Rock Band Arms Akimbo Plays KXLU Fest II

To stand with arms akimbo—hands fixed imperiously at the hips—is akin to being brash, presumptuous, and intimidatingly dominant.

 

At least that’s what any book on body language will tell you.

 

Yet, Arms Akimbo band members—Chris Kalil, Colin Boppell, Peter Schrupp, and Matt Sutton—collectively stand with humility, but no less the purpose and drive required to break through the glass ceiling of superstardom.

 

The four, aged 20 to 21, converged at the institution they currently attend, Loyola Marymount University, where individual projects soon gave way to unity. Commonalities like attending the same open mikes, having membership to the same fraternity, being a recording artist major, all favorably influenced cause-and-effect matrices, enabling the four to become a super sum of individual parts.

 

And in only the last two months since they’ve been performing live, including opening the prestigious KXLU Fest II on campus grounds on Sunday, April 26th, peers have begun to take notice of a certain, intangible, hard-to-put-into-words greatness developing.

 

“I honestly feel like they’re going places. They remind me of the band Arctic Monkeys, but with a certain niche and appeal that can go even further. They would not look out of place at Coachella, maybe even headliners one day,” says KXLU Fest attendee and LMU freshman student-singer-actress, Natalie Sharp.

 

“Even if you don’t find their type of music to match your tastes, you still have to admit that their work is smart, soulful, and catchy,” says festival attendee and LMU senior, Taylor Wong.

 

As evidenced by fans Natalie and Taylor, it’s easy to compliment, but it’s difficult to compliment insightfully and pointedly. To do so, the vibe of what is being watched or judged—in this case, a band—has to complement the eyes and ears of the audience, piquing its curiosity with perfect pitch.

 

The band’s 20-minute set at the KXLU Fest did just that, having the cumbersome task of setting the tone for the rest of the six-and-a-half-hour extravaganza, and doing so in the kind of memorable fashion that begets the prideful statement, no different than a parent proudly ruminating on the growth of his/her child, of “I was there before Arms Akimbo became huge.”

 

With Peter taking on mostly the duty of lead vocals, Chris the lead guitar, Matt the bass guitar, and Colin the drums, the band covered four out of five songs from its new digital album, “Vignettes.”

 

The first three songs—“Shakin’,” “Simmer,” (perhaps the most radio-ready) and “A Part Apart”—answer existential answers and pose new questions about the vagaries of love, passion and, well, life.

 

Brilliant lyrics aside, as in the latter song, like, “You can reach inside of me, you can pull at all the strings, once the sweetest part of me has soured in the rain,” the band members worked ingeniously toward body-tingling crescendos that built from a foundation of crowd participation, fervently gritty singing, moving guitar-playing, and spiritually soothing drum beats.

 

All that being said, however, it was in the band’s final song of the day, and its favorite one to perform, “Seven Mirrors,” when jaws dropped and ears ‘gasmed. The reaction transpired the very moment all four members worked a row of Conga drums in ceremonial unison before lead singer Peter Schrupp erupted with waves of a repeated wistful wail of “Oh you gotta let me know, won’t you let me know.”

 

Oh, we know.

 

These guys are going to be stars.

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Chris Braun.

Imaan Jalali

Imaan Jalali

When he isn't writing, Imaan can be found doing 360-degree layups on neighborhood basketball courts. He is also an avid reader of non-fiction, particularly Social Psychology. Nothing fascinates him more than human motivation, behavior, and attitudes. In trying to understanding others, he is beginning to come to terms with his alien self.
Imaan Jalali

Author: Imaan Jalali

When he isn't writing, Imaan can be found doing 360-degree layups on neighborhood basketball courts. He is also an avid reader of non-fiction, particularly Social Psychology. Nothing fascinates him more than human motivation, behavior, and attitudes. In trying to understanding others, he is beginning to come to terms with his alien self.

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