The audience rhythmically jumped around The Union Bar and Grill, 18 W. Union St., as local band Cardboard Sailors started the set of its first EP release party.
Beginning in August 2019, singer and songwriter Max Pelletier, guitarist Ted Wharton, drummer Ethan Hamilton, bassist Collin Spens and backup vocalist Kaycie Wissman all came together to form Cardboard Sailors, while still focusing on their education at Ohio University.
The alternative or “dreamy” rock band took the stage to perform its newly released EP, Dreams or Something, as well as several other songs not featured on the EP.
“It all kind of came to this because we made the EP throughout the last half of the first semester, and we’re just really excited that now it’s finally out and we can share all of the songs,” Spens said.
The band played a 10-song set, including “We’ll Have It All,” “Cardboard Sailors,” “Assisted Suicide,” “Don’t Change,” “Still Into You,” “Ghosted,” “Love Pain,” “Love Cage,” “New Rock” and “We Fall.” The band’s hope is that The Union performance combined with the EP will kick start its career.
“We expect this to be a really big show, and kind of put us on the map here,” Pelletier said. “Kind of like our big moment.”
The audience filled a little over half of The Union with the majority of people pushing toward the stage and dancing while some sat at the tables in the back.
Before Cardboard Sailors finished the night with its set, the band featured two opening acts: Gorilla Party and Cousin Simple.
The members of Gorilla Party are good friends with the members of Cardboard Sailors through Athens, and Cardboard Sailors has always been a big fan of Cousin Simple, so the band invited them to come play.
Harsh Hoag and his band, Cousin Simple, are no strangers to the Athens environment.
“We love coming here,” Hoag said. “The crowds at OU just wanna dance to music and that’s fantastic. As musicians there’s nothing more we can ask for than people who want to have fun to our music.”
Cecilia Duncan, a freshman studying Spanish, came to see Cousin Simple after coming from the same area and listening to the band’s music.
“I came to see them tonight because I absolutely love their sound and their energy that they bring to the stage,” Duncan said.
Gorilla Party played first at about 10 p.m., followed by Cousin Simple at about 10:45 p.m. and then Cardboard Sailors at about 11:30 p.m. As the night progressed, more and more people filled in to hear the music.
Cardboard Sailors not only hoped the audience enjoyed its night, but also that crowd members get a better sense of who the band is and what it’s about.
“We also want people to get a good understanding of our personality and who we are as musicians because we love to get really active and have a lot of fun, and give 110% every show, and we just want people to take that away; showing that we’re extremely dedicated to this,” Spens said.
More than anything, the performance and the EP were just a way for the five friends to come together and create something they’re really proud of while having a lot of fun.
“If we can get a few listens out of it that’s awesome, maybe some more people who will want to check out our concerts, but the biggest thing is spreading the love and spreading the music,” Hamilton said.