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Mother F’Nature Closes Out Fall Concert Series

Patrice Zapiti, lead singer from Mother F'Nature, sings during the last RockYoFaceCase concert series on Monday night, November 22, 2010. (Samantha Burkardt / The Statesman)

It was a success before the first chord of a guitar or a bass pedal was hit last Monday night at University Cafe’s final RockYoFaceCase of the semester. Despite a late start, the show went off with a bang. The glow sticks were in the air and the beat was pumping so hard that it was ricocheting around in the fans’ ribcages; the crowd found it nearly impossible to stand still.

Fists pumped in the air, toes were tapping along with the beat and heads were banging in unison.

University Cafe was transformed on Nov. 22 from its usual college bar scene into a rave. Black lights illuminated anything white, and the ceiling was covered in light-up balloons that looked like jellyfish suspended in air.

Before the show started, the DJ played music to keep the crowd entertained – and they certainly were. The room turned into a night club:  glow sticks, which were given out for free at the door, were waving in the air, hips were gyrating and the air had a faint smell of beer.

“Let me give you a little lay down of tonight, alright?” Patrice Zapiti, the fiery RockYoFaceCase host, said while referring to herself as a “promo genius.” “Obviously, we’re giving out mad glow swag as you guys are so fashionably displaying. How do you feel about glow swag?”

This semester’s final RockYoFaceCase  featured a Brooklyn-based band, Peephole, New York City-based Lion of Ido and Stony Brook’s own Mother F’Nature.

“The lead singer of that band is in the back because she was getting really real,” said Zapiti, Mother F’s lead singer.

As the first band, Peephole – fronted by Kent Odessa and backed by Michael Pontiac, Dave Rozner and James Franco — took the small, crowded, black-painted stage, the sounds of their “70’s and 80’s soul and funk, Manchester post-punk, and Detroit electronic” musically inspired beats filled the room. Zapiti introduced the band’s new lineup as something that is full of beautiful pop electronic hipster god-like beats.

Peephole played a six-song set, during which they played some songs off of their 2010 EP entitled “Strawberry Told Me,” including “Rita Done Me Wrong” and “Strawberry Told Me.”

Once Peephole let the last chord of their last song ring out, the DJ kicked the club music back with “Sexy Chick.” The dance music distracted the crowd from the break down and set up of the stage for the next band to play.

New York City’s Lion of Ido has played at Stony Brook before, and they were excited to come again.

“The vibe of this place is so much cooler than other places we’ve played,” said Crista Russo, the band’s fiery, redheaded bassist. “On Long Island, this place is the coolest.”

The band took hold of the crowd by the throat from the very first song and did not let go until the very end. The alternative experimental pop rock band, which formed in 2007, is comprised of Ido Zmishlany, Steve Lombardo, Crista Russo, Zach Periharos and Adam Samuels.

Taking advantage of Zapiti’s crowd involvement lessons from the start of the show, – “since they’re the performers, you guys have to be the participators, which means when one of the bands is like ‘put your hands up,’ you guys are like, ‘hands up!’ Let’s practice.” – lead singer Zmishlany got the crowd clapping as he and the band launched into “Possibilities,” a song from their EP “Hard to Love.”

The highlight of Lion of Ido’s six-song set, which was written in black Sharpie on a piece of notebook paper, was the band’s cover of Kings of Leon’s “Your Sex is on Fire.” The crowd erupted into cheers. As a mosh pit formed in front of the stage, the crowd sang along with the chorus. At one point, the band cut out and left it up to the audience to sing the chorus; the audience didn’t respond like the band would have liked.

As a result, Zmishlany stopped the band, asked the crowd what had happened, and started the song again from the chorus.

The crowd did not skip a beat this time – for this or to catch Zmishlany as he dove into the crowd at the end of their set.

“From the moment that the show starts, it’s over,” Dan Martigano said while he paced off stage. Martigano is Mother F’Nature’s drummer and  a pharmacology major. “I just want to get up there.”

The main event for the night, Stony Brook’s Mother F’Nature, has not played together since they recorded over the summer. They’ve had a few practices before the show, but haven’t performed since last semester.

Martingano said that he rewrote the ending of the first song so that it was harder and would leave him feeling like he had done work.

“The first song is brutal on my body,” Martingano said. “At the end of the first song…you’ll see.”

Strong Island Studio’s Radio J announced Mother F’Nature, and as he did, the lights cut out.

He screams. The audience looked around, confused as to what exactly is going on.

“Mother F’ Nature’s got me!” screamed J from on stage as a low bass started to tremble and the strobe lights started flashing.

When the lights came up, the band was waiting on stage. Zapiti was standing on stage with a wild look in her eyes. Her stomach was bare and she was wearing a fur vest. The music grew with the excitement from the full room as Zapiti bared her fake fangs in a wicked snarl.

There was a look in her eyes that was wild and fierce.

She dragged an audience member on stage and pretended to bite their neck. When she came up for air, there was fake blood dripping from the sides of her mouth.

“Let me hear you moan!” exclaimed Zapiti. The final band of the final RockYoFaceCase began performing in all of its tasteful and theatrical glory.

“Patrice has those rocker ACDC eyes, you know?” said Joseph Brunner, a 22-year-old masters student.

The band, which is made up of Patrice Zapiti, Danny Wortley, Robin De Leon, Cory Clifton and Dan Martingano, played its first song before addressing the crowd, but when they did, they were full of excitement.

At one point in the show, Zapiti told the audience to take off their clothes and to “shower her with clothes.” As a result, audience members stripped and threw their shirts on stage; some people even threw shoes.

“I love when we get shoes,” Zapiti said laughing.

Zapiti even brought a half-naked girl from the audience, who was only in jeans and a purple bra, on stage and proclaimed that she was “a free bitch, baby!”

The energy of the set didn’t falter once, even between songs. Midway through the set, Zapiti asked the crowd who was a Mother F’Nature fan and introduced the next song that she needs her “trusty green guitar” for.

“If I was Kanye West, I would say it’s an epic masterpiece sick twisted fantasy,” Zapiti described.

The final song of the night was dedicated to the RockYoFaceCase interns that Zapiti said allow for the concerts to really happen.

They played The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done,” and invited everyone in the crowd to join them on stage.

The stage was filled to maximum capacity by the end of the song, and there was not a single face in the crowd that was without a smile. Zapiti dove into the crowd to end the night.

“I was afraid the stage was going to break, that’s how enthusiastic everyone was,” said 19-year-old Emily Kastner, who was one of the first to run on stage. “It’s really incredible.”

Fans and interns walked away from the night boasting about the success of the night.

“The energy was unbeatable and unparallel compared to any other show this semester,” said RockYoFaceCase intern Bianco Vazquez, a 21 year-old occupational therapy and sociology major. “I think the rave night brought a lot of people out, a lot of different and new faces.”

When asked what RockYoFaceCase is all about, Moiz Khan, who is involved with the Stony Brook Concert Series, replied with a smile:

“You have to come and see.”

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