CASE: Indie vibes ring out in Chicago concert


Roman Treuthart

Cale Zepernick, left, and Seamus Masterson performed at the Beat Kitchen Sept. 16. A five-piece band, CASE produces music described as “urban folk” and has been together since 2014.

By Roman Treuthart, Photo Editor

A band by the name of CASE performed on Sept. 16 at the Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont. The room was dark, the performers illuminated by orange stage lights, and the crowd lit by dim string lights.  The crowd was lively, moshing and singing along to each of the band’s songs. During their final song, “Flower Bomb,” the lead singer of CASE, Cale Zepernick, Div. 865, crowd surfed.

CASE is a five-piece band consisting of Lane students Cale Zepernick, Div. 865, Jabriel Martin, Div. 852, and Noah Toritto, Div. 862. The other two members are Charlie O’Neil from Whitney Young and Seamus Masterson from Jones College Prep.

An estimated 150 students, family and fans showed up to watch the performance, surpassing the band’s hopes.

“It shattered my expectations,” Toritto said. ‘It was indescribable.”

CASE originated from a friendship that sprouted in elementary school between Zepernick and Masterson. After continuing their friendship into high school, the duo decided to combine their musical interests in 2014.

After releasing their first project in 2014, Zepernick and Masterson began pulling in other musicians to prepare for another release.

One of those people was Noah Toritto, a guitar player. Toritto said Zepernick originally came to him to help set up a studio. Zepernick then decided that he wanted to add Toritto as a guitar part on his song “Days on a Wire.”

Zepernick says he likes to classify the band’s music as “urban folk.” There is a lot of folk and rock influence,” Zepernick said. The subtle, sometimes absent bass makes the songs sound lighter, with no deep undertones.

Toritto then introduced Zepernick to Jabriel Martin, who became CASE’s trumpet player. Toritto said he thinks the addition of the trumpet helps make the band unique. “Standing out is a big part of what we strive for,” Toritto said.  “The cool part about the group is we all bring in a very different element.”

Noting that it is easier to publish music now more than ever with streaming services like Soundcloud, the band said creating a connection with listeners is always their objective.

“I think the goal is always to capture raw emotion and just feel that within the song,” Zepernick said. “There are certain songs you listen to and you just  feel it inside.”

Zepernick said that their song “Days on a Wire” exemplifies this emotion for him. They opened with it at their show at the Beat Kitchen.

The band’s next performances are at Scarefest on Oct. 28, and at the Beat Kitchen again on Jan. 6.