Netherfriend’s notable noise: one-man band rocks UAF Pub

Ian Larsen/Sun Star Reporter
July 18, 2012

Shawn Rosenblatt, a one-man indie band, rocked the UAF Pub July 13 with his ethereal brand of rock and indie pop.

Sean Rosenblatt, the founder of the one-man band The Netherfriends from Chicago, plays at UAF outside the Wood Center on Thursday, July 12, 2012. Elika Roohi/Sun Star

The inspiration for his music comes from the things around him, inspiration from other artists and his brain, according to Rosenblatt.

This isn’t his first time in Alaska.  Rosenblatt first came up to Fairbanks for his 50 states, 50 songs project back in 2010-11.

“I just wanted to continue touring and recording as much as possible,” said Rosenblatt. “I think it helped rewire my brain for the lifestyle I am living now.”

KSUA and the UAF Concert Board requested Rosenblatt come back to Fairbanks a second time for the summer concert series the organizations put together, and Rosenblatt gladly accepted.

“I like how sunny it is all the time, and I love the living situation here,” Rosenblatt said. “I’m staying with a friend who lives in a cabin, there is no running water or Internet. It’s not a living situation you would find in Chicago.  It’s very enjoyable though.”

Rosenblatt started his tour in in Fairbanks, and will be traveling to Kodiak, Homer, Denali, Talkeetna, Girdwood and Anchorage.

“A lot of people who want to get into the music business do nothing, but expect money to be thrown at them, “Rosenblatt said. “I have heard that there is a new top hit song written everyday, but the chance of it being heard is slim to none when artists don’t put themselves out there.”

“People really liked him last time, so we thought it would be good to have him up again,” said Rebecca File, the KSUA program director, in an email. “When we told people he was coming back there was a lot of excitement and anticipation.”

Rosenblatt followed a performance by a local instrumental, screamo and indie rock band called Work at The Pub.

“We like his accessibility to a crowd. He has a lot of indie and pop elements as well as some hip-hop influences which make his music accessible to a lot of people.” File said.

It was easy to see that Rosenblatt’s music was not the only thing accessible to the crowd.  During Work’s performance, Rosenblatt walked around the pub and talked to pub goers before he took the stage.

After walking around the pub, Rosenblatt began to set up his equipment on the stage. A stand that looked similar to a DJ table, a pearly white guitar and some used drumsticks were part of Rosenblatt’s musical arsenal. He began to record a couple of sound clips; short guitar rifts, drum taps, and a bit of beat boxing to prepare for his performance.

Rosenblatt played a four song set with a fifth encore song, including one of his more popular songs Bloomington, IL. During this song the lyrics, “Everybody, everybody, wants to have a good time,” echoed throughout the pub from the mouths of people in the crowd.

During parts of his performance, Rosenblatt got off stage and joined the rest of the crowd in dancing to his sound bits.

“I like to get off stage at smaller crowd shows,” Rosenblatt said. “It’s hard enough to get the crowd pumped up at smaller shows, and most musicians don’t get involved, even at smaller shows.”

Although the crowd was small the dance floor was nearly filled, and the enthusiasm of the crowd could be heard in their shouts for an encore as Rosenblatt walked into the backroom just to walk back out to appease the fans with one more song.

“There are few places I can play where people are excited about a band they have never heard about,” said Rosenblatt.  “It’s cool that such a small crowd has such enthusiasm for an unknown band.”

If you missed The Netherfriends playing in Fairbanks, you can check out KSUA’s footage from their Take Out Session with Rosenblatt last week.

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