Written by Marlo Jappen Friday, 01 August 2014 00:00
15 Below, an alternative rock band composed of Sewanhaka High School students, rocked the William Gill Theatre in New Hyde Park Village Hall on Wednesday, July 23. The band had the crowd tossing up beach balls to energetic beats and swaying their iPhones along to slower tunes.
“They were very good tonight,” said Darren Derick Polanco. “I always come to their shows.”
The band was aptly named 15 Below because all of its members were under the age of 15 when the band was formed over two years ago. Its members include lead guitar and vocalist, Dan Rodriguez, guitar, saxophone, and backup vocalist, Ryan Burger, John Savasta on bass guitar, Gerard Coppola on drums, and rapper Joey Mazzeo who was unable to perform because he had work.
“Mazzeo adds a whole other dimension to what we can do,” said Rodriguez.
However, the audience still seemed to enjoy the performance.
15 Below performed throwbacks from their childhood such as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day, “Miss You” by Blink 182, and “Sugar We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy. Smoke surrounded the performers and colorful strobe lights illuminated the stage as the band played hard rock songs such as the White Stripes “Seven Nation Army.”
The audience went wild as the band delivered a rock rendition of “Let It Go,” a popular song from the animated Disney movie Frozen, which was designed to be sung by a female soprano.
15 Below also performed their own original songs such as “Blue Little Bird” and “Run Away With Me.”
The band has played at venues including the Holy Spirit Church Festival, CJ Wellingtons, Swing the Tea Pot, and the Plattdeutsche Restaurant, but the band loved playing at the Village Hall because of the receptive crowd.
“This was a dream come true,” said Burger. “This had to have been the best show we ever played.”
All of the members of 15 Below are heavily involved with the music department at Sewanhaka High School and participate in jazz band as well as school talent shows and musicals.
“Performing comes naturally to all of us,” Savasta said. “I feel like it’s what I’m meant to do.”