Disappointed students were able to see a popular Troy band, 12Eleven, play a show at the Double Branch Lounge on Saturday night after its event downtown on Friday, Sept. 28, was canceled due to rain.
When considering hubs of the artistic community, cities like Berkeley, Cambridge and Indianapolis come to mind, but the pop/R&B band 12Eleven is putting Troy on the map with its musical talent.
12Eleven is made up of five musicians currently living in the Troy area, but the members come from across the South, and their musical tastes are just as broad.
Lead vocalist Jai Rojas, a senior exercise science major from Pensacola, Florida, said the band’s sound comes from a lot of different places.
“We have a lot of different influences, but that’s great, because we want to explore different genres,” Rojas said. “We collaborate and add together all of the influences and messages we want to convey.”
This variety was displayed when the band played at the Double Branch Lounge on Sept. 29. 12Eleven covered “Purple Rain” by Prince, “Brick House” by Commodores and “One Dance” by Drake, amongst other classic and modern hits.
“They have a really cool sound, and it’s honestly not at all what I was expecting,” said Michaela Wolf, a senior environmental science major from Palmyra, Pennsylvania. “The mixed-genre, jazzy, saxophone thing is awesome.”
Saxophonist and vocalist Eric McCauley, a sophomore music industry major from San Antonio, Texas, commented after the show about the surreal nature of the band’s success.
“I’ve been playing for almost a year now, and I kinda just jumped into the process,” McCauley said. “But like, tonight … They’re gonna call us back every time.
“It’s just the way we perform, and people really dig us.”
The group handles a demanding performance schedule, both inside and out of Troy’s city limits.
Lead guitarist Daniel Hunt, a senior broadcast journalism major from Gulf Shores, spoke about the challenges of balancing academia with the band’s creative pursuits.
“We were just in Gulf Shores last week, and now this,” Hunt said. “One day I’m in class at 8 a.m., and the next we’re all on the road for four hours.
“It’s always worth it, though.”
The five have played at venues everywhere from Atlanta to Pensacola, but they most frequently play at the various bars and lounges in Troy.
12Eleven will play at the Double Branch Lounge again from 11 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4 to 1 a.m. Oct. 5, and they’re scheduled to perform at the grand opening of The Red Apple in Troy on Nov. 2.
After the audience demanded three encore songs last Saturday, many in attendance offered praise for 12Eleven.
“I really want to see these guys play again,” said Leandro Guimaraes Froes, a graduate international relations student from Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. “They have a great sound, they have great stage presence — they really have it all.”