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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Millennial student band headlines a night of quirky local acts

The Great Duck War, Trophy Dad, Wooden Chickens Snapchat and banter with High Noon audience
Erik Brown
The Great Duck War practicing in basement

Catchy guitar riffs and rugged, carnal vocals unexpectedly took over the stage. A man with long hair and a rainbow-tape decorated guitar hopped around stage, colliding with the other guitarist. Wiffs of marijuana floated through the crowd and at the end of the song the guitar player introduced themselves as Hilary Duff and The Bad Girls.

These garage rock musicians, actually known as The Great Duck War, encouraged the audience to get closer to the stage in case of a possible stage dive. Their ability to encapsulate the crowd with a millennial attitude made for a more intimate crowd at the High Noon Saloon Monday night.

This grunge-like band features three musicians: Reid Kurkerewicz on guitar and vocals, Noah Huber on guitar and his brother Justin Huber on drums. Noah and Kurkerewicz met in The Studio, a learning community in Sellery Hall, last year. They explained that most of their music is inspired by girls and that the two are in somewhat of a friendly competition with each other when it comes to writing the music. Nature around Madison inspired the band’s name, Noah explained.


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“Reid and I spent a lot of time at the lake last year and we noticed that all the ducks had left early – or at least all the male ducks – and so we were trying to figure it out and we think that they went off to war,” he said. “We realize that they’ve come back now so we should change our name to The Great Duck Resolution maybe.”

The last song they played, titled, “Exit Signs” closed out their set, but the crowd demanded an encore. The three talked amongst themselves and then played the angsty song “I Don’t Need My Mom,” ending ironically with the lyrics “Wait, where’s my EpiPen, I need my mom.”

For future plans, The Great Duck War said they plan on not just opening for Kanye West someday, but having Kanye open for them. Their overall goals include being featured in Target commercials as well as turning Kurkerewicz into a sex icon.

“We want his name to be synonymous with male sexuality,” Noah said.

Kurkerewicz’s girlfriend stood at the front of the crowd as the rest of the audience gathered closely together. Occasionally they would yell things to the band, who would usually reply back to their friends and family throughout the audience.

The Great Duck War grows into force of local Madison music scene

This was also the case in freshman-composed band Trophy Dad who opened for The Great Duck War. Drummer Jake Witz, and singer/guitarist Jordan Zamansky played together in a band throughout high school. Singer/bassist Abby Sherman and Zamansky also met in The Studio.

The three collaborate to form original songs by texting each other demos and then collaborating in person. Their name is derived from the term “trophy wife.”

Witz explained, “It’s the qualities for a trophy wife but for a dad.” Zamansky added, “Don’t we all need a trophy dad?”

Their first song, “Theme from Trophy Dad,” set an intense theme for the rest of their performance, contrasting with their humorous transitions.

Zamansky jumped around on stage playing his guitar decorated with a Velvet Underground sticker. Sherman shared the vocals with him while plucking away at her wooden bass.

Channeling millennial vibes, Witz took a Snapchat video and then began to aggressively hammer on the drums, at the beginning of one song.

This punk vibe did not ring true in the bluegrass-esque opening band Wood Chickens, whose songs were filled with dings, honks, jingling and twang. Two men played matching black guitars while another held an instrument that looked similar to a pogostick. This ever-changing Madison band is composed of guitarists Alex Reilly and Griffin Pett who occasionally add percussionists to their performance. On Monday night, they featured John Johnson playing a Stumpf Fiddle, a long, angular fiddle, also called a pogo cello or devil stick.

Three person bands seemed to be a theme Monday night. Between verses about prairies to love struck choruses, the audience experienced a roller coaster of emotions and jokes from the bands. While their musical genres are different, they all shared common goals of making the audience happy and leaving them with anticipation for what comes next.

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