Rob Fahey and the Pieces Bring a Mix of New and Old to Coffehouse

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On Thursday Oct. 18, St. Mary’s Programs Board and Hawk Radio welcomed Rob Fahey and the Pieces for a special performance of Coffeehouse. The program, originally scheduled to be held outside the Campus Center, was moved to Aldon Lounge due to the cold weather, started at 8 p.m. and went on to 10:30 with a set of about 20 songs.

Thursday’s show is Rob Fahey’s second performance at the College. Fahey’s St. Mary’s debut was a well-received solo acoustic performance this past spring, sponsored by HAWK Radio and promoted with a screening of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” a movie featuring Fahey’s song “Raised on the Radio.” During the Coffeehouse performance, Fahey was accompanied by his band, the Pieces, featuring Tommy White on bass guitar and Kevin Brubaker on drums. The set was made up of a mix of songs from the Pieces’ album “Breaking and Entering,” Fahey’s solo album “Trust Me I Do This All the Time,” and the Ravyns, Fahey’s first band, as well as covers of classic rock from such bands as the Steve Miller Band and the Producers.

The Pieces gave a stellar, high-charged performance that resonated throughout Aldon and immediately grabbed the attention of both students and older fans that had come to watch. The song of the night, “Running From a Dream” from the album “Breaking and Entering,” set the tone for the performance as an evening of ’80s and ’90s classics delivered with vibrancy and humor. Highlights of the evening included the lonely sounds of “October Changes” from the solo album, “You Don’t See Many of Those Around,” a song from the Ravyns featuring the singer’s humorous observations of a woman whose “set of nails could paralyze,” and an excellent rendition of “Fly Like an Eagle,” featuring a four minute solo from Fahey on guitar.

Fahey’s live performance also demonstrates how Fahey’s sound has evolved since the Ravyns, the Baltimore band that sent Fahey and the rest of the band into a brief period of notoriety after their single, “Raised on the Radio,” was featured in the 1982 sleeper hit film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Fahey has been playing the same songs for nearly three decades, and retains many of his classic sensibilities, from the energy of his voice to the bass-heavy background that’s so common in many of his original compositions. However, his performances have taken on a mellow, haunting aspect. Songs like “Cool Boy” and the once-synthesizer heavy “Angel in Red” take on a more reflective tone, performed with a slower, “twangier” sound that retains the energy of the originals in no small part due to the raw, powerful vocals of Fahey, which are a far cry from the nasally vocals heard in the early work of the Ravyns and the Pieces.

Fahey’s performance has been met with general acclaim. Junior Bridgette Brunk says after seeing the show, “I thought it was really good,” while junior Nick Brown remarked “It’s too bad they couldn’t play outside. They deserved a big audience.” Overall, Rob Fahey has once again left St. Mary’s students engaged and enthusiastic over his Coffeehouse performance, and hopeful that he may be back to do so many more times.

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