Get to know performers Flak, Krew and Crimsuna for UCCS’s spring concert

The UCCS Radio is hosting a spring concert headlined by the winners from the 2022 and 2023 UCCS Battles of the Bands, Flak and Krew.  

The April 4 performance begins at 7 p.m. in Berger Hall with free admission. Student life will also be providing free Whataburger to attendees.  

UCCS’s Cole Mahon, a communication student also known as DJ Crimsuna, will open the first 30 minutes of the set. He plans to create a twist for everyone and prepare the audience for the upcoming performers by mixing his own EDM taste with rock.  

Since Fall 2022, Mahon has hosted “The Mountain Lion’s Den” EDM radio show, where he shares music from the electronic music scene and gives smaller artists exposure. Mahon learned to produce his own music from friends, YouTube and music production classes at UCCS. 

“Being able to attach a sound, a vision, and an emotion all together has been really what this project is about for me. I’m able to make music that I love and to really tell a story,” Mahon said. 

The concert’s headliner band Flak is known for their hardcore grunge and punk music. The band is composed of three members: vocalist and guitarist Dante DeLaurier, who is pursuing a B.I. music; bassist Ben Christ studying criminal justice and drummer Eddie Eaton. 

“I’m just excited to show people [our music] because they don’t know they like hardcore until they like hardcore. It’s an opportunity to hear this music and think, ‘wait I love this,’” DeLaurier said.  

DeLaurier and Christ formed Flak four years ago, with Eaton joining later to play drums. They said that the band name “Flak” was created when Christ jokingly rhymed it with the word back. The members looked up if it was a real word and found that “flak” means strong criticism, which resonated with their sound, and the name stuck. 

“When we played Battle of Bands 2023 it was our first time playing for the school, I had no idea what people were [going to] think of our music,” DeLaurier said. He added that though the audience was calm for other bands, they exploded with energy when Flak performed. The band plans to continue touring and to join hardcore festivals. 

The headlining indie-rock band Krew, which is set to follow, has three current members: vocalist and rhythmic guitarist Andrew Eyer, drummer Jackson Barnas, chemistry and physics double major at UCCS and psychology student Vincent Piro. 

Eyer and Barnas said that they were childhood friends inspired by other bands to make music together. When Piro came into the mix as a school friend, Eyer said he was a natural fit. “Our personalities clicked really well. He stuck with it, and now we’re too far in it to turn around,” he said.  

“I feel super stoked,” Eyer said of the concert. “We’re definitely really happy to be there and to kind of represent people our age… [UCCS] is definitely a good location to build a following. I know we have some people in the area that know of us and have been to some shows.” 

All of the members of Krew are looking forward to getting the audience to have fun. They have been spending time enhancing their sound and learning more about live performances. 

Krew. Photo courtesy of Krew. 

Eyre says, “The audience should be looking out for how much fun they’re going to be having. They should have a great time and bring the energy.” 

“I’m looking forward to playing with Flak, finally,” Barnas said. “Dante is helping us out with our whole tour process over the summer, so it’s nice to be on the bill. Our two kinds of music are very different from each other, so we don’t get the chance to be on the stage together. Doing something close to home and school is nice.” 

As a student involved in VAPA, DeLaurier mentioned dedicating the show to Sam Knopp, one of the victims of the Feb. 16 shooting.  “I had the pleasure of watching him play a few times, and regardless [of] if you knew him or not, it’s undeniable he was an excellent guitar player,” DeLaurier said. “Every time I watched him I was like, ‘I wish I could play that good.’ I think it would be a perfect opportunity for him since it’s a school music show and just because he was a rockstar.” 

Flak. Photo courtesy of Flak.