Music medley: A day for all-ages entertainment

Julia Fetter

A brick path is winding into the distance. The walkway intertwines with flowers, shrubs and lawns.

The path leads you to a patio covered by wooden rafters that provide shade.

Eventually, you make your way to a stage where bands from across the United States are performing.

Bands ranging from the rock to metal genres will play at the AURA Fest rock-and-roll festival this Saturday, Feb. 18.

Members from two of these bands took the time to explain who their bands are and gave insight into what makes their bands unique.


The members of this band are Savannah locals. They have been playing music together for two years, according to the guitarist, Nolan David Mobley.

Vatican’s brand of music can be summarized as a blend of metal and hardcore genres, characterized by blazing guitar riffs and haunting yet energetic vocals.

“We would definitely consider ourselves more hardcore because of the community mentality aspect of things. We just play within the hardcore community,” Mobley said. “Aside from things like this fest every now and then, we get to play things like [with] more exposed metal bands.”

Mobley appreciates hardcore communities for the supportive attitude they display. He described how that can help with Vatican booking shows or, vice versa, helping other bands book shows.

He also mentioned that Vatican is most excited to play with Unearth and Zao at the music festival.

“I was listening to Unearth in high school because my friend gave me ‘The March’ CD…that was a great album. I really liked it through high school, and I definitely think it influenced my playing for sure,” Mobley said.

Vatican has recently released music of their own, in the form of a four-way split record. A split record is similar to a compilation CD because it has multiple artists on it. However, it typically has fewer artists represented on it than a compilation.

Vatican has two songs on the record, “Walls of Regression” and “Before It Fades”. Their friends in the Long Island band, Sanction, along with Oregon’s Funerals and Iron Curtain from California, also have two songs each on the release.

“Those songs were the first two songs we got to write with this lineup. I would say those are fairly accurate songs of what we sound like now,” Mobley said.

He believes that it is important for Vatican to always have a raw, natural sound.

“Rather than like overly produced. I’d just rather our music be straightforward…same for our performance. We hope that people will enjoy it and want to move around,” Mobley said.

The Funeral Portrait

This group has performed alongside artists such as Islander, Capture the Crown and Alesana. Lee Jennings, the lead singer of The Funeral Portrait, outlined the band’s sound.

“The easiest way [to describe it] would probably be just a raw, real, fast, emotional rock band,” Lee Jennings said.

The band used to be called Cosmoscope, but the members changed its name when they decided upon a new vision for it and wrote their EP “For the Dearly Departed”.

“It’s honestly the same band. At the time, we had all the same members and everything. We just decided to kind of just go with the new name and feel towards the band, kind of like a new chapter for us,” Jennings said.

As they transitioned into a new chapter of the band, Jennings explained that there was only one significant lineup change.

“The only thing that really changed [is] that our guitar player, Steve, moved to drums, and our drummer, Juergie, moved to guitar,” Jennings said. “That way, it gave Juergie a better condition to be the secondary vocalist in our band.”

They toured full-time in support of “For the Dearly Departed” for about two years. It took them a while to get to the right place to write another record, according to Jennings.

Their EP had a lot of orchestra sounds to it, which gave it a sort of theatrical quality. With the new album, Jennings wanted to focus on guitar riffs first and then add in supplementary sounds like synthesizers.

He hoped that the new record would be a more real, emotional version of who they were musically. He thinks that The Funeral Portrait will continue to change how it sounds.

“I don’t think we’ll ever be the same band ‘sounding-wise’ per release. That’s just not who we are as people, or who we are as musicians either,” Jennings said.

He elaborated that he and the other members of The Funeral Portrait wanted their new album, “A Moment of Silence,” to be a more mature release. He thought it should reflect their growth from being a band for two years.

“You can get bored with a band if you pop in record after record after record, and it sounds exactly the same,” Jennings said.

He talked about how when they play shows, he and the other band members always seek to give performances all their effort.

“Sometimes, it can be a weird, dangerous rock show where Juergie will take off his guitar and swing it above his head…there will be times where I’ll jump off the amps or something,” Jennings said. We always try to put on a great live show so that when people leave, they think, ‘Oh i Have to go back and see TFP’,” Jennings said.

He added that, since the band has grown, they have been able to expand and play a few festivals. However, AURA Fest will be the biggest festival they have played so far.

For a complete setlist and other information can be found on the Facebook page “AURA Fest (All Underground Rock All day) 2017.”

Photo courtesy of Edward Tumulty.