Saint Russo performs live for students before Springfest. ADRIANNE HUTTO/THE QUADRANGLE
By Adrianne Hutto, Production Editor
This year Springfest featured rapper Nav, but the unofficial opening act was Saint Russo. While the band’s typical performance location is usually bars and restaurants like An Beal Bocht, the band was able to fit a stage, instruments, and their equipment in a tiny crowded Bronx backyard.
The band’s setlist ranged from Green Day to Lynyrd Skynyrd, which was a big shift from the Springfest headliner. Yet, the gathered students still danced and sang along with the band, even demanding an encore at the end of their set.
Saint Russo had their first live performance last April, which was covered by The Quadrangle, and took place at An Beal. This was their second time performing for a college crowd and it was organized by Delta Kappa Epsilon for students to enjoy before the student government organized concert.
President of Delta Kappa Epsilon, Joseph Talenti, explained that the fraternity wanted to host an event earlier in the day, since the Nav concert wasn’t until 7 p.m. Talenti and his fraternity talked to one of their former brothers and drummer of Saint Russo, Stamatis Gaglias and the group agreed to perform for free for students.
“They [Saint Russo] said they would love to come play in the backyard so we had them for the earlier part of the day and we have a DJ to finish it [the party] off,” Talenti said. “The guys loved it, then they asked for one more song, one more song, and they kept going. It was a phenomenal day. We’d love to have them back.”
The band’s manager Dan Modad was very enthusiastic about playing at a different venue like the fraternity house.
“It wasn’t as complicated because we had people to help out, to carry things in,” said Modad. “The fraternity did a great job helping us and honestly great overall.”
Gaglias, a former MC student and member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, is the drummer of Saint Russo who helped secure the band’s performance at the event.
“This is insane,” Gaglias said. “This is like the best crowd we’ve ever played in front of. An Beal is inside so the sound has nowhere to go, whereas here it’s outside and you can hear it a lot better. It’s too bad there were too many neighbors around, but we made it work.”
Patrick Harnedy, senior engineering student at MC and the bass guitarist for Saint Russo, explains that while this isn’t his long term plan, he does love playing with the band.
“Sam and I, who’s on the drums, we were in a Jazz band together and he knew Joe from engineering,” Harnedy said on how the band got together. “So, we got together and wanted to form a band because we all enjoy this kind of music.”
As for the story of the name of the band, it’s somewhat of an inside joke for the members.
“Joe was doing open mic nights at An Beal and his name is Joe Bruno, but they thought it was Russo and he kept saying Joe Russo,” Gaglias said. “So we thought it’d be fun to do like a spin off of that and we added the saint part because we go to a catholic school.”
While a number of the members have graduated, the group still hopes to get together when they can and would be happy to perform live for students again, if given the opportunity.
Editor’s Note: Angelica Niedermeyer, Features Editor, contributed reporting.