The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Pilotdrift soars with energy

Pilotdrift takes the Granada by storm

Pilotdrift is a band whose notoriety is just on the horizon. Its debut album, “Water Sphere,” will be released on Sept. 20, and it’s sure to attract a new swarm of fans to add to the already high pre-release buzz from the critics. If the world embraces Pilotdrift as the audience did Sunday at the Granada, they’re certain to have a great many fans indeed.

Going to the Granada is an experience in itself. The outside of the building is a simple classic marquee setting, yet is distinguished by the types of people hanging out in front. An eclectic mix of grungy hippies, cool urbanites and, of course, a few people like me.

Once you get through the bustling foyer, the room opens up into a vast double-tiered space with people just milling around amidst a thin veil of smoke. Three large screens cover the wall in front, playing an assorted mixture of bizarre, tripped-out clips. The walls display murals of indeterminate origin, ancient but at the same time modern, while the ceiling depicts a smiling goddess in front of a sun, holding two drama masks. The place feels like one Lennon would’ve enjoyed.

At the opening atmospheric notes, the crowd began to cheer. The song was “Elephant Island,” a carnival-esque song with great percussion and a great chorus, making it an excellent choice to open with. The guitar-work was spot on throughout, but especially noticeable during the solo midway through.

Throughout its set, which covered a large portion of its upcoming album, Pilotdrift continued to impress with the soothing “Bubblecraft” and quirky “Late Night in a Wax Museum,” along with the ominous-sounding “Caught in My Trap.”

Normally, when waiting for the headlining band, the crowd gets somewhat restless. However, that wasn’t the case and it was certainly a testament to Pilotdrift’s skill. The audience waited not just with patience but also with enthusiasm. The band finished the closing song, the excellent “So Long,” with a great percussion section during the last 30 seconds, in which every member of the band participated.

After the performance, an interview with band members Eric Russel, Jay Budzilowski and John David Blagg, a former SMU student, was the next logical step.

Since pegging Pilotdrift’s influences is not an easy task, I asked the band to enlighten me.

“{Our influences are} not really anything we listen to,” Eric Russell replied, “just clips of things I hear.” That may somewhat explain why the band sounds sort of like a soundtrack. When asked about its label, Good Records, Jay Budzilowski said, “they’re really supportive.” It seems obvious that the band’s creativity hasn’t been stifled by signing on with this major record label.

Overall, the concert was great, as will surely be Pilotdrift’s future success. Pilotdrift is hosting a CD release party Sept. 19 at The Cavern in Dallas.

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