Rock and roll was alive in the band Dynasty Xero during its performance in the J.C. Williams Center atrium the night of Nov. 23.
Following the sound of tuning instruments, a sizeable number of students trickled into the first floor of the J.C. starting at 9 p.m. The crowd, at its maximum, filled most of the atrium, with people cycling in and out.
Dynasty Xero began its show enthusiastically with a cover of “We Will Rock You,” to which the audience sang and clapped along. The audience easily matched Dynasty Xero’s passion, with listeners dancing and even crowd-surfing.
Classic rock covers combined with equally artistic originals comprised Dynasty Xero’s setlist. Originals included “I Wanna Fall in Love,” “Summer Love” and “Oceans Away,” most of which were making their debuts. Recognizable covers included “Rock And Roll All Nite,” “Enter Sandman” and “Crazy Train.”
One memorable moment was when senior Michael Schisla, guitarist and lead vocalist, performed a solo that transitioned from the Halo theme to “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Another was when junior Faith Sahagian was invited on stage to help perform “Closer.”
The band also played its first single to be uploaded online, just recently on Nov. 15, entitled “Falling.” That song and others are on Dynasty Xero’s Spotify and YouTube pages.
Dynasty Xero itself is made up of current and former Franciscan University of Steubenville students: guitarist senior James Lamansky, drummer freshman Tim Rankin, bassist alumnus Keith Montenegro and guitarist and vocalist senior Michael Schisla.
Schisla noted how the band’s members “all come from a different (musical) background, but we really consider ourselves to be a convergence of influences.” Schisla said the band wanted to bring classic rock, punk and EDM together to “make people dance.”
“We are all very devoted to the faith,” Schisla said. “We see (our music) as a platform … to preach by example. … My hope and prayer would be that ultimately our music, although it’s not explicitly religious, would lead people closer to Christ.”
According to Montenergo, he and Schisla started playing together almost two years ago. Their first show was at Trinity Hall’s Spring Fling Bash in 2018. Since then, they have played two or three shows per semester, primarily on campus or at Bennigan’s.
“We just want to bring some good music to campus … something different and original,” Montenegro said.
Graduate student Grady Stuckman said he loved listening to the ’80s songs “live as they were meant to be (heard).”
The show was organized by Exc!te, which provided the sound equipment.