Ascella Vega @ Memorial Hall—8:00pm Saturday, February 7th
In late August, I found myself wandering through another Friday night when my ears caught a glimpse of a song too familiar to be true, though the acoustics were oddly distorted-to the extent that I questioned my own hearing.
But there it was again, louder, and I had no trouble recognizing “Good Times Bad Times”–the Led Zeppelin classic. Turning around, I realized the sound wasn’t coming from anywhere around me-it was in fact coming from somewhere beneath me, causing the distortion. Naively I pursued it, pushing through people, stairs, more people, and into a basement where, sure enough, I found the source-a band you may be familiar with, Ascella Vega.After seeing them at The Library and at Lincoln Theatre in the ensuing weeks it became apparent that the covers they played the first night I heard them were only back-ups for their original material.
Self described as “Indie/Rock/Alternative”; Ascella Vega is comprised of a mix of Chapel Hill and NC State students– Adam Newson (lead vocals/keyboards), Gray Henderson (guitar/vocals), Reaves Greer (drums/percussion), Mark Voller (bass), and Ryan Wooten (guitar/vocals). After forming in 2005, Ascella Vega began making recordings in both Raleigh, NC and Nashville, TN to send to venues around North Carolina. In the fall of 2007, the band began recording in Morrisville, NC and released their debut EP, “Put It In Motion” on March 26, 2008.
Their sound ranges from heavy chorded-out rock as in the chorus of the title track “Put It in Motion” and introduction of “House On a Hill”, to the near blues/rock of “Contradiction”, to the bright and clear piano intro and vocal harmonies of “Bright Future”. Two Baltimore bands, the contemporary “Brickfoot” and the much older group “Crack the Sky” can be heard as cousins of Ascella Vega’s sound.
Ascella Vega is now gearing up for their Saturday performance at Memorial Hall, the proceeds from which will go to Prevent Child Abuse America and to the Center for Child and Family Health. Playing at Memorial Hall offers a unique opportunity to the band. In the words of lead guitarist Ryan Wooten: “We are excited to play a show in such a renowned venue. Memorial Hall has such a rich history; we are honored to become a part of its performing alumni.”
Almost all their songs off of “Put It in Motion” are available for listening at their website (ascellavega.com), and more information about the band can be found there as well. Tickets for the show can be bought at the door.