Backstage at Augustana Idol, twin brothers pray to prepare for their acoustic rendition of All Time Low’s “Jasey Rae.”
“We always pray before we play,” senior Matt Garred said. “He’s the one that gave us the gift of love and music in the first place.”
22-year-old fraternal twins Matt and J.T. Garred started performing for worship purposes in high school, in Whiting, Iowa, with their Christian rock band Infinity Awaits. The Facebook page mentions “worshipping Jesus through ROCKING!”
Last Friday, though, they decided to try something new.
“I really like All Time Low,” J.T. said. “It’s a change of pace from what we’ve been doing, so I figured ‘Why not give it a shot?”
“Hey man, let’s go get it,” said J.T. to his brother after completing a secret handshake and stepping on stage.
The Garred brothers were act No. 16 of the night, one of the last to perform.
The harp and tambourine duo of Abby Trei and Callie Stadem had just roused the crowd with their “Fat Bottomed Girls” rendition.
On stage, J.T. steadily strummed his guitar as he sang with an impassioned tenderness to the people-packed Back Alley. Matt nodded his head, played the piano and sang back-up vocals, but the crowd could hardly hear him.
“Matt’s microphone wasn’t necessarily working in their favor, but they had a lot of spirit behind their song,” senior Erin Brustuen said. “One of my favorites was definitely Matt and J.T. Garred.”
While they didn’t win, or place in the top three, both brothers were pleased with their performance.
“I felt like that was one of the best times we played it,” Matt said.
“I thought tonight was fun even though we didn’t win or anything,” J.T. said.
According to J.T., some of the other groups got better reactions because they had upbeat songs.
“I feel that edgier music catches on, like Katy Perry or Ke$ha,” J.T. said. “We were playing a slower acoustic song, so we didn’t have that upbeat memorable crowd reaction.”
Augustana Idol attendance surpassed all prior Coffeehouse events this year, said UBG Coffeehouse governor Patrick Brende.
In its 13th year, the popular student talent event concluded with a new, quick vote-by-text method. A total of 22 acts entertained students from 9 to 11 p.m. on Friday.
For J.T. Garred, the experience was reassuring.
“I hope to get into med school at some point, but take a year to figure it out,” said J.T., an exercise science major. “I’ll take some classes at Creighton but try to get into the music scene down in Omaha and see if anything comes out of that.”
Matt will graduate with a liberal arts music major and hopes to study nursing at Creighton through its accelerated program.
But it seems like the twins are going to keep rocking—together.
“We’re planning on going down to Omaha together if everything works out, just so we can continue to build on what we’ve got,” Matt said.