Last Thursday, the Universities Activity Board UAB sponsored a free double-band feature at Club De ‘Ville. At 8 PM, the first band, known as The Sketties, took the stage. The six talented performers originated in Lancaster. The band’sname is synonymous with spaghetti, and is different to say the least. The name is to prove non-conformity by the band. They wanted to be called something differentand unique, but not so original, and thus The Sketties were born.

Lead vocalist Jon Wechter accompanied on his guitar beside his wife, Alissa Armer, who played the keyboard. The band brought a new music genre with them to the stage. Wechter likes to call the genre “Melodic/experimental rock, but you can basically put any adjective before rock on any given day.”

Also in the band is Frank Flandorffer on the synthesizer, Mo Morris on the bass, Ben “Honey” on the guitar, and drummer Jesse Porter. They brought a compilation of a new sound to the music scene, and a good sound at that.

Porter found The Sketties in a want ad on Craigslist. Fortunately for the band, he was just what they were looking for, and has been the drummer ever since. The band currently has one album out titled “Up?!? Yes!!” and has a second album in the making, which is an extended play (EP).

The Sketties are unsigned, but they like it that way. Wechter likes the idea because it leaves the decisions up to the band, rather than a manager, and it just gives them a bit more freedom to do as they please when it comes to shows, looks, and money.

After returning from a tour in New York and Boston, The Sketties were more than happy to perform at Millersville, and even more happy to open for another band they are friends with: Ripe. As The Sketties played, Ripe listened and applauded and once the first performance was over, The Sketties did the same for Ripe. Lead vocalist for Ripe and instrument extraordinaire Adam Mentzer is married to Jem Mentzer of Ripe. Ripe and The Sketties both also believe in “equal instrument equality,” which means each band did not mind sharing instruments, and in some cases, Ripe band members are able to play more than one instrument.They are friends from Lancaster, and have a different sound. Their genre is better described as Indie Rock/Roots.

Ripe started in 2006, and has gone through a few band member transitions, but as of now; includes the Mentzers, Dave Donahue on the drums, Drew Ricca on bass, Sam Kornhauser playing guitar, and now another Sam on the synthesizer which was formerly played by someone else. When it comes to talent, Ripe brings something fresh and new to the table, and when it comes to pure instrumental talent, Adam Mentzer brings something more. Mentzer not only sung and played the electric guitar, but he also brought an acoustic guitar, a ukulele, a harmonica, and even played the keyboard once during the performance. Other band members also played more than one instrument, proving a musical talent that both the band and the audience benefited from.

The toe-tapping melody from Ripe made the audience happy. It was a sense of simple pleasure. Both Ripe and The Sketties played music that was enjoyable. Though Ripe currently has two albums out, one of which just came out in 2009 titled “Red Fox Reunion,” they are currently unsigned. For more information. check each band’s MySpace and Facebook