Rick o Shea band

A Nov. 21, 2021 Instagram post from @rickosheaband after performing at Kappa Alpha Theta's Rock the CASA event.

On Friday, Nov. 19, five local bands performed for Kappa Alpha Theta's "Rock the CASA" fundraiser at Mid-City Ballroom. The bands that performed—“Rick O' Shea,” “Speak Easy,” “Wave Runner,” “Hey Thanks!” and “Dave Fishingtrip”—were mostly made of LSU students. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic severely dampened live music and nightlife around the country, it's heartening to once again be able to witness local music acts. Live music is an integral part of college nightlife, and supporting local bands, DJs and other musicians is a way for students to get the most out of their years at LSU.

When someone thinks of Baton Rouge, music is admittedly not what comes to mind first. But with the inspiration and guidance we gain from nearby New Orleans, and the plethora of young creatives due to the university's size and influence, the Baton Rouge music scene is one to watch.

After talking with local Baton Rouge musicians and fellow university students, I gained a new perspective on the local music in this town.

Joseph Swiger, a two-time Billboard Top 100 Certified music producer, graduated from the university as a communication studies major in 2018. He says it was “super easy” for him to get involved with the music scene in Baton Rouge. Since his first days at the university, it seemed to him like there were different shows and events every week.

“I think the Baton Rouge music scene is very unique and thriving,” Swiger says. “You have a state university with one of the best music and food cultures in the world right next-door to a hip-hop mecca.”

Hamood Qureshi, a chemical engineering freshman who plays guitar for “Rick O Shea,” got a taste of the Baton Rouge music scene by watching his older brother, Arib Qureshi, perform at local shows. Qureshi says his brother, who knows tours every other weekend with the band “LVVRS,” developed his skills after playing with multiple Baton Rouge based musicians. 

“It’s crazy to see that growth that came from playing in the Baton Rouge scene,” Qureshi says. “The bands here are awesome and they have a lot of talent, and just being surrounded by all of it really pushes you to get better as well.”

John Bajor, a computer science sophomore and bass player of “Speak Easy,” started booking a fall lineup for bars and venues in Baton Rouge over the summer. Bajor says his band has played for “hundreds of people over the past few months.”

Bajor has had a positive experience connecting with other bands in the Baton Rouge music scene as well.

“I’ve personally forged relationships with a few of the other bands around Baton Rouge,” he says. “Wave Runner, Rick O’ Shea and Dave Fishingtrip come to mind.”

As college nightlife slowly resurrects itself from the impact of the pandemic, I would encourage Baton Rouge residents, especially students, to engage in live music and support local performers. 

Kathryn Craddock is a 21-year-old mass communication junior from Patterson.

Load comments