Band of brothers Filligar to perform this weekend

by Liz Ellison | 4/10/08 1:19am

In addition to Filligar, Eric Paul '09 and Young Ivy will be performing Friday night in Collis Common Ground thanks to Paul, who organized the show. The three acts on the bill may approach their music pretty differently, but they each have their own brand of engaging energy.

Indie rock"pop outfit Filligar is arguably the best-known band at Dartmouth. Made up of three brothers -- Pete Mathias '09, Teddy Mathias '09 and Johnny Mathias '11 -- and their friend Casey Gibson, from Hamilton College in New York, the band has been writing, recording and performing their own songs for about eight years now.

Filligar has played shows at Dartmouth before, with a few during Pete and Teddy's sophomore summer -- but this might be their highest-profile gig on campus to date. Since Johnny was in high school in Chicago up until this year, opportunities to perform together were scarce. But finally all four band members are on the East Coast full-time.

"We try to tour during every break or vacation that we have," Teddy said. "Now we're trying to tour even on weekends."

The band is in the midst of a spring tour that has included stops at Sullivan Hall in New York City -- where the band's Dartmouth fan club still came out strong, according to Teddy -- as well as several northeastern colleges during spring break. The group hit Colgate and Middlebury last weekend and now arrive in their backyard -- the Big Green -- riding a recent wave of critical acclaim.

Jim DeRogatis, of the Chicago Sun-Times, said that the band's latest album, "The City Tree" (2007), is a "strong showcase for [their] poetic lyrics, keyboard arpeggios and genteel but winning melodies ... while avoiding the smart 'n' sensitive preppie shtick of indie-rock heroes of the moment Vampire Weekend." To top it off, Jason Scales of the Illionois Entertainer recently wrote that the band was "scary good."

The reviews have earned the group a lot of attention in music blogs, according to Pete. This weekend, Filligar will be maximizing their time in Hanover by playing at Alpha Delta's "Animal House" party after their performance at Common Ground -- a musical doubleheader, if you will.

"We love playing where people are partying," Pete said.

Paul started planning Friday's Common Ground show back in February. He describes his own music as "a combination of poppy piano and catchy melodies," a sound fairly different from the other musicians in the showcase.

"It's a mix of styles, but that should help bring more people, and get our music out to more people," he said. Paul plays both guitar and piano and finished recording his self-titled first album last month. The album will be officially released on Friday.

And then there's Simon Trabelsi '08, the rapper Young Ivy. Trabelsi has recorded several EPs and full-length albums and recently landed a gig opening for Grammy-winning Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco. He's kind of a big deal. He'll close out the show sans piano, guitar or indie-rock tendencies, so get ready for a different mood when Young Ivy takes the stage.

And if you can't make it to Common Ground or Alpha Delta on Friday night, Filligar at least might be coming to a city near you this summer, when the band will continue their extensive touring. The recent rave reviews have earned the group "some offers from very cool venues that want us to play," Pete said. Stops across the Midwest and Northeast are on the agenda, and even Los Angeles isn't out of the question.

You've probably heard alumni wax nostalgic about the days when Aerosmith used to play at Bones Gate fraternity. Who knows? This could be your chance to make a gloat-worthy memory. The show is Friday at 9 p.m. in Collis Common Ground.

"Get there early," advises Teddy. Filligar will perform first, with sets by Paul and Young Ivy to follow.

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