This past Friday, student-led band Rooftop Caravan stormed into the Mansion with their guitars in hand and sunglasses on. The band offered their take on funk and rock classics while also playing originals in front of a packed, jumping crowd.
Lead-singer Lauren Kidd, ArtSci ’23, brought a bombastic stage presence with unbridled confidence. As she hopped around the stage, it was obvious Kidd was having a great time.
Kidd’s confidence wasn’t always unshakeable, however. She feels she’s become a better performer as the band’s sound has meshed.
“The first show we all did together was very different,” Kidd said in an interview with The Journal. “I was very, very scared, and the mic stayed in the stand, I stayed at the stand, and I did not move.”
“I think once we all got to know each other a little bit more and play with each other more, we kind of feel like one sound instead of something else.”
The group’s sonic cohesion was exemplified wonderfully by Rooftop Caravan’s guitarist, Oliver Little, ArtSci ’23, who seamlessly shredded in and out of songs, blending into the band’s harmony and breaking out into spontaneous solos. The band’s chemistry has allowed Little and everyone else in Rooftop Caravan to explore different sounds and embrace unprompted bursts of musical brilliance.
“My favourite part [of performing] is when any one of us does something improvised, and we all react to it,” Little said. “The more we rehearsed, the more we improvise and have fun […] and now we decided to just play on stage like how we rehearse.”
That sense of fun in performing is central to the band’s philosophy.
Band bassist and keyboardist Griffin Wade-Salay, ArtSci ’25, creates a positive environment by showing the audience how much the band genuinely loves what they’re doing. With a bass guitar replete with a plush monkey hanging off the neck, it’s hard not to have a good time watching Wade-Salay lay down cool basslines filled with funky bass slaps.
“I love whenever I see a musician on stage who is obviously loving what they’re doing,” Wade-Salay said. “So, honestly, what you’re seeing on stage is genuine. We’re not putting on an act, and that’s the way we play when we’re practicing.”
“I was a little nervous about how I was gonna act on stage, but just be myself, you know? I think if we’re all ourselves, then it’s great because people will look at it, and they’ll feel happy because they’ll say ‘oh, those people on stage are happy and that makes me happy too.’”
For drummer Kieran Barr, ArtSci ’25, the band’s ability to have fun on stage is a product of their friendship. Although Barr initially focused on avoiding headline-making mistakes in his performances, he’s developed the confidence to rip out booming fills and steady beats.
“We spent so much time together this year, and now we have these inside jokes, and we’re goofing around,” Barr said.
“Now when we go on stage, I’m in a good mood, surrounded by a bunch of my friends, and it comes out differently [than before].”
After headlining at the Mansion, Rooftop Caravan’s ambitions aren’t going anywhere. Next for the band is a performance at Project Red Queen’s Charity Fashion Show on Feb. 10 and 11. The band also plans to release an EP, although it remains in the works.
For more information about Rooftop Caravan and their upcoming performances, interested listeners can visit their Instagram.
alternative, band, indie, Music
All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to email@example.com.