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Quarters of Change is Leading the New Wave of Indie Rock in NYC

A wave of New York City artists are on the rise, showcasing incredible talent and bringing hope to the New York City music scene, and that was evident at the Quarters of Change homecoming show, ending their tour alongside two other incredible bands, LAUNDRY DAY and The Backfires. The legendary venue, Webster Hall, filled with excited fans on December 9th, creating an energy so intense it felt tangible. With a lineup as good as it was, we were sure it would be a night we would remember. 

The show started with an exuberant set from The Backfires, an indie rock New York City-based band consisting of members Alex Gomez (lead vocals), Harry Ruprecht (lead guitar), Matt Walter (bass), and Max Wanduragala (drums). The Backfires started with one of their hit songs, "Joyride," so deeply rooted in themes of NYC nightlife, delivering a dynamic set and teasing unreleased material such as "Aphrodite."

After each set, the crowd's energy, while patiently waiting for the arrival of Quarters of Change, was so vibrant that it felt like the audience would explode anytime soon.

To continue the high spirits of the crowd, LAUNDRY DAY, a band born and raised in New York City, consists of members Jude Lipkin (vocals), Etai Abramovich (drums), Sawyer Nunes (vocals/guitar/piano), Henry Pearl (bass), and Henry Weingartner (guitar), who coincidentally went to high school with Quarters of Change and have stated that they looked up to them in high school and to now supporting them at their homecoming show at THE Webster Hall created this warming full circle moment. 

LAUNDRY DAY marched onto stage in a single file in trench coats and black hats reminiscent of the costume for the musical number "Singing in the Rain" and of Frank Sinatra, which made sense as they started singing "Summer Wind" by Sinatra, which bled into Dysmorphia, this high-energy pop rock song. They played their hit songs, such as Friends, which had everyone in the crowd singing. Despite LAUNDRY DAY being an opening act, many in the audience sang every word to their songs, hyping up the crowd and adding to the night's energy. They ended the set with "State of Mind," which they have not performed since 2018, making it an unforgettable performance. 

The time between LAUNDRY DAY and Quarters of Changes' set amplified the anticipation, which all ended when the lights went dark, and everyone in that room began cheering. Quarters of Change, made up of Ben Roter (vocals), Ben Acker (guitar, bass, synth), Attila Anrather (drums), and Jasper Harris (guitar, bass, synth), took to the stage and made it their own. Being in that room felt like the band took over NYC for the night. 

Starting their set with "Look Alive," their rockstar demeanor on stage was visible to everyone in the room, from the front row to the bar in the very back. While they played "What I Wanted," you could see people in awe of everything happening on stage, from Roters' crazy vocals to Harris's guitar riffs; people went from swaying to absolutely thrashing to others even playing the air guitar, just allowing the song to take over their bodies. 

Being the first two songs they played, you would assume everyone had already reached their maximum energy, but that was proven wrong when they started playing "Chloe." As people shouted repeatedly, "So call me, don't text me," it got louder every time. Their dynamic as a band was so evident because you could see how comfortable they were with one another onstage and performing. The vocals were strong, the guitar and bass solos were hypnotizing, and the drums thundered throughout the venue. With each passing song, the crowd never lost their energy, and we couldn't help but jump around with everyone! 

During "Kiwi," the guitar solo enchanted us;  the instrumental breakdowns and the crowd's reaction blew us away. There was a fluctuation of feelings from sadness to high energy of dancing, ending their set with an eruption of emotions playing their biggest songs. Everyone gathered with their friends as they sang every word, not wanting the night to end. This truly was the epitome of a rock and roll show– a phenomenal live performance and stage presence, and their tracks sounded the same (if not better) compared to the digital versions. Quarters of Change enticed the crowd from start to finish, leaving a lingering want for more as people chanted, "One more song, one more song," once the lights turned on.

Roter returned, announcing that he wanted to dedicate this last song to his dad, who was in the audience. The lights never turned on but replaced it with a spotlight on Roter as he sang "Die in Your Arms." As people held one another, swaying to Roter belts, no one was screaming the lyrics but whispering or lip-syncing them, bringing more power to Roters' voice

as he sang for his dad. Eventually, the rest of the band joins him to sing the final song of the night, "Rift." The track has this beautiful composition of it getting slowly louder with more rock elements coming in from the guitar and drums at the climax. Still, then dying down into a solo moment of Roter singing quietly, but as the drums come back in, getting louder and louder, and then everyone joining in with a darker tone to their sound, ending with a bang, was the best song to complete the set with everyone entirely head banging and dancing away the last song.

Quarters of Change was able to end the year by delivering the show of the year as fans, locals, and music lovers continued to talk and reminisce about this show weeks later.

Written By: Amy Kapel & Veronica Anaya

Photography By: Lexi Yob

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