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Portland band, The Dimes, rocks the chapel on their concert tour

Photo by Adina Lepp

By Adina Lepp

Students swarmed into the chapel full of anticipation last Friday night to hear The Dimes, a Portland, Ore. band.

The tone of the concert was mellow and the band's sound reverberated through the chapel. Many songs touched on themes of loneliness and relationships, as well as larger issues such as airport security.

In one song, Johnny Clay, lead vocalist and bass guitar player sang, "airport security lines have gotten longer in recent times."

The Dimes consists of two bassists, one acoustic guitarist and a drummer. Clay broke his voice through high notes while grinning from ear to ear as he sang. Behind him were Pierre Kaiser and Ryan Johnston on guitar and bass, and Jake Rahner on drums. The band sat down for the entire performance, holding instruments in their laps. The Dimes' relaxed, outdoors-y look seemed to reflect their Portland home.

Both The Dimes' bass guitarist and lead singer broke guitar strings in the first half of their Friday performance, yet they continued to play.

"Maybe we should take our intermission now," Clay joked.

"I've never done a concert in the round," Clay said before starting off the set. His band- mate Johnston responded with, "It's like playing in outer space."

Friday's event, which was free and included a refreshment table, was the year's first musical performance financed by ASMC. The Dimes cost ASMC $250.

"Hope for the best and anything and everything can happen. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out," said Student Program Coordinator Elyse Rainey, who organized and publicized the event.

Before the concert, the band got a tour of campus. In between songs, Clay talked about how impressed with Mills he was. "We even saw the little cafe lounge. What was it called again?" A student in the audience responded with, "Suzie's! Cafe Suzie's!"

Student's reactions to the music were varied, but overwhelmingly positive. "They are extremely awesome. I'd come again," said freshwoman Elilini Hoole. Many students picked up a free publicity button from the table.

"They're very energetic. They're not putting on a show, just being artists and playing," said sophomore Sara Wong. She described The Dimes' sound as "fuzzy acoustic."

"It sounds like Earlsmart, but more flowy and relaxed," said freshwoman Cierra Song.

"He has a really nice voice, really mellow," said freshwoman Hannah Hart.

"I'm sadly comparing them to Ryan Hood from last year. I like The Dimes better. They remind me of a Linkin Park-Incubus-Coldplay mix," said sophomore Elina Rios, linking The Dimes to another band she saw in the chapel last year.

The Friday night performance marked the band's third stop on a tour promoting the release of their most recent album, Atlanta. Most of the shows will be in California.

More information on The Dimes can be found at