By GINNY CLARK
When it comes to musical ability, the University of Mary Washington has tremendous talent. Bands like Save the Arcadian and Goody have played key roles in exemplifying the university’s artistic skill and versatility. But one musical gem remains largely unknown to the public, a band by the name of Maggie Says.
Consisting of drummer Ryan Nelson and lead guitarist and vocalist Gregory Chandler, the duo delves into the genre of alternative rock. With rock-solid melodies and razor-sharp rhythm, Maggie Says strikes the perfect balance between attitude and aptitude.
A dynamic set of songs attest to the range and breadth of talent in Maggie Says. As if that were not enough, the band’s artistic capabilities extend to the lyrics, which convey honest, authentic feeling.
On Friday, March 14 Maggie Says played a show at the Underground accompanied by bass guitarist, junior Christian Perkins. The show marked the first time the duo performed together since the Battle of the Bands in fall 2013. Because Ryan Nelson attends Averett University, four hours away from Fredericksburg, the distance can prove problematic for the the band.
Despite the time apart, however, Maggie Says truly put on a compelling performance.
“They have that sort of great Atlantic East Coast beach band vibe going on, like they’re gonna rock you best they can all night long,” commented English professor Colin Rafferty.
Students in attendance also expressed enjoyment for the band’s energy.
“They looked like they were having a lot of fun on stage, which is always great. You could tell that they were well-practiced and that they really knew what they were doing,” said junior English major Claire Winkler.
Part of that on-stage expertise comes from Gregory Chandler’s role on the UMW sound crew. If you have attended any audio-involved events on-campus, there is a good chance you have benefited from Chandler’s work. A behind-the-scenes kind of guy, Chandler spends a fair amount of his time moving speakers, wrapping up wires and adjusting knobs on the sound board.
“I think working for the sound crew has shown me what it takes to run a show from the technical side, which is so much more like a traditional business than a lot of younger musicians realize,” said Chandler.
The band is not only fortified by technical knowledge, but also by great rapport and a longstanding history. According to Chandler, he and Nelson met each other at the bus stop on the first day of kindergarten.
“We’ve been best friends ever since, and we’ve played together in almost every band we’ve ever been in,” said Chandler. “It’s funny because, for years, we were inseparable no matter the context, and now we mostly see each other in a musical context, but it doesn’t feel like we’re any less close than we’ve ever been.”
Maggie Says hopes to record more songs over the summer. For updates, check out Maggie Says on Facebook.