Local bands spotlighted at PCA

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By Jocelyn Cote
Reviews Editor

On Friday night, the Parish Center for the Arts was alive with music as high school bands from Westford and beyond performed to an enthusiastic crowd at the season’s first rock show. The event was one of many shows throughout the school year put on by the Westford Teens Arts Council.

The night opened with a thirty-minute open mic, which welcomed anyone onstage who would like to perform a song or two for the crowd.

As the open mic wrapped up, the acapella act On Air gathered onstage for a quick impromptu performance of “Santeria” by Sublime to get the audience on their feet.

Will Call Jake onstage

After On Air’s performance, Will Call Jake, a three-piece band hailing from Groton and Harvard, took the stage. Their setlist was comprised of mostly original material, with a cover of The Crash Kings’ “It’s Only Wednesday” thrown in for good measure. The band had a unique sound, including piano in most of their songs alongside crashing guitar and bass.

Will Call Jake are steadily making themselves a known band in the area – they are set to play the Middle East in Cambridge in December as part of the venue’s battle of the bands.

Trust Fall gets the crowd jumping

Following Will Call Jake was Trust Fall, a four piece band and the only band of the night with a frontman. Their energetic, jarring set consisted mostly of covers of popular rock staples such as the Foo Fighters’ “Learn to Fly,” Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London,” and an especially upbeat cover of The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” that got the entire crowd jumping and singing along.

Trust Fall seemed to be one of the fan favorites of the night. Their set adequately energized the crowd for acts higher on the bill while still holding their own as a memorable act that the audience wouldn’t forget.

Ayer natives Hudlin were the third act on the bill, providing a sound which was somewhat of a mix between modern pop punk and nineties alternative. Lead singer Jessenia Moreira pranced around the stage in a dramatic fashion as she sang through the band’s four song set, which consisted entirely of original songs.

Moreira sings from her notebook

One of these songs was so new, in fact, that Moreira had to sing her lyrics directly from her notebook.

Although their set was somewhat short, Hudlin successfully pumped up the crowd for the nights headliners – The Cranks.

Hailing from across Middlesex County, The Cranks have become somewhat of a household name across Westford Academy. Their line-up includes siblings Haley and Connor Gowland and WA junior Alex Markoski.

Naturally, The Cranks performed the longest setlist of the night at 8 songs. Like most of the performers of the night, the band played a setlist consisting of a mixture of original songs and covers, some of which included Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” and a unique take on Foster the People’s recent hit “Pumped Up Kicks.”

WA junior Alex Markoski performs with The Cranks

As The Cranks began to pack up their gear after finishing with their own anti-bullying anthem “Not Okay,” shouts for an encore roared from the crowd. Due to audience demand, the band plugged their amps in once again and performed one final song: a cover of Awolnation’s “Sail” to an uproar of applause.

Overall, the first rock show of the year was a huge success. High schoolers from both Westford and neighboring towns were present, creating a sense of community among music fans and local bands.