Dryjacket took the stage under pink halos at the College Programming Board’s latest Tuesday Night Live showcase. Dedicated fans of the indie rock band trekked far to Ramapo College’s Friends Hall – including the night’s opening act, Luciano Ferrara, a quirky singer-songwriter from Poughkeepsie, New York.
“I paid someone $20 to take my shift of rolling burritos so I could play tonight before Dryjacket, because I love them,” Ferrara explained as he tuned his guitar strings.
Ferrara also took off from his second job as an English tutor to perform that night. Currently he is a senior at Dutchess Community College majoring in English, which shows in his poetic songwriting. From the top of his Mets cap down to the canvas of his Mickey Mouse Vans, Ferrara was whimsical and playful in both style and stage presence as he pulsed and bounced through his acoustic set.
Many of the songs Ferrara played were straight off his sophomore EP “The Floor is Not Your Home.” During his set, Ferrara admitted he would be dancing much more if he was not restricted by such a short guitar cable and shaky mic setup.
Freshman Trevor Trela called out, “You’re a slave to the microphone!”
“I really am, which sucks because I’m much more of a free spirit,” Ferrara laughed as he yanked the cable plug from his guitar and leapt off the stage to stand before his audience on the floor.
After Ferrara played his last few songs, there was a short respite during which students could grab pizza and soda while Dryjacket crept up on stage to warm up and retune. From the very first chord, Dryjacket deemed itself as a sophisticated alternative rock band equipped with stellar Telecaster guitars and heaps of dreamy loop pedals.
At a glance, Dryjacket would be picturesque in an advertisement for the brand Fender; the three front men adorned with Telecasters of different sizes and colors were aesthetically striking. While the South Jersey band originally hails from Marlton, New Jersey, Dryjacket just officially ended their first U.K. tour promoting their debut album, “For Posterity.” The album has received positive reviews thus far, and they were excited to perform some of it.
“We’re usually not super talkative, but you guys are really fun so we’re pretty comfortable,” said guitarist Brad Wyllner. For the band’s closing song, they invited the audience to join the fun onstage. Dancing and jamming with the groove masters themselves was especially rewarding for those sentimental longtime fans of Dryjacket.
One of their die-hard fans was absolutely thrilled after the set. “That was awesome. That was rare,” junior Zack Watts raved. “I never got to go up on stage while a band was performing.”
Watts and his friends are longtime fans of Dryjacket. The gang traveled nearly an hour from Sussex County to see them perform live. He recalled the last time he had seen them perform was at Webster Hall back in February. “I love the guys in this band. They’re just fun guys.”