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Each of the local bands invited to participate in Friday night's "Attack of the Cover Bands" at the former Christian Association building write and perform their own songs. But this weekend, the six indie rock groups decided to pay homage to their own favorite bands -- including the Rolling Stones and The Smiths, among others -- by performing their tunes in front of an energetic audience of about 300 area college students and other music fans from the region. Co-sponsored by the Social Planning and Events Committee and the Foundation, the concert brought to campus bands like The Persons, Atom and His Package, Asteroid #4, Clock Strikes Thirteen, Lilys and Strapping Fieldhands to perform covers of bands of their choice as well as original selections of their own. With characteristic aplomb and enthusiasm, the bands rocked the auditorium for four hours. "It is a really good idea how the bands are covering one band they like. I've seen it done at other places before, but I'd never seen it done in this area," said Dany Sloan, a student at nearby Westchester College. "It is a good way to attract people and for them to see a different side of the bands they like." Audience members -- most of whom stood throughout the entire show -- ranged from silent admirers of the music who swayed contemplatively to the drum beats and the electric guitar strokes while banging heads and tapping the floor to those who danced more actively. Other audience members seemed particularly pleased that some of their favorite bands were present at the show. "Atom is the greatest guy in the world, so it makes the whole show worth it," Wharton freshman Mike Berlin said of Atom and His Package, who covered The Mountain Goats. Many of the band members seemed to enjoy their participation in the event as well. "It was very fun," said Benjamin Xavier Kim, the lead singer of both The Persons and Clock Strikes Thirteen. "I saw people dancing at the end." And others, in turn, commented on the state of support for local artists. "I think it's really important that people take a stand on their community activities, what kind of things you want to see your community do," said Kurt Heasley of Strapping Fieldhands. "Do you want just classical music as a cultural event? Or do you want to explore local talent?" The concert benefited from more sophisticated equipment and from the support of sound and light engineers who provided much of the ambience of the event. "Each musical group had a very distinct style and sound which was both exciting and challenging," said 1999 Engineering graduate Harris Romanoff, who works as a light engineer. "I had only worked with Clock Strikes Thirteen before, so almost all of the lighting effects had to be done on the spot." The concert was produced by College junior Jared Goldman and College sophomore Nick McDermott-- both SPEC liaisons -- with the support of College senior Andrew Zitcer, who is also the director of the Foundation. The Foundation works to bring together the arts and culture of the West Philadelphia and Penn communities in a meaningful partnership. "The Foundation was the perfect organization to host the event," Goldman said. "Its support has been invaluable for us tonight.

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