Beantown artists light up Starbucks music series

Childhood friends Bob Antonelli and Steve O’Brien comprise Cahill. The part-folk, part-pop duo will perform at the Starbucks Live Music series tomorrow night.By Jess Decina

Let’s face it: April 12 is still a long way off. That’s the night that the University’s Student Entertainment Council will bring Gym Class Heroes to the Lawrenceville Campus for its annual Spring Concert. For the student who’s patiently awaiting that night and in need of a good live show to break up the monotony, he or she doesn’t need to look any farther than the Student Recreation Center (SRC).

Since last semester, the SRC Lobby — the Starbucks, to be more specific — has been a hub of live music in a relaxed, coffeehouse-type setting. Known as the Starbucks Live Music Series, the program has been bringing up-and-coming artists to the University on Saturday nights. Bands who have graced the Starbucks stage include Paragraph, headlined by Rider alum Danny Lane and local duo HelenaMaria.

This weekend, the featured act is a little less local: The rock duo Cahill, composed of childhood friends Bob Antonelli and Scott O’Brien, hails from Boston. Their act began as a fun project, complete with humorous home videos and lip-synched performances, according to the band’s Web site. In 2005, Cahill finally established itself with the release of its first album, Blend.

“Fortunately, the friends part hasn’t changed at all, which has made our transition pretty smooth,” Antonelli said. “Our focus is exactly the same and as the exterior changes, we just continue to write songs, get on stage and play them together. Starting from where we did makes each step up that much sweeter, but most of the time it’s as though we’re back on my parents’ porch.”

Cahill’s sound mixes emo and folk with some pop influences; according to Antonelli, the music is simply “awesome,” though he admits there’s some bias to that statement. In the meantime, he and O’Brien are looking forward to playing in a new, albeit more intimate, venue.

“The excitement of playing live comes from a lot of things: the adrenaline before you go on, the feeling of playing a song better than you ever have before, the chance that someone in the audience will connect with what you’re playing,” Antonelli said. “Then there’s the tapping feet and bopping heads. Nothing beats seeing perfect strangers tapping and bopping to your music.”

Cahill has performed in venues throughout the northeast, ranging anywhere from coffeehouses and colleges to clubs and bars. Most recently, the band found a semi-permanent home in Boston’s Fanueil Hall as street performers, a gig that will start in the summer. That, along with the recent release of Cahill’s second album At the Seams, keeps Antonelli and O’Brien busy.

“Our goals right now are geared toward supporting the music,” Antonelli said. “We’ll be shooting a video to our track ‘Out of State.’ We’ll also be pursuing production companies for placement of our songs in movies and TV.”

As part of the Starbucks Live Music Series, Cahill will be performing this Saturday in the SRC lobby at 9 p.m. The event is free and open to all students.

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