Friday, April 27, 2018

Alton Hits a High Note for Local Bands

Alton Hits a High Note for Local Bands
Written by: CJ Coyle

   Photo by: undetermined shots ©

Stockton University’s annual concert, Woodstockton, returned last week on April 20th with headliners The All-American Rejects rocking the night away. The event is the climax of every calendar year at Stockton University, as big names come in every year shortly before summer vacation. Along with the big named rockstars, WoodStockton has openers every year that consist of its very own students. This year, South Jersey band Alton, earned their chance to play a once in a lifetime show in front of their entire student body.
Alton, an ambitious cover-band made up of lead singer and bassist Zachary Pacheco, guitarist Jake Aulffo, guitarist Collin Crimins, and drummer Adrian Padayhag, are all students at Stockton who came together serendipitously through a club at school. “Alton officially formed back in February of this year  with the sole purpose of getting a video together to audition for Woodstockton. Unofficially though, we’ve all been playing music together for awhile. Last semester we were all in a band in Stockton’s Music Union, and me, Jake, and Adrian were doing some acoustic open mic sets here and there,” says guitarist Collin Crimins, “When the time came to get something together to audition, we realized we needed a singer, and the first person to come to our minds was zack. We all got together one night to play at Alton Auditorium and it all clicked.” He elaborates on the origin of the bands unique name here, “The name Alton obviously came from the theater/auditorium on campus with the same name. When we were getting our audition video together all of schedules were pretty hectic. Pretty much all of us were working full time and in school full time so that left us with nights to practice. I think the idea came from Jake to practice in Alton because he had a jazz band class in there and knew it was open at night. Looking back we probably had no right to be in there, but we set up our stuff and were playing in there almost every night we could, sometimes until 3 or 4 am. The night we shot our audition video I know we were in there from like 8pm to 3am. The night time cleaning staff would come in and listen sometimes, and one, her name was Maria, was really friendly and encouraging. So much so that our band name almost ended up being Maria. I know Adrian and Zack still want it to be that, but we decided on Alton because it’s where we started.”
Crimins goes on to explain how his big night went at WoodStockton,”Opening for The All-American Rejects was a surreal experience. Ever since I started playing guitar, I had always dreamed of the chance to get up on stage and play a real concert. I feel like this show really made that dream come true. At first, I think we were all super nervous, or at least I know I was. But once they called us up, and that first song started, all those nerves went away, and the only thing on my mind was putting on the best show we possibly could. I think it was something like 1,200 people in the audience, 95% of which had never even heard of us, and to get up on that stage, and for it to be our first show as a band, I can’t think of a more exciting experience I’ve had in my life. The crowd was awesome, responded well to us, and it brought the biggest smile to my face to hear people cheering our band name and clapping as we wrapped up our set. I think I’ll remember that night forever.”
Crimins goes on to talk about the future plans of Alton, “As far as new music, I can’t say anything for sure. We don’t even truly have any old music, we’re just a cover band as of now. But I’m always writing, and I know the other guys definitely want to keep going with this, whether that means sitting down to write a few originals or doing gigs over the summer playing covers. All I can say for sure is that me, Jake, Adrian, and Zack love music. And that’s never gonna change. So whether we’re writing songs, playing gigs, or staying up way too late listening to mid-2000s Fall Out Boy in H102 (the other classroom we spend way too long practicing in), we’re gonna be around doing what we love to do. And that’s music.” Stay tuned to hear what is next from Stockton’s latest hit cover band, Alton.

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