Indiana Daily Student

Ekoostik Hookah to play Buskirk-Chumley

Ekoostik Hookah will bring its jams to the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., at 9 p.m. today.\nEkoostik Hookah, a sextet from Columbus, Ohio, is usually categorized as a jam band. But percussionist John Polansky, who joined the band about two years ago, said he finds it difficult to classify Hookah in any genre.\n"I don't care for the term jam band," he said. "I much more prefer improvisational rock band. There is an element that causes all those bands to be lumped together, which is the improvisational aspect, but Ekoostik Hookah is a rock and roll band, bottom line."\nBecause each member has a different musical background, Polansky said their distinct sound results from bringing their differences together to write their music and perform it on stage.\n"One of the absolute truest elements to a great performance is when everybody is really clicking on the improv, and you never know where a song is going to go," he said. "It's like there are six drivers on a wild ride, and everyone has a wheel. Everyone has control at some point, which is exciting because all six guys have capabilities of controlling this vehicle."\nPublicist Dave Weissman, who has worked with the band for three years, said the band members differences contribute to the distinctive message of the band.\n"Since they are really diverse in their music and style, they are diverse in their message," he said. "They try to convey a certain outlook on life through their lyrics, and because each of the songwriters have different outlooks, almost anyone can listen to the songs and relate."\nSophomore Jonah Schein has attended dozens of shows over the past five years. He said the universality of Ekoostik Hookah's music sets it apart from other bands.\n"Its easy to relate to their music, much easier than other bands," he said. "A lot of other bands have great music, but don't make much sense. I feel Hookah really does." Schein added that the improvisational aspect of their music keeps him coming back again and again.\n"I know (tonight) will be a great show," he said. "They always play a different set list every night, so you never know what you're going to get....There's a good community that's created."\nPolansky said he is excited to perform in Bloomington because college towns foster a unique vibe for their shows.\n"The thing about playing to a university- or college-based crowd is the fact that the people are so vibrant and so interested in absorbing something that might be slightly off the beaten path of normalcy," he said. There's a thirst and lust for anything new. Traditional crowds may be a little less giving. I feel a special association at these towns."\nHe added that the quality of the audience often determines the quality of the show.\n"When the audience lets you know what they like, it sends a show in a direction," he said. "Satisfying an audience is satisfying."\nEkoostik Hookah will perform at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

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