced the show and, for the only time when I was a member, Terrace had to hire bouncers. Flipper arrived in a beat-up van. For unknown reasons, members decided to spray-paint the van, which led to a police stop on Route 1 for non-functioning headlights, a evening in jail, and a missed gig in NYC the following evening.” —Gideon Asher ’84
“Hey Champ! We danced on the picnic tables in the back yard.” —Richard She ’12
“EPROM. In the middle of the performance, he stopped the music and told us that the king of footwork music, DJ Rashad, had passed away just hours ago. EPROM started playing one of Rashad’s songs as tribute, but had to switch halfway through to one of his own, and explained that he was too choked up to continue. I consumed as much of EPROM and DJ Rashad’s music as I could in the months after, and it began my journey into exploring underground electronic music.” —Russell Burton ’17
“Girl Talk. The music! The dance floor! The music!” —Susan Lyon ’09
“Hands down, Immortal Technique. He came early and I ran into him the the Terrace kitchen. All I could think to say was, ‘Your song “Dance With the Devil” is…really terrifying.’ He assured me he was a good guy who has so much respect for women; he talked about his sisters and mom. We ended up talking for a while, and he gave me a big hug. That was totally surreal, but the BEST part was during his show when he stopped and talked about how important it is to respect and protect women. He asked each guy to look at the girls next to him and to make sure they were safe that night. I wanted to cry! He was totally my hero in that moment.” —Julia Wilson ’11
“A few standouts were Benevento/Russo Duo, Girl Talk, and Jonah Smith. All were very different in vibe, but just really memorable nights. Amazing performances, engaged audience—quintessential TFC nights.” —Ben Markowitz ’07
“Both Caspian shows, especially the one at 2016 reunions.” —Nabeel Sarwar ’16
“Akron/Family had a handle of Jameson, a bottle of vodka, and a case of beer in their rider. They finished all of it before going on. They then played until 3 a.m., when the sound engineer cut off the equipment and started to load out. The band then got in a circle in the middle of the dining room and led an acoustic, all-Grateful-Dead singalong for about another half hour.
Girl Talk played right after he blew up, and the house was literally full. There was no space for anyone to move. People were hanging half in windows, and bouncers were explaining people couldn’t come in–not because they cared, because they physically COULD NOT come in. He crowd surfed at the end, and there were so many people packed so densely that he was just walking on the ceiling, fully supported.” —Jon Feyer ’09
“Becca Stevens! It was an intimate performance that was so beautiful and vulnerable.” —Sage Palmedo ’19
“DIIV playing on Dean’s Date. I was already a huge fan of the band, and seeing them in person, in such a small space, was awesome. I got to share some of my favorite music with some of my favorite people.” —Evangelie Zachos ’14
“Vulfpeck’s first show. Enough said.” —Eleanor Roberts ’15
“I can never forget the Dan Deacon show in the early days of my time on campus. A glowing green skull on a pole above the crowd; seeing my pre-frosh host for the first time since visiting campus, cutting loose; and overall the sweatiest, least self-conscious dance party I’ve ever been to.” —Alex Brady ’10
“TOKiMONSTA, because I’ve been loving her ever since.” —Anonymous
“John Fahey in 2000. It was an ethereal and transcendent experience—one of his last shows before he passed. It was very different from all the loud (but still fun) shows I’d previously been to at TFC.” —Michael Whelpley ’02
“GZA and Blowfly, the original dirty rapper.” —Andrew Kinaci ’10
“The Dirty Projectors were supposed to play, but most of the band got sick so just Dave Longstreth showed up. He played acoustic for an audience of maybe 15 people, largely without a mic. An incredible night.” —Thomas Abend ’10
What does music, especially live music, mean to Terrace and Terrans?
“It’s everything, It’s a sign that every weekend you could see something new, and not just play Beirut and listen to ‘Party In The USA.’”
“I always found it significant that bands played right there on the dance floor with you. It dissolves the barrier between performer and witness, and brings immediacy to the experience.”
“Live music sets Terrace apart. Anybody can buy a keg. Terrace’s music scene creates amazing opportunities for Terrans of all stripes to come together for incredible shared experiences, and to learn about and enjoy each other’s passions and tastes. It gives Terrace’s many musicians a chance to take the stage in front of hundreds; gives officers the experience of more or less running a successful small entertainment business; and provides a venue for Terrace to continue its perpetual project of pushing the campus culture. Next to sharing a meal, sweating it out on the dancefloor is the best way to bring Terrans together.”
“The joy of being alive and in the moment surrounded by a family you love.”
“It’s the thing that does the most to bring Terrace, a pretty diverse place, together as a club. There were many people that I didn’t sit down to have lunch with until the day after we spent all night dancing to the same band.”
“The fact that so many amazing bands have played at Terrace over 4 decades is just incredible and a testament to how special of a place it is. Most bands accept gigs there because the money is good and it helps route dates between New York and Philly, but once they get there and see how amazing Terrace is, they also end up having great shows that can’t be replicated elsewhere. It’s truly special.”
“Self-expression, community, and dedicated officers who clean up night after long night so everyone can enjoy shows to the fullest.”
“Live music is the beating heart of the womb.”
Featured images: Superchunk, Miracles of Modern Science, and Japanther.