Music poured onto College Avenue as people descended the stairs to The Orbit Room where rock bands The Croakes, SYZYGY and The Matriarch took the stage.
Partnering with IU for Choice, the bands donated all proceeds to Planned Parenthood and Elevated Access. Audience members threw cash in a bucket or donated using the app Venmo. By the end of the night, the bands had raised $870.
“It was really cool to see everyone coming together to raise money for that cause,” IU sophomore and audience member Haley Evers said. “Everyone there seemed to want to pitch in and help, so that was a cool environment.”
The dark basement venue was lit up by colorful tables and neon menus. Multicolored lights shone brightly on the ceiling as The Croakes opened for the event. Each band member wore a tie and button-up shirt, juxtaposed with their loud rock music.
Evers said the energy in the room was electric, with the intense guitarwork and voice of vocalist and guitarist Grace Clemmer.
While The Croakes played a few soft rock songs and one folk song, their original song, “Rolling Thunder,” was their heaviest rock song of the night. Each member of the band moved quickly in rhythm as Clemmer leaned back to strum her guitar.
“We’d like it if you sang with us,” Clemmer said before putting away her guitar, jumping with her microphone and singing “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins.
After their last song, the crowd chanted for an encore and the band played Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So.”
Next, punk rock band SYZYGY started their set with their original song “Cake Emoji.”
“We are not a girl band. Don’t call us a girl band. We are a queer band,” vocalist Lucy Harper said during their set.
The band covered “Too Close” by Sir Chloe while each member wore handmade SYZYGY merch. They also played an unreleased original called “Pissing and Shitting.”
“I want to see you mosh,” Harper said to the crowd before playing “I Threw Glass at My Friend’s Eyes and Now I’m on Probation” by Destroy Boys.
The band performed an unreleased and unfinished original song that Harper said she began writing after the Supreme Court’s decisions to overturn Roe v. Wade. She said she felt out of control and channeled her anger into writing the song, starting and ending the song by screaming.
The band also covered “jealousy, jealousy” by Olivia Rodrigo and “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish. Guitarist Max Senter sang backup vocals and drummer Cory Schmitt ended their set with a drum solo.
To end the night, The Matriarch took the stage with colorful outfits and performed their original song, “Best Wishes.”
“It’s about finding yourself after ending a relationship with someone and wishing them the best,” Al Erftenbeck said to the crowd.
She said since the event is a “Pro-Roe” fundraiser, they only sang songs by female artists, including themselves.
The band covered “Just a Girl” by No Doubt as bassist and backup vocalist JoLynn Hockemeyer sang, “So many reasons for me to run and hide/ I can't do the little things I hold so dear/ 'Cause it's all those little things that I fear.”
“Fuck the Supreme Court,” Erftenbeck said before covering “brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo and “Lost Cause” by Billie Eilish.
Hockemeyer took the mic for “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Drummer Mallory Babcock counted the band off and Mallory Benoit began strumming her guitar.
Benoit thanked the crowd for coming to the event and donating to help abortion resources in Indiana. Following that, the venue erupted with boos directed toward Senate Bill 1.
The Matriarch sang “Crimson & Clover” by Tommy James & the Shondells as each band member jumped to the beat. At one point, Erftenbeck crouched on the floor quietly singing “Crimson and clover/ over and over” before standing and screaming the lyrics.
During their last song, Babcock played a drum solo, the other band members chanted the lyrics of their original, “Respect Me.”