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Getting Centered

Moving Units. At UCSB’s Hub, Friday, February 2.

Reviewed by Drew Mackie

Moving_Units.jpgNot to knock Moving Units, but the
success of their concert at UCSB’s student hangout spot, the Hub,
could mostly be attributed to the event’s planners and not the
musicians themselves. The Hub, for the uninitiated, occupies the
bottom story of UCSB’s University Center. Associated Students
Program Board, however, realized the Hub’s potential as an event
space and launched AfterHours@theHub, a concert series that
utilizes the area in a way it should have been years ago.

Last Friday night about 400 people — mostly UCSB students with
scattered non-collegiate music fans in tow — flooded the Hub, and
for many of them it would be the most time they had ever spent
there. Program Board smartly installed a beer garden in the space,
as well as a decent stage and sound system, transforming the
formerly sterile environment into one where students could feel
comfortable and have fun.

But the bands and opening acts put on a good show. From I.V.’s
own Young Turks — who kicked off the night and showed promise as
indie rockers in their own right — to the slightly more grown-up
sound of SoCal band Test Your Reflex, the musicians proved my
theory that the best dance music isn’t spawned from any form of
techno or electronica.

Moving Units was clearly the night’s main draw, as ticket
holders streamed into the Hub for the band’s set. Vocalist Blake
Miller took command of the stage — which, admittedly, was probably
smaller than the ones he’s used to strutting around — and gave the
crowd his all. Deep down, Miller probably knew he was playing for a
crowd of tipsy college students, but his yowls and shouts sounded
every bit as rock star-professional as they would have in a “real”
concert hall.

It’s doubtful Moving Units fans expected anything less from the
band than its sleek L.A. style and a dead-on performance of
signature songs. This reviewer would say those expectations were
met. Good job, Moving Units. But in the end, the real thanks should
go to Program Board. They didn’t just pull off a good show; they
gave students a reason to embrace a space that is rightfully
theirs.

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