Today’s music scene is filled with simple, catchy lyrics reminiscent of nursery rhymes, sung over the same chords on repeat.

Songs like “Wiggle” by Jason Derulo and “This Is How We Do” by Katy Perry are at the top of the charts. Pop songs are starting to sound more and more homogenous so that the music moguls behind the pop sensations can earn their 10 percent.

But with today’s technology, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, for it’s easier than ever to make your own music, publish it online and start a fan base.

The Orwells, a Chicago-based garage rock band, are that light. Their music is making waves in the music industry and, together, they are bringing rock back.

The band formed in early high school and, at first, “It [was just] something to do,” said bassist Grant Brinner. “There really wasn’t anything else cool going on in our town. I guess it just kept us from being bored. Now it’s just a little less boring.”

Their shows are complete with a mosh pit, band and audience members stage diving and crowd surfing and beer being thrown onto the crowd. The Orwells’ stage presence rivals any rock band from the ‘70s, and brings us back to live performances not far from the Sex Pistols.

Performing at The Black Cat on Oct. 14, the low-lit, intimate venue provided a personal experience with the band that is hard to rival at any large arena. The venue and the universal sound of The Orwells drew diverse audience members from around the DMV.

“Our crowds look like a grocery store, all ages and walks of life, the way a crowd should look,” lead singer Mario Cuomo said. “Music should unite people and never cater to one demographic.”

The Orwells’ performance was not only loud and raw but also interactive. Cuomo danced around the stage, posing for photos and letting girls play with his long, curly locks. Throughout the show, the microphone was passed around the audience, allowing fans to sing to a raging, packed crowd.

This performance style offers a personal experience for audience members, unlike shows put on by artists such as Lady Gaga or Justin Timberlake, where audience members feel like they are watching some sort of God or idol perform 50 feet away.

So many pop artists are held back by societal norms, their managers and what trend is making the most money. The Orwells are changing the narrative with a vigorous, emotional and loud rock ‘n’ roll sound.

Previously touring with Arctic Monkeys and FIDLAR, The Orwells have created a name for themselves. Blood, sweat and tears have gone into the production and performances of their albums Remember When and Disgraceland.

And guitarist Matt O’Keefe says a third is on the way to get us through the monotonous and mundane tracks of One Direction and Ariana Grande.

The Orwells are making passionate and powerful music for a generation accustomed to formulated, pre-written songs. The days of loud, sweaty, interactive music are not over, and the art of the mosh pit is still alive and well.

The Orwells and all of its supporters are sure of that.

headshot01Katie Ebel is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at


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