“I’ve seen Quietdrive perform twice before, and they just keep getting better!” said Amelia Lamsam.
While many Drake students who attended the Sept. 30 concert knew very little about the band they showed up to see, others proved to be diehard fans.
Lamsam, a sophomore, has been a follower of the group for years. When she found out that Quietdrive was performing at Drake University’s Olmsted Center as part of the homecoming festivities organized by the Student Activities Board (SAB), she made sure to arrive at Pomerantz Stage early enough to get a front and center spot for her third time seeing the band perform live.
Her enthusiasm and commitment were worth it, because halfway through the show, Quietdrive’s lead singer-—Kevin Truckenmiller —called Lamsam on stage to join the group for one song.
“I’ve never played the tambourine before, but Kevin kneeling down singing to me was so exciting!” she commented. Lamsam, like the men who make up Quietdrive—Kevin, Brandon, Justin, Will and Brice—is from Minnesota.
The Thursday night concert was an exciting experience for those in attendance; with the room nearly packed full of students, Pomerantz Stage had the feel of a real concert venue, enough so that one brave student attempted to crowd surf across the horde of fans. His surfing experience was short lived, but he—along with many other music-loving students—definitely seemed to have a good time.
One dedicated young woman braved the typical pushy rock-concert crowd despite the burden of a set of crutches. She held her own at the front of the crowd and sang along to every song. Those around her, the avid Quietdrive fans, did the same, while the students filling in the back tended to just dance, sway and nod to the music, content with not knowing the band’s lyrics.
“Before the concert, I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’d only heard one of Quietdrive’s songs,” first-year Kory Aldrich said. “But I ended up really enjoying their music. I had a blast!”
Quietdrive played a number of original songs from the seven albums and EPs they’ve released since 2003, along with their covers of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” in which the band pleasantly surprised the crowd with a violin feature by Truckenmiller.
“I also thought Quietdrive’s ‘Toxic’ remake was much better than the Britney Spears original version,” Aldrich said.
Lexi Rose, a first-year biology major, agreed.
“I never thought I would like a Britney Spears song, but Kevin playing it on his violin made me fall in love!” Another first-year student commented that the violin accompaniment was much preferred over the bagpipe feature from My Dear Disco, the Michigan-based band that played on Pomerantz during Welcome Weekend festivities in August.
After the show, while Kevin, Justin, Will and Brice met and took pictures with fans, drummer Brandon Lanier stuck around backstage for a short interview.
When the band formed and started doing their first interviews, they would often try to come up with interesting stories explaining why they chose Quietdrive for the name of their group. Now, however, after many years performing and recording together, they don’t try to explain the name. Rather—Lanier revealed—Quietdrive is just who they have come to be, and they no longer feel the need to try putting a story behind that name.
When asked about the band’s musical influences and favorite artists, Lanier responded that they tend to base a lot of their music off ‘90s alternative rock, particularly Third Eye Blind and Incubus. He claims that the energy of live performances is what makes being a musician so great, and while Drake students felt that the show they attended was high-energy, it was nothing compared to the intensity of one of Quietdrive’s concerts a few years ago.
“We were doing a show, and our guitar player’s amp exploded,” Lanier said. “All the fans and the rest of the band noticed that there was a fire on stage, but he didn’t seem to realize it. He kept playing for probably 20 seconds before he figured out what was going on.”
Toward the end of the interview, the abundance of friendly squirrels on Drake’s campus came up.
“I think being a squirrel would be awesome!” Lanier pronounced. “I could just eat acorns and climb trees all day.”
Though Lanier seems to be interested in living the life of a squirrel, he claimed that there’s nothing the members of Quietdrive want to be doing other than making music.
“We’re devoted to this; it really is a full-time job, and we absolutely love it,” he said. When screaming for an encore while decked out in glow sticks, it seemed like Drake University absolutely loved Quietdrive.
Photos: Darcy Dodge