Local rock bands raise $870 for abortion resources

Music swept down College Avenue as people descended the stairs to The Orbit Room where rock bands The Croakes, SYZYGY and The Matriarch took the stage.

In partnership with IU for Choice, the groups donated all proceeds to Planned Parenthood and Elevated Access. Members of the public threw money in a bucket or donated using the Venmo app. By the end of the evening, the groups had raised $870.

“It was really cool to see everyone coming together to raise money for this cause,” said IU sophomore and audience member Haley Evers. “Everyone there seemed to want to pitch in and help out, so it was a cool environment.”

The dark basement was lit up with colorful tables and neon menus. Multi-colored lights shone overhead as The Croakes opened for the event. Each member of the band wore a tie and button down shirt, juxtaposed to their loud rock music.

Evers said the energy in the room was electric, with the intense guitar playing and vocals of vocalist and guitarist Grace Clemmer.

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While The Croakes played a few soft rock songs and a folk song, their original song, “Rolling Thunder”, was their heaviest rock song of the night. Each band member moved quickly in rhythm as Clemmer leaned back to strum his guitar.

“We’d love for you to sing with us,” Clemmer said before putting away his guitar, jumping with his mic, and singing “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins.

After their last song, the crowd sang for an encore and the band played “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer.

Next, punk rock band SYZYGY kicked off their set with their original song “Cake Emoji.”

“We are not a girl group. Don’t call us a girl band. We are a queer band,” singer Lucy Harper said during their set.

The band covered Sir Chloe’s “Too Close” while each member wore handmade SYZYGY merchandise. They also played an unreleased original called “Pissing and Shitting”.

“I want to see you mosh,” Harper told the crowd before performing Destroy Boys’ “I Threw Glass at My Friend’s Eyes and Now I’m on Probation.”

The band performed an unreleased, unfinished original song that Harper said he started writing after the Supreme Court rulings overturning Roe v. Wade. She said she felt out of control and channeled her anger into writing the song, starting and ending the song by screaming.

The group also covered “Jealousy, Jealousy” by Olivia Rodrigo and “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish. Guitarist Max Senter sang backing vocals and drummer Cory Schmitt ended their set with a drum solo.

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To end the night, The Matriarch took to the stage in colorful outfits and performed her original song, “Best Wishes.”

“It’s about getting together after ending a relationship with someone and wishing them the best,” Al Erftenbeck told the crowd.

She said that since the event is a “Pro-Roe” fundraiser, they only sang songs by female artists, including themselves.

The band covered No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” as bassist and backing vocalist JoLynn Hockemeyer sang, “So many reasons for me to run and hide / Can’t do the little things that I hold so dear / Because it’s all those little things that I fear.

“Fuck the Supreme Court,” Erftenbeck said before covering Olivia Rodrigo’s “brutal” and Billie Eilish’s “Lost Cause.”

Hockemeyer took the mic for “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Drummer Mallory Babcock counted out the band and Mallory Benoit started strumming his guitar.

Benoit thanked the crowd for coming to the event and donating to help abortion resources in Indiana. Following this, the venue erupted with boos directed at Senate Bill 1.

The matriarch sang “Crimson & Clover” by Tommy James & the Shondells as each member of the band jumped to the beat. At one point, Erftenbeck crouched down on the floor quietly singing “Crimson and clover/over and over” before standing up and shouting the lyrics.

During their last song, Babcock played a drum solo, the other band members chanted the lyrics to their original, “Respect Me”.

Virginia F. Goins