This year's Shameless Plugs lineup features Bowdoin-affiliated bands that promise to return some of the Ivies spirit to campus, if only just for one night.
The headlining acts, Eleven and Great Caesar, will grace the stage in Smith Union Saturday night with exciting new sets.
First formed in 2006 as a cover band, Eleven features Alexi Thomakos, Max Taylor, Nick Lechich, Jamie Nadeau, Emily Schonberg, and Brooks Winner of the Class of 2010, along with keyboard player, guitarist and vocalist Sammie Francis '09.
Despite its name, the band does not have 11 members. Over the years, it has had up to 13 musicians, though the band was originally a quartet consisting of Francis, Thomakos, Lechich, Taylor, and a djembe, a kind of African drum.
"We joked that we would eventually have 11 people in the band," wrote Francis in an email to the Orient. "We were nameless until our first Battle of the Bands performance—we came up with Eleven as an ode to the hilarious film, 'This is Spinal Tap.' After that first show, the name stuck and we've been Eleven since."
Eleven played all over campus while its members were at Bowdoin, headlining at Oktoberfest, Epicuria and the Cold War Party before eventually opening for The Cool Kids, Reel Big Fish, and Passion Pit at Ivies in 2010.
"I think one of the reasons why we're successful and why people have so much fun at our shows is because we're all really great friends," wrote Francis. "When we got together to practice for this show in Boston last weekend...we got to spend an entire afternoon together playing music. It was just awesome."
"Each member brings something different to the table," she added.
While Great Caesar is not composed of Bowdoin alumni, the band's most recent music video, "Sweet Banana," and short promo videos were created by Alex Colby '10.
Great Caesar has six members who play a variety of instruments, including the trumpet, hand drums, guitar, and bass, which makes for a truly varied sound.
"We have range—we can rock Jackson 5, but then all of the sudden we'll be playing Fleet Foxes and MGMT. It's pretty cool. We also take pride in our ability to put together a good 'mashup,'" wrote Francis.
Taking inspiration from Spoon and RX Bandits, along with Sonic Youth and The Strokes, Great Caesar offers a unique blend of sound and undeniable energy.
They have opened for known acts like Deerhoof, The Decemberists, Does it Offend You, Yeah?, and Third Eye Blind.
"The two bands [who] will be co-headlining the show are both amazing," Co-chair of the Entertainment Board Ruiqi Li '13 wrote in an email to the Orient. "There will be free pizza, so come early."
Past featured artists at Shameless Plugs include LePig, an alumni improvisational group and Dan Mills, President Barry Mills' nephew.
"My favorite part of Shameless Plugs is that it really showcases Bowdoin-related talent," wrote Li.
Francis, who is still playing in solo local shows, is thrilled as well.
"I think that the show this Saturday is going to be pure, dead brilliant," she wrote. "Great Caesar is a stellar group and we feel lucky to be sharing the stage with them. Most of all, we are ecstatic to be playing music together again on the Bowdoin campus."
Shameless Plugs is on tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. in Smith Union.