Local band brings “fresh and unique” music to last Friday’s annual ‘Taste of Troy’ event

Grace Kish

Staff Writer

Despite the overcast weather, students and local businesses gathered downtown to learn more about each other and listen to live music from Troy’s local band, 12eleven, during Friday night’s “The Taste of Troy” event.

This year’s annual Taste of Troy could be described by one cliché — “singing in the rain” — due to the overcast weather occurring around the event.

Jai Rojas, the lead singer of 12eleven and a senior exercise science major from Pensacola, Florida, describes “The Taste of Troy” as a way for local businesses to get acquainted with incoming students.

When asked about 12eleven’s role in Taste of Troy, Rojas said, “I feel like when we played, it added a lot of energy to the whole event.”

The band members describe their style as fresh and unique.

One description of the band’s style was given by Pierce Gilmore, the drummer and a junior business major from Milton, Florida.

Gilmore described the style as “if Ed Sheeran and Alabama Shakes were at a party.”

“Anyone who likes music can appreciate it,” said Daniel Hunt, the guitarist for the group and a senior broadcast journalism major from Foley.

According to Rojas, the band enjoyed playing its version of “Say a Little Prayer” the most as a tribute to singer Aretha Franklin, who died recently.

“That song was the best received because in the intro it’s just (Rojas singing), and he goes super high,” Hunt said. “That’s where he can show off.”

Matthew Doyle, a freshman computer science major from Enterprise, said what he liked about 12eleven the most is that “they didn’t take themselves super seriously — they were just there to have a good time.”

He also said that because they played songs from a variety of genres and eras, “it made it really fun for everybody.”

Doyle’s favorite moment from “The Taste of Troy” was seeing Rojas copy a dance on stage that a middle schooler had been doing in the crowd.

According to 12eleven, the crowd was thinner than expected.

“We thought there would be a lot more people,” Hunt said. “(It was) still a great turnout though.”

Due to the weather, the event ended at 8 instead of 9 that night.

Despite this, 12eleven’s playful energy distracted from the gloomy weather as downtown businesses welcomed students who were willing to risk getting caught in the rain with free T-shirts, drawings for giveaways and food samples.

Drew Akers, a junior biomedical sciences major from Troy, said he came to “check out what all Troy is doing right now.” His favorite part of the event was “seeing new faces and making new friends.”

Next year Akers hopes to see more businesses represented at “The Taste of Troy.” While Akers enjoyed 12eleven’s performance, he wishes next year Troy’s businesses would bring more to the table.

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