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The Brass Cadillacs Do The Trick For THON Early In The Morning

Ska at 2:30 in the morning? Sure thing!

The Brass Cadillacs are no strangers to playing THON. In fact, they’ve done it four times in a row now in 2016, 2017, 2018, and now 2019. Each time, they’ve done what was asked of them: waking up a tired BJC crowd in the morning. Their throwback ska sound is perfect for this, with their loud horns and guitar sending THON into overdrive.

They started out with “1985” by Bowling for Soup, an established THON 2019 cover band staple. This was followed by “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees, a song quite familiar to us as the backdrop to many an awkward middle school dance. It did the nostalgic trick.

Next came a nice change of pace from the usual cover songs, a cool cover of “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” off the Lion King soundtrack, filled with horns and solid playing all around.

“Shut Up And Dance” by Walk the Moon was up next, followed by another common denominator among THON cover bands, a jazzed up take on “Stacy’s Mom.”

More nostalgia came our way as the band played on. The All American Rejects’ “Dirty Little Secret” is a song that was played to death in the bedroom of this former edgy 10 year old. “Sk8ter Boi” by the immortal Avril Lavigne came up next, something I would belt out loud and proud while playing Singstar on the ol’ Playstation 2.

As the set was nearing its end, the band took the time to thank THON for letting them play year after year.

“Thank you for letting us be apart of (THON). It’s really special.”

“Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet was up next, another absolute jam that got the crowd jumping. And a little Van Morrison is never a bad thing, especially when it’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” and especially when it’s ska-ed up by Brass Cadillacs at THON.

Another favorite was slotted up next — the Violent Femmes’ timeless monument to teenage angst, “Blister In Sun.” And what better to follow than the Cadillacs’ trademark, a cover of “Come On Eileen.” Nothing could wake you up more than a chorus of horns and a belting of “Too ra loo ra too ra loo rye aye!”

More crowd pleasers were to come, like A-Ha’s “Take On Me.” It was done in the band’s carefree, energetic way as always. Take the synth heavy jam and fill it full of heart pounding guitar solos? Of course!

Trade out the synths on “99 Luftbaloons” for horns? Who could say no? Really the only thing that could’ve made that song better was doing it in the original German.

The final few songs were like shots of adrenaline, blazing through “The Great Escape” by Boys Like Girls and “Want You Back” by the Jackson 5.

The band closed out with “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore, giving all of THON enough energy to power them through the rest of Sunday.

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About the Author

Matt Paolizzi

Since graduating from Penn State in 2021, Matt is (hopefully) manning a successful job and (hopefully) living a happy life by now. In a past life, he was a writer for Onward State and remains a proud alumnus of the best student publication in the country. Check out Podward State too, Onward State's official podcast, that he co-founded alongside Matt Ogden and Mitch Stewart in 2019. It's his baby, give it a wave and make sure it's doing okay. Thanks to da king Sam Brungo and everyone who follows, it most definitely is.

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