Lylak, Johnny Conqueroo bring stress relief as UK nears finals week


Bands Lylak and Johnny Conqueroo perform for students on Dec. 3, 2018. 

Hailey Peters

To bring a rocking and refreshing night to campus during dead week, WRFL Radio Lexington held a free concert in the Grand Ballroom featuring the bands Lylak and Johnny Conqueroo.

Sporting unique combinations of violin, electric guitar and vocals, Lylak brought an innovative sound that has become key to Lexington culture to the students of UK. With the doors to the ballroom left open, students freely joined and left at various points throughout the concert. Playing their recorded music during breaks to keep the sound flow, Lylak ensured a total musical experience that exposed their sound and helped students forget about the stress of upcoming finals.

“We are UK. UK is in all of us,” Lylak frontman Gideon Maki said. “Being here with WRFL and headlining with Johnny Conqueroo in this beautiful building is a treat.”

Rolling into Lylak’s set, curious passersby wandered in to take in the music and connect with each other. The break that the music brought in the usual routine of things left students with lasting peace and enjoyments that they hope to continue to bring into the final days of the semester.

Attendants came in standing and eventually laid down on the ground after deciding to stay for the show. Maki commented that the atmosphere was “chill, cozy, and gave them a sense of belonging and community.” Because most of the members having some connection to UK, this was not a surprising feeling for any of the band members.

Johnny Conqueroo played its set immediately following the conclusion of Lylak. Their lively, upbeat, funky sound largely contrasted the chill, relaxing sound that the previous band had played. The crowd changed their demeanor along with the new sound, going from lying on their stomachs and nodding their heads to sitting upright and tapping their feet to the beat.

“Johnny Conqueroo is great,” said attendant Joe Shiner, a non-UK student. “I hear them on [WRFL] and that’s why I came. I don’t know the other band, but they sounded really good, too. This kind of music is great and underrated.”

The newly energized crowd accurately reflected the shift in the mood of the ballroom. From relaxed to re-energized, the concert was a great hit among attendants, and most agreed that it could not have come at a more perfect time.

Amy Pershin, junior philosophy and Spanish double major, commended the concert on its effects to help students unwind at such a stressful time on campus.

“It’s kind of nice to step back and take a breath,” Pershin said. “I feel like everyone on campus can pretty much agree that this semester has been exceptionally difficult, and things like this make us all realize that life is so much more than our final grades. For that, I thank [the bands].”