Rock n’ Roll… n’ Support the Planet

Walking to an Iowa City bar at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night hardly resonates with any notions of a “charitable event,” or “helping the environment.” That’s exactly what I did Nov. 4 in an effort to support the University of Iowa’s Environmental Coalition and their first event of Sustainability Week. 

UIEC put on a benefit concert, “Songs for SILT,” to raise money and awareness for the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust and as a kickoff to Sustainability Week. They recommended, but did not require, a $5 donation that would benefit SILT. 

Adventurous as it was to walk to The Mill on a Sunday night and watch the end of a local concert, it was even more empowering knowing I was supporting a great cause while rocking out. It was not a full house by the time I arrived, but due to the amount of strewn cups, and tables stuffed with students taking time out of their Sunday night, I knew I was in the right place. Despite the loom of midterms in the upcoming week, and the end to Halloweekend, The Mill was lively on this Sunday night. My navy blue chipped nail polish, Doc Martens, and ear for older rock sounds couldn’t have felt more at home. 

Photo by Mary Kelly.

The four local bands contributing to this community event were Truffle Pig, Cowpoke, Not Jupiter, and Citrus Sunday. 

Truffle Pig is a local Iowa City band consisting of three members: two guitarists and an upright bassist. They brought the old style classic rock and blues music as their repertoire included covers of Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, and similar artists while adding a folksy flair to the sound. 

Cowpoke is a newly formed duo band of Elli Bandstra and Aaron Longoria, who showcase their cowboy hats along with original songs. This event was similar to most of their small local gigs, where they debut these songs. Fittingly, one of their original songs is called “Space Cowboy.” 

“With their young look and stage talk of midterms, they showed college kids that rock n’ roll is still cool.”

Mary Kelly

Citrus Sunday, the final act of the night, gave off classic student garage band vibes. With their young look and stage talk of midterms, they showed college kids that rock n’ roll is still cool. Influences of Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Pink Floyd shone through, especially as they ended the night with Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” and Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” The moves of the lead singer matched the dance worthiness of Jet’s hit, while the shred of the electric guitarist was raw enough to make you feel like you were transported back to the defining days of rock. 

The lead singer transformed back into a normal college student as he said his thank you’s and goodbye’s, adding that he chose to play music at The Mill over studying for his upcoming exams. That sounds pretty rock n’ roll to me. 

Photo via UIEC

Besides this fun, charitable, community event the UIEC put together, they have a whole week of activities planned. Whether involving University students, local citizens, or nearby high school students, there is something for everyone to do.

Leave a Comment