The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Local bands turn it up to 11 at The Plus 

9th & Vine, Public Meltdown, Home Stretch and Dead Ambers perform at The Plus 
Photo by Wyatt Voelker
9th & vine performing live 

On Saturday, Nov. 4, The Plus was filled with a wide range of people, from punk-rocking teenagers and adults to casual music listeners, who were there to see the lineup of local bands. 

Energy levels were all the way turned up by the bands as well, with loud music and great vocals filling the space, creating an electric environment. 

The show began at 7 p.m. and was open to all ages. The featured local bands were metalcore band 9th & Vine, Public Meltdown, emo and hard rock band Home Stretch and punk band Dead Ambers. 

Public Meltdown describes their music as “a bit of everything mixed together.” 9th & Vine and Dead Ambers are both groups with members in high school.

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According to 9th and Vine, their origin story comes from within an RV, where lead vocalist Pvt. Christ and some of his other friends thought it would be cool to start a band and pursue music. The band used to be called Valor and had members different from those who are currently a part of the group. 

“We’ve made some dramatic changes in our music recently and are starting to take things really seriously, and we’re enjoying where things are headed,” Pvt. Christ said

The band started as a more grunge-orientated group, performing many Nirvana and other grunge group covers. 

That was until drummer Skinny Sticks and lead guitarist Schug joined the group. 

“Me and Jack kind of shifted the group towards heavier metalcore-esque music and have slowly been getting heavier and more technical,” Schug said.

Home Stretch formed in high school after “meeting in the bathroom,” according to their drummer Mason Kajer. They came from discussing punk bands and music to garage sessions and performances, according to the group. 

The band formed in 2019 and has stayed together since then, performing what is now their 15th show to date. 

“We played a few shows in 2020, and then the pandemic happened, and we couldn’t really do much after that except play at random bars, basements or garages,” said Simon Butler, lead singer and guitarist for the band.

The bands played covers and original pieces from their discography, which created a nice mix of familiar and new tunes for the audience. 

Some of the highlights were 9th and Vine’s cover of Deftones‘s songs and their very own single “Livin large but at what cost.”These heavy metal songs paired with lead singer Pvt. Christ’s vocals for a high-energy set.

Home Stretches’s original song “Four Course Goodbye” had a tremendous moody and angsty tone. With the band’s excellent stage presence and crowd engagement, listeners were going from squatting on the floor to jumping around in a matter of seconds during the show. 

“We couldn’t have been happier with the outcomes tonight,” said Home Stretch about the show and their moods after performing. 

Public Meltdown’s song “Bouncing off the walls” had stellar guitar riffs and banging drums that made the crowd bounce to the rhythm. Their psychedelic/eclectic rock roots were a change of pace from the other musician’s punk and metal styles. 

Audience member Owen Laabs, a second-year UW-Eau Claire student, said the show was very enjoyable. 

“It had a fun and engaging atmosphere with some good cover songs that were performed pretty well. I had a great time,” Laabs said 

Eric Johnson, a second-year student at UW-Eau Claire, was also part of the audience. 

“The atmosphere was super good and dope, and everyone was into and enjoying themselves. The highlight was the second band,” Johnson said. “Overall it was a really cool experience, and would definitely go again if the opportunity were to arise.” 

Voelker can be reached at [email protected].

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Wyatt Voelker
Wyatt Voelker, Staff Writer

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