Free concert at Eastern

Looking for a break from studying and finals, about 120 people crowded into the Gough Great Room for a free, three-band concert on April 22. All of the seats were full, forcing many to either stand along the side or watch from the windows.

Joy is the Secret, formerly known as Kurt David, played first. While some may say the group’s songs tend to be a bit depressing, their lyrics touch on deep emotions.

“Everything in our songs is [inspired by] my life experiences,” senior Kurt Focht said. “I know that God is good; I just don’t know how everything’s going to end up.”

The lead singer and vocalist recently had the opportunity to have his music included on an acoustic compilation CD. QuickStart, the organization that put the CD together, found Focht’s music through MySpace. In addition to the CD, Focht’s songs can be obtained through iTunes.

Calling Out Closer, which features junior Ben Smither, took the stage next. Due to the absence of their drummer, they offered a completely acoustic set, compared to their typically harder sound. As vocalist and guitarist Bryn Graybill said before their song “Broken Still,” “This is the 2 percent or skim version.”

The band was accompanied by the beautiful string sounds of junior Kristy Andreas, from Joy is the Secret, and sophomore Josh Stauffer for their song “Greatest Debt.” Fans can find out more about the band at

Cypher, who was largely responsible for putting the concert together, finished off the night with their high energy and somewhat quirky songs.

Halfway through their set, senior guitarist Chris Swecker entertained the crowd with short clips of his classic rock parodies, such as “Jesus, I Love Your Way,” “I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night, and Worship Everyday” and “Let’s Sing the Psalms.”

Cypher’s final, and strongest, song, “Wonder Why,” had a very intriguing sound and questioned a lot of the typical problems seen in Christianity. The band plans to have their songs available on iTunes in six to eight weeks.

The large turnout impressed many of the band members, since the concert was not sponsored by any school organizations.

“It shows that an organization doesn’t have to plan an event, but it can still be successful,” Focht said, hoping the success will encourage more bands to plan shows on their own.

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