Poster for Rowan Music Group’s “Hollyween” event. The show was streamed on Youtube and Facebook.

Thanks to modern technology, Rowan’s musicians were able to perform again. On Friday, Oct. 30, the Rowan Music Group (RMG) presented the live “Hollyween” concert which could – and still can be – viewed safely from home.

Kiara Brown-Brandon, member of RMG and bassist for the band Jima, hosted the event and offered a performance with the rest of her band.

“All the artists really worked hard on their costumes and covers,” Brown-Brandon said. 

Performances from each act were recorded prior to the event, but were shown live for the first time on Friday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on RMG’s YouTube and Facebook accounts.

According to Sydney Atkinson and Amanda Jacobs of RMG’s publicity department, the event was a competition during which viewers could vote for their two favorite videos. The two winners with the most votes went head-to-head with performances to decide on the final winner. By interacting with RMG’s Instagram page, viewers could win gift cards from the event’s sponsors Chickie’s & Pete’s and Nick’s Pizza.

The first artist was Kenz, an up-and-coming singer, songwriter and rapper according to Brown-Brandon, whose goal is to “bring back music with a message.” Kenz stated that she is used to performing R&B music, but decided to change her routine by performing a cover of “Bury a Friend” by Billie Eilish. Although this is not typically Kenz’s style of performance, one would never know that she was a bit outside her comfort zone.

The second performance of the night was from Pastelelphone, who Brown-Brandon introduced as a “bluesy, indie rock for emo kids.” They released their first album in February this year and are quickly making a name for themselves in the Rowan community; in Rowan’s “Battle of the Bands” event, Pastelelphone earned second place and won “Fan Favorite.”

For Hollyween, the members recorded their music and videos from separate locations, but they were still able to fit with the theme. Pastelelphone band members worked hard to make their video as fun and professional as possible, all wearing costumes in front of different Halloween-themed backgrounds.

Next on the itinerary was solo performer Jackson Zabransky under his stage name Denim Mob.  Brown-Brandon described his music as “synth-driven, ’80s-esque, dirty, nasty, new wave funk from the future.” Denim Mob performed his cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” in front of a wall decorated with electric and acoustic guitars.

The audience then got to hear a performance from the band Jima, who has played live shows before and released their first album “Island,” which is available on all streaming services. The members of Jima were all performing in the same place and produced a very professional video. They were all dressed as sheet ghosts but transitioned to costumes with glow-in-the-dark paint, which stood out against dim lighting to fit the Halloween theme.

The fifth and final artist of the event was King Puzzle, whose performances Brown-Brandon described as “the after-school specials of indie rock.”  This event was technically King Puzzle’s first performance, during which he presented a parody of “1251” by The Strokes named “1031” with fun and humorous lyrics. He has released two singles so far, including a self-proclaimed “love song full of Star Wars references.”

While the live event took place last Friday, it is still available to watch on RMG’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. If you were not able to catch Hollyween during its initial premiere, it is never too late to celebrate Halloween, and there is certainly never a bad time to celebrate local musical artists.

RMG’s Hollyween show can be found here.

For questions/comments about this story, email arts@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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