Jan 21, 2020
Midnight Avocados perform in the USU Pit on August 22, 2017 during Tunes at Noon. Midnight Avocados have a new single on the way and are currently working on an EP. (Alejandro Soto/The Collegian)

‘Avocados’ start the semester off fresh

The Tunes at Noon series in The Pit kicked off this semester with Fresno State student band, “The Midnight Avocados.”

It was the first of the Tunes at Noon events that will be held in The Pit throughout the semester and is organized by USU Productions.

The student-based group helps with events such as Homecoming and the Powder Paint Dance Party in the Spring 2017 semester. They plan to organize other smaller activities such as a craft night to get students involved on campus.

Tunes at Noon brings students bands or local musicians to campus.

“Tunes at Noon has been around for a long time, and we always try to keep it diverse, so it’s always different genres of music whether it’s country, whether it’s a DJ coming in, or whether it’s more rock, but we like to have that offered for our students,” said Marine Vardanyan, an education graduate student and assistant for Student Involvement and campus events and programs.

Musicians and bands like “The Midnight Avocados” are signed on to perform months in advance, with the schedule for this semester already completely filled.

“The Midnight Avocados” played a setlist featuring a contemporary jazz style, including a saxophone and trombone in some of their songs.

Members include vocalist, pianist and guitarist Austin Coleman Head, lead guitarist Bradford Boyajian, bassist David Piland, drummer Gene Abella and vibraphone player Daniel Phene.

“We put [this] together to play weddings and make some cash and have some fun and then we started writing. We got together and were like, ‘Let’s take this to the next level,’” Head said. “So now we’re all originals. We write all of our own music.”

Head, a music education student in his final year, met most of the band members through the music department on campus. With time, they all got together to form their band.

“The Midnight Avocados” is influenced by singer-songwriter musicians such as Randy Newman and Tom Waits, which are channeled through the band’s similarly piano-driven songs and Head’s vocal inflections while singing.

“We don’t like to take it too seriously. We’re having fun and we’re just doing what we love to do,” Head said.

Students walked up and down the stairs toward the Student Union as music played. Some offered their opinions.

“I think they’re not bad, like they’re not my style, but they’re very, very loud,” said Majerle Reeves, a final-year math and mechanical engineering major. “They need to do more [leveling] of the parts.”

The next concert in the Tunes at Noon series will be this Thursday in The Pit.

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