Friday night was all about alumni, as recent USC graduates gathered to enjoy a performance from Atlas Road Crew, a band formed while its members were attending USC. The Senate was covered in garnet and black, while former Gamecocks mingled and danced to the music.
The concert was hosted by the My Carolina Young Alumni Council, a branch of the My Carolina Alumni Association, and was an opportunity for USC graduates from 2008-2018 to interact with one another. The inaugural event was aimed at bringing former Gamecocks together in preparation for Saturday’s football game against Georgia.
While My Carolina has found older USC graduates seem to have more established connections within their alumni network, the Young Alumni Council saw an opportunity to get a younger group excited about membership and opportunities for professional development. Molly Hall, a member of the Young Alumni Council and a 2012 graduate of USC, thinks it’s important for people to start engaging with the school's alumni network as soon as they graduate.
“It’s so important to build your network when you’re young, for lots of reasons,” said Hall. “That’s really what we’re trying to do, start a social relationship that can hopefully form and be long term.”
When it came to booking bands for the event, bands that included alumni seemed like an appropriate choice. Atlas Road Crew was part of Hall’s USC graduating class.
“We wanted to keep it in the family a little bit,” she said.
Atlas Road Crew plays shows frequently near campus and in Charleston. Formed in 2011, the band has established a fan base of Carolina alumni and rock fans across the country alike.
They released their sophomore album, “Chasing Fire" at the end of August. Moving away from the southern rock sound that has defined them since their formation, Atlas Road Crew gives listeners a more soulful and indie feel that shows growth in their sound, as well as their image. The crowd seemed accepting of their evolved sound, grabbing each other by the hand and singing along to choruses.
Atlas Road Crew was joined by another local name, rock and roll band Tripping on Bricks. The band was also formed while its members were attending USC, and they often play shows at local venues.
My Carolina Alumni Association and the My Carolina Young Alumni Council are hoping these events will set the stage for similar ones in the future, especially events that include live and local talent.
“Back in the day, you know who else used to play sorority events?” said Hall. “Hootie and the Blowfish. I think it’s becoming kind of a thing for USC.”