The Fun House goes beyond simply being a basement concert venue as the group encourages and fosters creativity and expression. Since their first show in June of 2021, the venue has given bands of many genres a stage to showcase their unique music and provided an opportunity for students involved in the local alternative music scene to see brilliant bands play live.
The Fun House is the creation of three close friends, Matthew Fekete, James Davenport and Kevin Lynch. It was designed to provide a secure and friendly environment for artists of all genres.
The venue has held numerous performances since it opened, becoming a focal point for the local alternative music scene. The Fun House’s owners and supporters think that they have a significant impact on the South Jersey music scene by providing venues for bands to perform and hone their skills.
“This is a practice space as well. So just having that and not feeling like [your band] is being too loud for neighbors. Just be able to go and put a lot of work into that as an individual and as a band,” said Matt Kupla, one of the contributors for the Fun House. “When we play here. It’s very comforting and that’s not always the environment you want but it’s nice to have every now and then.”
In addition to the Fun House owners themselves, several members of other local bands also make the Fun House their home. Davenport is a member of The Jettys, in which he writes some of the songs and plays lead guitar. The Jettys has been making waves in the South Jersey music scene and also played in the Battle of the Bands in early March. They still regard the Fun House as their home base and are always glad to play there, although they have recently slowed down in their play there.
“It’s been a while since we’ve performed [at the Fun House]. I’ve tried to do fewer house bands, except for this one this month [March]. This month I want to really go nuts with the house bands,” Davenport said. “But as a general rule of thumb, this semester I was trying to avoid booking us to instead just showcase the music I like and whatnot. Because we’d love to play every show but no one wants that except for us.”
On March 31, the Fun House demonstrated its value once more by hosting an outstanding heavy metal performance that featured Greater Good, Red Lightning and MEASURES. The shows were aggressive and high-energy, with fast-paced drumming, strong guitar riffs and shouting or growling vocals that energized the audience.
Greater Good quickly established the mood for the evening as the first band to hit the stage. The band’s furious performance rapidly got the crowd energized and hungry for more with its shouting vocals, powerful guitar riffs and lightning-fast drumming.
Red Lightning, a group that includes Fekete and Lynch, took the stage next. The three guitarists of this band did not disappoint, playing a fast-paced set that displayed both their great guitar skills and their impressive melodic abilities. The band’s lead vocalist stood out and as their act went on more and more concert-goers joined them in moshing and singing.
MEASURES, though, were the real star of the evening. In an electrifying performance that left the audience pleading for an encore, the Battle of the Bands champions brought the evening to a close. Trevor Cherkauskas, the band’s charismatic and dynamic leader, led the group in the performance of a great collection of original compositions that displayed their range of musical inspirations and remarkable musicianship.
During the band’s performance, Cherkauskas frequently walked into the crowd and encouraged the crowd to mosh, headbang and sing along. This produced a frenetic atmosphere that had everyone on their feet and moving about quickly. That was an appropriate way to cap off a night that honored the strength and fervor of alternative music.
The event demonstrated the Fun House’s dedication to fostering the growth of alternative music. A sense of camaraderie that can only be found in the music scene was created by the excellent performances and the enthusiastic audience. By the conclusion of the night, it was obvious that the Fun House had once again given the bands and the audience an amazing experience.
“I think this is the coolest job in the world. Being anywhere in the music industry is amazing. This is a chance for you to let your art blossom in your own basement,” Davenport said. “That’s a gift and a huge honor that I think no one should squander.”
Follow the Fun House on Instagram @the_fun_house_official to stay updated on the remainder of their events.
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