Breakfast and Lowjack: Veteran Band Rocks BJC On Saturday Morning

Full disclosure: Lowjack is my favorite bar band in this town. But as you might imagine, hearing it play at THON is a significantly different experience than hearing them play at 1 a.m. at the Phyrst on Saturday night. And at both venues, Jason D. and his crew played just what was needed for the situation.

I’ll explain: As I’ve written before, Lowjack doesn’t try to do too much when it performs, which is what makes it such a great bar band. This morning at THON, Lowjack played a set filled with the hits that have made it so popular. It started with its rendition of “Seven Nation Army,” which included an awesome violin riff over the usual heavy bass. From there, it moved into a surefire hit to get the dancers jumping, “Shipping Up To Boston.”

For those who’ve never heard Lowjack, it comes complete with a violinist, who is extremely good at his job. Lowjack played its best song fourth — its rendition of “Devil Went Down To Georgia” is better than the real thing — and let its violinist go wild. It was awesome. From there, it was crowd-pleaser after crowd-pleaser, with “Sweet Caroline” and “Wagon Wheel” getting the crowd going.

Often, Jason thanked the crowd and praised THON. When Lowjack began playing the familiar riff of “Mr. Brightside” at the middle of its set, it had the attention of the crowd (and Onward State’s row in the press box, of course). Lowjack had a tall order on which to follow up, and it delivered.

Don’t Wait Another Year To See The Bands That Rocked THON


The awesome songs from both the Entertainment Committee’s DJing and the long list of live performances helped keep us on our feet this weekend. If you attended THON 2015 for even little bit, chances are you witnessed some pretty impressive live music.

Though not exactly a major destination for the music industry, Penn State is home to more musical talent than you think. In fact, a handful of successful bands on the East Coast found their roots right here in State College. Many of the groups, such as The RocketsMy Hero ZeroLenina Crowne, and of course, Go Go Gadjet, are Penn State-proud and brought endless energy to this year’s THON.

You probably enjoyed jamming to the rock and roll renditions of pop songs by The Rockets, and I’m sure you were caught groovin’ to Jason O’s smooth vocals from My Hero Zero. We can all agree these bands brought just the right type of energy to this weekend, so why forget about them just because THON is over?

The groups that performed in the BJC this weekend were all unpaid volunteers, so essentially these bands and performances collaborated with THON to supplement the 46 hours with their live talent. If you and your friends had a good time dancing to these bands and appreciated the tunes, you can pay them back by following and supporting them as they create and perform music in the future.

Below are some upcoming events featuring the best of this year’s THON entertainment:


Led by frontman Jason Davoli, Lowjack is one of the best cover bands in State College, Pa. They play a mixture of modern rock and classic tunes ranging from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Tom Petty. Lowjack has become a perennial THON performer and kept the crowd up and dancing during the early hours of the morning on Saturday.

Lowjack is based out of State College and can be seen locally throughout the week at bars downtown.

Upcoming performances: 

Phyrst: Thursdays from 8 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Brewery: Thursdays from 10:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Bar Bleu: Fridays from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
The Saloon: Sundays from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.


Lenina Crowne

If folk-rock and indie vibes suit you, look no further than Lenina Crowne. There’s no excuse not to see this group again because they’re known for playing downtown State College, and can be found livening up the local bar scene.

Make a point to see Lenina Crowne playing at The Phyrst, Cafe 210, and The Darkhorse Tavern. As mentioned on their Facebook page, “You can find us playing a mix of high-energy originals and crowd-pleasing covers that aren’t in the Top 40.”

Upcoming performances: 

Cafe 210: Thursdays 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Phyrst: Saturdays 7 to 9 p.m.
Darkhorse: Select nights 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.


Not 21? You can check out their music on theirYouTube page.

The Rockets

The Rockets are an energetic cover band that began in Philadelphia. Now one of the biggest party bands in Philly, these guys have been jammin’ for over 20 years. As they say on their Facebook page, “We bring the noise to every show we play and keep the party going till they turn the lights off and kick us out!” If you saw them cover songs at THON like the classic “Livin’ On A Prayer,” or more modern pop hits like, “Sexy And I Know It,” you know this is true.

