The Riviera rocks: Four local bands perform to energetic crowd

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Four bands played at Riviera's Feb. 17 show: Hidden Ivy, Fair Game, Wescansin and Echo Plum. - Copy Editor / Sylent Michaels

The Riviera is a popular concert venue located in a bustling college town that draws in crowds from all over Glassboro. The venue has become well-known for hosting up-and-coming bands and musicians and on Feb. 17 they did not disappoint. The event featured live performances by four diverse and talented bands — Hidden Ivy, Fair Game, Wescansin and Echo Plum.

Hidden Ivy, a Philly-based band, kicked off the evening’s performances and set the tone for the rest of the night. Their energy and enthusiasm had the audience pumped up and ready for more.

Next up was Fair Game, a band that has quickly gained a following since its creation in September of last year. This was their fourth show, and they have grown and evolved since their first performance. The band’s lead singer, Will Sawyer, wrote all of their songs and performed a one-minute song that he had written just two days before the concert.

“Well, I had this chord progression that I liked and then I wrote lyrics to it and I had a melody in my head,” Sawyer said. “I would sit on my bed in my dorm and be like, ‘I need to write it.’ We had a certain song in the set that I didn’t like, and I was like I’m gonna write a different song that’s better and I did that. Then Chris would help me out. Stephen would help me out and they both would give their ideas.”

This was also the first time that Fair Game had enough original songs to perform an entire set. While they do not have an official drummer, Sawyer’s closest friend Ben Roberts, who plays in his own band called Dead Love Triangle, filled in and provided excellent percussion. The audience was captivated by Fair Game’s sound, which features a unique blend of rock and indie influences. Their performance was a testament to the hard work and dedication that the band has put into their music. Alongside Sawyer and Roberts were their friends and fellow bandmates Chris Baldarrago and Stephen Kossman both on guitar. 

“I feel really great about it. I’m very happy with how the songs turned out. With like very little time we had to mess around with it,” Baldarrago said. “But I think the outcome was beautiful, more beautiful than I could imagine.”

Wescansin, a female-led band also based in Philadelphia, took the stage next and played a selection of songs that highlighted their powerful vocals and unique sound. Their lead singer’s captivating stage presence and powerful vocals had the audience mesmerized.

Echo Plum was the final band to perform and they did not disappoint. The Philly-based band consists of lead singer and guitarist Declan Rizzo, second guitarist Adrian Mahoney, and drummer Robert Kahovec IV, who is simply known as Robbie to his friends and fans.

Rowan University student Dylan Skorge, who is an unofficial member of the band and plays the keyboard, joined Echo Plum for a few songs, including their single “MIAMI.” Skorge has his own band called Safe Haven, and his talent on the keyboard added another layer of depth to Echo Plum’s already impressive sound.

“I’m great friends with all of them. And it’s really fun. It reminds me of playing with my own band, but just with my other friends,” said Skorge. “I do have my own band called Safe Haven and we play together a lot with Echo Plum. It’s cool because we’re all really good friends. We all make similar music and it’s just like a fun scene and crowd that we created ourselves.”

The chemistry between the members of Echo Plum was evident in their performance, and they left the audience wanting more. During their performance of “MIAMI,” they had many members of the audience singing and dancing along. Their sound features a unique blend of indie, dream rock and pop influences – or how they would describe it as a mixer of many things that can’t really be pinpointed. Nonetheless, their music has helped them gain a following in the Philadelphia and South Jersey music scene.

The concert at the Riviera was a huge success and showcased a diverse range of talented musicians. The audience was treated to a night of great music, and it was clear that each band had put a lot of effort into their performances.

Fair Game’s performance was a particular standout and their upcoming EP or album containing all the new songs they performed during the concert is highly anticipated. The band has a unique sound and style and it is clear that they are well on their way to making a name for themselves in the music industry.

Overall, the performances showcased a range of talented musicians, each with their own unique sound and style. The audience left the concert with a newfound appreciation for the up-and-coming bands who are making their mark on the music scene. The Riviera continues to be a hotspot for discovering new music and supporting emerging artists.

To support some of these artists you can listen to Echo Plum’s new single “MIAMI” on all platforms now and follow them @echoplum on Instagram. While the Riviera isn’t hosting any upcoming concerts you can keep a lookout for Fair Game concerts in the future by following @fairgame557 on Instagram. You can also follow @the_riviera_nj on Instagram to keep up with any new concerts.

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