The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

The PitchPockets put on an energetic and groovy performance at Nashville’s East Room on April 15

The band spoke with us about their single, “Out My Mind,” their humble beginnings and everything music related.
The PitchPockets performed on April 15.
Ashley Monteiro
The PitchPockets performed at the East Room on April 15. (Hustler Staff/Ashley Monteiro)

On April 15, I found myself in Nashville’s East Room for the first time, standing in front a stage bedazzled with strings of lights and looking forward to what would be a lively night packed with pure talent. The PitchPockets, a local band whose music can be described as a melting pot of pop, funk and soul, were performing to celebrate the release of their latest single “Out My Mind.” This was my first introduction to their music and it was a great one.

The PitchPockets started when drummer Peter Kastaris reached out to his high school friend and Belmont students Connor Fiehler (a guitarist and vocalist) and AJ Huang (a tenor saxophonist). He said Huang connected the rest of the band: vocalist Elise Petersen, vocalist Corrina Gill, guitarist Vance Mazure, bassist Isaac Mauldin, baritone saxophonist Jack Warren and trumpet player Nick Arbogast.

“We got into a room and just wanted to shed it out and see how it went. And there was pretty immediate chemistry between all of us. So our first show was opening up for a Belmont acapella group called Pitchmen. And at that point, we didn’t have a name,” Kastaris said. “We wanted to put the word pocket in there because we’re groovy and a nine-piece band. So we’re like, ‘well, we’re opening for Pitchmen—why not The PitchPockets?’ And thus The PitchPockets were born.”

When asked about how her music has evolved from being part of The PitchPockets, Gill said that the band has provided her with an environment to explore new songwriting styles.

The PitchPockets performing
“We’re in a place where you feel uplifted by everybody, and I feel safe to fail.” (Hustler Staff/Ashley Monteiro) (Ashley Monteiro)

“And it is just really cool because we’re in a place where you feel uplifted by everybody, and I feel safe to fail,” Gill said. “It’s also been really cool to explore a funkier, more R&B side of my songwriting style, since I’m more of a folky kind of singer-songwriter.”

The night was off to a fresh start with performances by guests Girls Night, BEAN and Will Rosedale and “the lowly entourage.” Girls Night, clad in bathrobes and shower caps, got everyone hooked on their funky pop melodies. BEAN’s set had a series of great vocal moments that gave me goosebumps and earned shouts from the crowd. Will Rosedale and the lowly entourage had catchy songs infused with elements of soul. They even performed a cover of YEBBA’s “Love Came Down” with two of PitchPocket’s vocalists Elise Petersen and Corrina Gill, a major highlight of the night.

After two hours of opening acts getting us excited for PitchPockets, they PitchPockets took to the stage. The crowd burst with energy as they began their set, performing groovy renditions of famous songs such as Beyonce’s “Love on Top” and “Gotta Get You Into My Life” by Earth, Wind & Fire. They also played many original songs including an incredibly catchy track called “Don’t Wanna Go” and “Woman,” a powerful feminist anthem with strong vocal performances. Throughout the night there were various guitar and horn solos that electrified the crowd, and one with a quick rap section. Of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without the debut performance of their first original single “Out My Mind,” which earned a standing ovation, followed by a return to their most classic—and my personal favorite track—“Sour Candy.”

Regarding why they love music, Gill and Fiehler value the fact that music makes you pay attention to your surroundings and experiences, while Warren and Kastaris view it as a unique means of connecting with other people.  

“[Music] is the universal language that everybody speaks, regardless of creed, religion, background ethnicity, and I love the fact that it allows a room of people for even if it’s just for a moment, to really put all that aside and connect over something that’s a universal truth,” said Kastaris.

Their performance energy and the grins on the band member’s faces proved to me that performing together on stage is truly where they’re happiest. They put everything into this show and I’m glad I had the chance to witness it. There’s something special about a group with such a versatile sound and wide range of talents that’s able to engage several hundred people for so long. I look forward to seeing their future musical endeavors. 

Likewise, members of the band expressed that they are looking forward to writing new originals and playing more gigs.

“I’m most excited for the band to evolve. It feels like we’re in our space right now, which is we’re college kids playing music and stuff,” Fiehler said. “But there’s that next level that we’re on the cusp of reaching and delving more into different styles and more original music and each person of the band, bringing more of their influence and tastes.”

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About the Contributor
Brina Ratangee
Brina Ratangee, Editorial Director
Brina Ratangee ('24) is a student in the College of Arts and Science majoring in medicine, health & society and neuroscience. She previously served as News Editor. When not writing for The Hustler, she enjoys trivia nights, solving NYT crosswords and biking around Nashville. You can reach her at [email protected].
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