A fresh-faced band of sophomores known as “The Undergrads” just hit the scene in Vermillion. Following in the footsteps of The Beards, a band of professors, is Liz Kubal (singer), Spencer Andreson (guitar) and Riley
The Undergrads headlined for The Beards last Friday at The Varsity Pub, where the basement was filled with a crowd of students, professors and Vermillion residents.
While Andreson and Ackerman said they’ve been neighbors “forever” and started playing in high school, Kubal said biology professor and Beards guitarist Jake Kerby encouraged them to get together as a band.
“Kerby asked us to open up for him a while ago, before Christmas break, and we were like, ‘OK, let’s do it,’” Kubal said. “We got together really fast. Then we picked our names last minute. I think Kerby picked it as a joke. We’re only going to be undergrads for two
Kubal and Andreson also became more acquainted when they covered John Mayer’s “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” at Yotes Got Talent.
“I randomly Facebook messaged him about it,” Kubal said. “Spencer and I were messing around, and he started playing some John Mayer stuff, and we decided that would be cool. He’s an expert at guitar.”
The band mostly plays covers, including hits like “Gold on the Ceiling” by The Black Keys and “Seven Nation Army”
by The White Stripes.
“I worship (Jack White) as my god,” Andreson said.
Ackerman said they all have original content, but for now they enjoy playing covers.
“We all create our own stuff, but we’re not at that point yet,” Ackerman said. “We haven’t tried to record ourselves. We do our own renditions of people’s songs just for now.”
Each member brings their own style and genre to the table. Kubal said she loves country music and John Mayer, while Andreson and Ackerson said they don’t feel the same.
“We tend to not play country,” Ackerman said. “Spencer and I hate country, but we play blues rock. I played a lot of Black Sabbath in high school, which was weird for a long-haired Catholic school kid.”
Despite their musical differences, they’re appreciative of each other’s talent.
“Liz has an amazing voice, Spencer is a wizard at guitar,” Ackerman said. “I feel like we have everything going for us.”
Kubal said that being part of a band is a good pastime.
“We’re kind of just rolling with it,” Kubal said. “It’s fun to do on the weekends. We all have hard classes, and we’re just doing it as a hobby as of right now.”
The band members said they’re excited about music in Vermillion.
“There’s definitely a rising music scene in Vermillion,” Ackerman said. “Spencer and I are going to have our own house next year and we’re going to have concerts there.”
The Undergrads said they want to branch out of Vermillion, though, with help from Kerby.
“Kerby wants us to start playing in Sioux Falls and around the area,” Ackerman said. “He’s just like our dad. We pair well together, they’re kind of like an older jam band like The Grateful Dead. They take their time and they’re a ton of fun to