The Districts and Vundabar: This Year’s Big Thing

David Weiner ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

David Weiner / Emertainment Monthly
David Weiner / Emertainment Monthly

Remember these two names, The Districts and Vundabar. This will be their year.

I feel like I’ve just witnessed some of the future sounds of our generation. It’s a bold statement, but one that I stand behind. While in the audience taking pictures I couldn’t help but think, “Damn. This has to have been how our parents  felt seeing bands of their youth on the come up.”

On the wing of their performance earlier in the week on Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Districts raked in a crowd of loud and passionate millennials who screamed the lyrics to their every song.

Their mature, blues/garage rock influenced sound made me want to head to the mountains, strap into a snowboard and bomb a tree covered hill. I’d then finish the day by the fire with a cup of something warm.

These artists are kids, not old enough to buy a beer yet inspiring enough to influence packed venues with their words. I’m writing this article as a peer.

The band came from the small town of Lititz, Pennsylvania, graduated high school in 2013, signed to the same label as The Black Keys, were featured in Rolling Stone, and named in a recent TIME article, “15 Musical Artists to Watch in 2015.”

The Districts just released their first album A Flourish and a Spoil under their new label, Fat Possum. The album flows neatly from start to finish, urging the listener to not just nibble the first couple songs but loosen up his pants and stay for the whole meal.

Opening for The Districts was a local band of rowdy creatives that went by the name Vundabar. Lead singer Brandon Hagen engaged the crowd like nobody I’d ever seen. The audience screamed with excitement as Hagen, drummer Drew McDonald and bassist Zach Abramo swapped silent drum and guitar solos, spat on each other and took breaks in the middle of songs to make jokes.

I was memorized by not just the crazy antics, but by the sporadic, yet effortlessly neat display of music that Vundabar had to offer. I have never yet been so compelled to meet an opening band until last night. I borrowed their merch salesman’s backstage pass so that I could briefly let the group know that what they’re doing is going to make waves.

It’s fun to see DJs perched up in their booths with laser lights and crazy visuals, but very little compares to the energy of a live group breaking strings, hammering drum heads and splashing sweat onto an audience of young people thirsty for every lyric.

The Districts are on the move west toward California, continuing their tour.


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