Students get rowdy in Reno


Ryan Hackbarth

The musty, brick-walled room is full, energy radiating from the short horizon line of bobbing and wobbling heads, hair standing up from the electricity hovering above the crowd like a early morning fog. The anticipation is real and so are the cheap Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling, illuminating the small stage in the corner of the room where the Dead Seagals and Shannon and the Clams would soon perform.

On Thursday, March 31, a few Sierra Nevada College students ventured down into the depths of Reno to watch local band Dead Seagals open for Shannon in the Clams at a small venue called the Holland Project. Senior Bryant Davis has been to the Holland Project for shows before but claims that this was the best one yet.

“The show was sold out so the building was packed to the brim, which meant for a good time,” Davis said.

With the building full and the speakers blasting there was a variety of responses to the music being played by the bands.

“It was a great mix between mellow tunes and wild energy mixed in one,” said senior Felix Mobarg. “One moment you’re sitting back and enjoying a good song, the next you were jumping in a mosh pit.”

The bands play all types of music that took you from one place to the next

The bands played music that ranged from slow and mellow to upbeat and fast. Like a roller coaster going up and down, the tempo and noise of the songs controlled the pace of the audience.

“It was an alternative surf punk vibe that you could party to or just jam with your friends,” said Davis.

The crowd was fascinated from start to finish, their movements in sync with the sounds being generated by the instruments in the hands of the artists.


Photo by Ryan Hackbarth | The Dead Seagals mid set.

“Crowd surfing, people hanging from the banisters, everyone jumping and pushing people around, getting their heads knocked into one another’s, but still helping the people that fell over to get back up,” said Davis. “I think it’s safe to say anyone that was getting down during that show walked away with some sort of bump, bruise or injury.”

As the brick walls of the room dampened with the humid sweat-soaked air, the show neared its end. The energy of the audience had bounced around the walls of the small venue along with the sound waves coming from the speakers. Unlike large theaters or festivals, a small venue such as the Holland Project allows for a successfully intimate show.

Small venues make great places for amazing shows  

“I enjoy small venues for the intimacy of musicians and audience feeding off of each other’s energy,” said student Collyn Aubrey. “Smaller environments allow for a closeness that forces people to be aware of others, in contrast to large shows where one is able to get lost and blend into the mass.”

Smaller shows and venues allow attendees to have fun while seeing good bands without committing to a huge, expensive music festival. They are easier to socialize in and are usually fairly affordable.

“At a larger venue you’re generally stuck inside the whole time with a lot of waiting for music surrounded by a huge crowd,” said Davis. “At smaller venues it’s easier to say what’s up and make new friends with people and just hangout, you get to go outside, grab a beer, say what’s up to the band that just played, grab a taco at the food stand and then go back in for another sick set. I like that.”

Unfortunately for Davis, during the last song of Shannon and the Clams’ set he rolled his previously injured ankle.

“I just jumped up and came down on it wrong and it rolled super bad,” said Davis. “I’m just glad it wasn’t the first song and I got to see the whole show.”

In the end, everyone was OK and no soul was lost in the midst of the rowdy evening.

“Considering we were hanging off the ceiling and climbing up the side of the building, I’d say we got lucky,” said Mobarg.