What better way to spend a -15° night than by grabbing a cup of coffee and relaxing to the music of Beverly, Elisa Ambrogio, & The Merks? This past Valentine’s Day weekend, WHUS had the pleasure of hosting the three band at the UConn Co-op Bookstore in Storrs Center.


Conor Phillips and Nick Claps (The Merks) warming up the evening.

Starting off the night were UConn locals The Merks, who played a great set despite two of their members being in New York City preparing for another show later that night. Lead singer and guitarist Conor Phillips and guitarist Nick Claps played songs from their newest live EP (which is out now and available on iTunes), a well as premiering a few songs that are still in the works. Rock-driven guitar riffs and honest, uncomplicated lyrics complemented each other in an indie sound that was surprisingly full despite missing bass and drums.


Elisa Ambrogio’s elegant sound paired well with the band’s violin, guitar, and soft drum components.


An emotive Ambrogio captivated the audience.

Next up was Elisa Ambrogio, a Connecticut native from Marlborough. An avid Uconn fan growing up, Ambrogio now specializes in her own creative brand of progressive rock. Utilizing the traditionally folk-based sound of a violin and a nonconventional, ethereal lead guitar over block chords, Ambrogio created a foundation of sound that perfectly supported her own delicate vocals. For the band, the concert was just as much about the music as it was about the performance and the art. A vivacious spectacle, Ambrogio even played the guitar with a rope of metal bells in place of a pick to wrap up the set.


Lead vocalist Drew Citron’s glistening sound brought listeners to a new place.


Beverly filled the room with energy and excitement.

Thriving off of the energy provided by their predecessors, Beverly kept the rhythm going with ease. Tackling both lead guitar and vocals, frontwoman Drew Citron took the crowd on a journey of summery synth-rock that made the sub-zero temperatures outside seem like it was just a bad dream. Between Citron’s effortless style and the clear chemistry between the band members, it was obvious that those in attendance were being treated to something special. The set was a mix of songs from Beverly’s breakout album ‘Careers‘ – including crowd favorite ‘Honey Do‘ – and songs from their upcoming album that will be released in May. After the show, we had the chance to ask a few questions about their next album and Citron assured that it would be even better than their first. From the few teasers heard during the show, we now can’t wait to get our hands on the record for our summertime playlists (especially when we won’t have to trek through arctic temperatures to hear some great music). However cold it was, the weather couldn’t hold us back from experiencing a great show.

Words by Dani Wrubel // Photos by Meredith Atkinson

For more information on any of the bands, check them out online:
Elisa Ambrogio
The Merks

For continued event coverage, music reviews, and more, stay tuned to WHUS 91.7 FM and whus.org.