Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Mill and Kappa Sigma offer night of art and music

by ELISE KE-RAHN ’16

STAFF WRITER

A successful collaboration between the unexpected coupling of Kappa Sigma fraternity and the Mill dominated Vernon Street this past weekend.  The night featured the social house’s first gallery of the semester alongside two live musical performances in the concert venue.

Situated in the crisp whitewashed gallery is “Tattoos of Trinity,” curated by Mill Members Zoe Cennami ’17 and Elise Kei-Rahn ’16.  The pair gathered images of students’ ink and displayed them along anecdotes reflecting the subject’s personal connection to their tattoos.  The gallery’s dichotomy contrasted humorous against heart wrenching stories, which intrigued gallery goers and spurred lively conversation.  Next to the picture of his tattoo, Will Schreiber-Stainthrop explained, “While I was getting this tattoo, I realized the artist was kinda crazy.  She started talking about how it’d be great if humans died out and stuff.  I felt compelled to agree with her for the sake of the tattoo and my own safety.”

One student, Tasmerisk Rae Haught, when asked about her tattoo shared, “I got the Zia symbol on my wrist in honor of my grandpa when he passed away.  He was originally from West Virginia, but had the most beautiful Zia symbol hanging behind his desk when he moved to New Mexico and met my grandma.  It’s a nice way to remember him and always have a little piece of home.  Just last semester, I took tow holiday cards my grandma had sent me to tattoo her handwriting of “Mi Hita,” which means “my little girl” in Spanish.  It’s what we used to call each other.  She passd away during the fall semester of my Junior year, and I have all of her cards hanging on my wall. It’s like I always have my grandma and grandpa looking out for me.”

Cennami, the head of the Mill’s artistic endeavors, said that most of the photos were submitted by the subjects rather than Kei-Rahn or her.  The freedom to choose how they wanted their body to be displayed reflects the notion behind tattoos themselves: giving agency to one’s body.

Sweeney & the Goldbergers kicked off the musical portion of the night with a six song setlist.  They drew an abnormally large crowd for an opening act, yet this was mostly due to the band’s roster of AJ Ballard ’16, Peter Prendergast ’16, and Mali Thwala ’17.  Ballard’s Cleo siblings populated the left side of the audience, while Prendergast’s Pike brothers stormed the dance floor mid-set chanting, “Pete, Pete, Pete!” after every song.  Having heard their shaky sound check, the band managed to pull together an energetic flashback to the early years of the 2000s.  The riff to the Killer’s “Mr. Brightside” threw everyone into a frenzy, and dance moves ranged from bobbing in place to students jumping onto stage.  Ballard was in his element and his smile grew in proportion to the crowd’s energy.  Closing out the set was a cover of Blink 182’s “What’s My Age Again?” featuring vibrant vocals and a spectator sing a-long.

Student-favorite band Wolfpit took the stage around eleven and although they played for an immense amount of time, their energy failed to die down.  John Moran, Nate Choukas, Alex Rusbarsky, and Billy Burchill have acquired a loyal fan base since the group’s conception last fall semester.  Adoring female fans interspersed with frat brothers and Mill members comprised the front row.  The bandmates stuck to their usual routine of covers, but Choukas debuted an original song post-MGMT’s “Electric Feel.”  Although they usually inhabit the Tap on Thursday nights, their performance is better suited for the Mill.  Having a vast area for dancing rather than the Tap’s congested back room brought in a more diverse audience of students.  This was not to say that the venue wasn’t mobbed with patrons as President Rae Rosetti notes that the venue reached capacity around midnight.  “We actually had to have Kappa Sig brothers turn people away, which the Mill never does.  You don’t have to know a brother here to have a great time,” she reports.

Although Wolfpit’s performance was the main attraction of the night, students mingled in the gallery and in the front entryway.  A quick scan of the room showed that members from nearly every fraternity were in attendance, alongside Fred residents, athletes, artists, and musicians.  An open meeting space for such a large dichotomy of students is a lacking essential on Trinity’s campus.  Few enjoyable parties are deemed open to the entire student body.  If labeled as such, they never draw as large of a crowd as the Mill did.  Senior Brendan Gauthier enjoyed the atmosphere the Mill provided.  He emphasized that the location on Vernon was appreciable because the trek to Brownell is far from an enjoyable stroll during the harsh winter weather. The Mill’s spacious layout is definitely an attractive feature that members hope will draw collaborations with other organizations in the coming months.

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