Arts & Culture

From Shopping Cart to Meeting the Band; a Story on how Local Music Brings Together a Community

You may be asking yourself how a group of college students went from finding a shopping cart on campus to meeting a local band playing a show at Sun Tiki Studios in Portland, Maine. It’s simple really, start by picturing a cold winter day at the beginning of February. A trio of college students, myself and my two friends, are walking across campus when a lone shopping cart comes into view, left stranded by who we’re assuming was another group of college students. Naturally, my friends and I dragged the shopping cart up to our dorm and parked it outside by the bike rack, deciding that this was now our shopping cart and that it would be a decoration for our dorm building. Fast forward a week later, another friend sends us a post on Instagram of a local band advertising their next show. And what did they use as a prop for their ad? The one and only dorm shopping cart. 

We had absolutely no idea who they were, what genre of music they played, or how popular they were, but at that very moment we decided that it was our duty to attend the show being advertised, no matter how much the tickets cost. After all, they had used our shopping cart to attract an audience. 

Photo of the band, One Hundred Thorns, playing at Sun Tiki Studios

Sun Tiki Studios is an all ages live music venue where smaller artists, such as this band One Hundred Thorns, rehearse and perform. It sits on a busy street in Portland, just two blocks over from the University of Southern Maine Portland campus, and though it appears to be a small venue, the community it brings in is astonishing. One Hundred Thorns, formally known as Haze, is a heavy metal/rock band made up of four boys from Gorham, Maine. They started their band in school and quickly grew a fanbase. It was no secret that these boys have chemistry and their raw talent was unlike anything I had ever seen before. For such a small studio, they drew in quite the crowd, ranging from high schoolers, to college age students, to even grown adults. The energy was high, the music was incredible, and overall it felt as if there was no judgment within the crowd. Everyone was there simply to enjoy the music.

Photo of the band, One Hundred Thorns, at Sun Tiki Studios

After the show, people hung around and chatted, including my group. My friend decided to Instagram DM one of the band members and joke that we were the owners of the shopping cart that they took pictures with. This quickly led to that band member telling us to stick around and that they would come out and find us. When they did, they all introduced themselves and thanked us for coming to the show. Jokes were made about the shopping cart of course, we complimented them on their performance, and though the conversation was short, the impact it made was undeniable. What I noticed after we talked to them was the way they bounced around the room and greeted every audience member that came to see them. Their friendliness was unlike anything I had ever seen before and the sense of community I felt in the venue that night blew my mind.

Local music is something that everyone should consider going to see at least once in their life. Whether it be a smaller band, like One Hundred Thorns, or a bigger band that has grown an audience, it’s worth the trip and is an unforgettable experience. Not only do you benefit from going to see local music, but so do the artists themselves. Who knows, maybe one of the local artists you go and see could be the next big thing!

Categories: Arts & Culture

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