Upcoming performances:

Phyrst: Every other Sunday, rotating with My Hero Zero
Feb. 27: The Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia, Pa.
Feb. 28: PJ Whelihan’s in Cherry Hill, N.J.

My Hero Zero

My Hero Zero is a group hailing from State College, known for their unique covers of popular songs. This band has become quintessential to THON, and just like Lenina Crowne, can be seen weekly performing at the local bars downtown. Thanks to their upbeat and energetic sets featuring fun renditions of crowd-pleasing hits, My Hero Zero is always a highly-anticipated act.

Their Facebook bio says that My Hero Zero “is reinventing songs in a way that gives them new life. Front man Jason O runs the show with an infectiously interactive style that ensures that you’ll be singing along from the first note to the last chord.” If that doesn’t sound like a guaranteed good time, I don’t know what does.

Below are a handful of the upcoming dates and local bars where My Hero Zero will be playing. The band will also be traveling to a few other states on the east coast such as Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, and even Ohio. Full tour dates can be found on the bands website.

Upcoming performances:

Saloon: Thursdays at 10:30 p.m.
Cafe 210: Fridays at 10:30 p.m.
Phyrst: Every other Sunday at 10:30 p.m.

Go Go Gadjet

If this was your favorite THON performance, we don’t blame you. 2015 marked the eighth year local band Go Go Gadjet played at THON. This band started in Reading, Pa., and brings an indescribable energy and phenomenal vibe to the stage, especially after 46 hours of standing for an amazing cause. Go Go Gadjet is not restricted to one genre, but they definitely have the essence of rock and roll meets pop. If you enjoyed their fun and upbeat covers of songs likes “California Girls” and “Uptown Funk,” be sure to keep an eye on them.

Upcoming performances:

Feb. 26: Molten @ Bethlehem Sands at 9 p.m.
Feb. 27: Headquarters Live in Salisbury, Md. at 8 p.m.
March 7: PJ Whelihan’s in Cherry Hill, N.J. at 10 p.m.

Go Go Gadjet will also make an appearance at this year’s Shamrockfest, a music festival held in Washington, D.C. to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. This event has great energy and is an excellent opportunity to flaunt one’s Irish pride. What would be better than enjoying some local Penn State music while also celebrating your heritage?

Catch Go Go Gadjet for this unique event on March 21, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

There you have it! Don’t want until next year’s THON to bust a move to these awesome bands.

"Lowjack performs at THON, livens crowd."

Posted: Saturday, February 21, 2015 9:08 am

Reviewed by Caitlin Wolper | Collegian Staff Writer

With a fresh, lively sound, State College band Lowjack returned to THON for a fifth year this morning.

The band started off its concert at the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon with a cover of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" at 8 a.m.

Lowjack's biggest strength throughout the performance was its energy and cohesiveness as a unit.

The lead singer's voice paired well with all of the band's song selections; this allowed Lowjack to play rock 'n' roll without being too loud or jarring for the dancers, who have now been standing for over 15 hours.

Electric fiddle ablaze, the band rolled through two more songs before covering Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."

While floor activity had continued normally during most of the performance, "Sweet Caroline" got a lot of attention from the floor. The cover had the most people, both on the floor and in the stands, dancing and singing along.

With an upbeat but still laid-back song selection, Lowjack's set was a pleasant wake-up for those arriving at or returning to the Bryce Jordan Center this morning and was equally pleasant for those who've stayed in the Bryce Jordan Center for the duration of the event.

Songs played include "Wagon Wheel," "Stand By Me," "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" and "Wake Me Up."

Lowjack used primarily throwback sing-alongs to keep the crowd pumped, inviting them to join in when they played both "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind and The Killers' "Mr. Brightside."

Telling the crowd that "This song makes me think of you, THON," Lowjack broke out into a cover of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down."

Lowjack's versatility and music diversity rolled the band through their hour-long set, with songs ranging from more bluesy rock to punk.

The band didn't perform any original songs, but perhaps that was better suited for THON — the crowd is likely more interested by songs they can sing along with and will be excited by songs they recognize.

Caitilin Wolper can be reached at or (814) 865-1828. Follow her on Twitter @CaitlinWolper.