Bagpipes sound off at Jorgensen

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers puts on a Scottish rock extravaganza in Jorgensen on November 10, 2016. They combine traditional pop music with rock elements which gives the music a modern spin. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

After two days of virtual quiet from students walking on the sidewalks to class, Scottish rock ensemble, The Red Hot Chili Pipers, brought to campus a much needed respite performing at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts Thursday evening.

The kilt-toting pipers produced a fantastic rock show. Their high energy was felt throughout Jorgensen and had the audience cheering and laughing along to some jokes in between songs.

Their trademark sound called “Bagrock,” is exactly as one might imagine it is. Their sound enlivened songs like “Clocks” by Coldplay, “We Will Rock You” by Queen and “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. The band is rather famous for their mashup of “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple and “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC.

Playing this early in the night, it became very apparent how talented the musicians on pipe were, replicating the opening bridge to “Thunderstruck,” a masterful execution of the notes, which were clear, distinctive and just as lightning fast.

Coupling their high energy set were also tracks such as “Amazing Grace.” Even though the song is rather somber and began that way in the performance, it transitioned into a feel good version one might compare to the light hearted sound of some Brett Dennen tracks.

“I thought the show was pretty fun. I have never been to a bagpipe show before, so this was pretty fun,” said Wyatt Mund, a first semester digital media design major.

The band formed in 2002, but really hit stardom in 2007 after appearing on the popular show “When Will I Be Famous” in the United Kingdom. From there the band has experienced continual success. They released their first music video back in September, covering the song “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen. Their most recent album was “Music for the Kilter Generation.” Their second album “Bagrock to the Masses” went platinum in the Scotland and their DVD “BLAST Live!” went triple platinum in Scotland.

The Red Hot Chili Pipers pull their talent from Scotland primarily, but boast members from all across the globe. Collectively, the band’s talent holds four music degrees from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, according to a press release.

Many concertgoers enjoyed the mental release the concert had to offer. What had been a few days of high tension and exhaustion was met with smiles and good feeling resultant from the performance by the band.

“I think this was pretty refreshing. They were doing covers mainly, so it was really cool to hear the reimagining of those tracks with bag pipes,” said Drew Marina, a third semester psychology major.


Matthew Gilbert is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.gilbert@uconn.edu.