Phoenix-based band rocks Campus Center

Carl E. Littleberry Jr., Reporter

The Bakersfield College quad is usually a spot for students to kick back and relax while enjoying down time between classes. Early in the school year, the quad was a hotbed of student traffic and activity that generally consisted of short conversations and quick stints to the cafeteria.

Occasionally, however, the quad doubles as a stage for talented individuals to showcase their talent to the student body.

On Aug. 26, BC hosted an up-and-coming band from Phoenix, Arizona known as Luxxe. The members include: lead vocalist Seth Smades, 25; bass player Tracy Haddad, 25; flute and keyboard player, Nullen Hassan, 24; and finally, drummer Devon Quartullo, 23.

According to their manager and former solo artist Gabe Kabanda, 37, Luxxe was a group he came across while looking for a fill-in for Nova and the Experience who were originally supposed to be the focal point of his tour. “Even though my plans fell through a bit, Luxxe is still a great band and our reception here proved it,” Kabanda stated.

Blending a mixture of pop and alternative styles, Luxxe drew quite a large gathering in the quad. Students who were in attendance for the event may have noticed the familiarity to the songs chosen by Kabanda. Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home” was one of the songs performed, which drew plenty of applause from the crowd because of its relevance and name value.

After a few more covers by the band, students were treated to a few original songs that in Hassan’s opinion, “Made people realize we are a band, we make music, that’s just what we do.” Songs such as “Love Me” or “ Say That You Want Me” immediately captured the attention of the crowd and even one notable fan attempted the wave with no success.

Nearing the end of their performance, Kabanda took over lead singing duties to close out the show. He shocked the whole audience when he introduced a BC student telling him to, “come up and party with me on stage.” The student was BC sophomore Anthony Rodriguez. Rodriguez, already known around campus for his unconventional skill to play the drums while also being legally blind, came up from his seat in the audience to join the band. Easily drawing raucous chants from the crowd, Anthony, although apprehensive at first, accepted Kabandas invitation and joined him for three songs. BC students immediately got up and roared at the sight of Rodriguez masterfully and elegantly hitting every note perfectly in unison with Luxxe’s bandmates.

Shortly after, Smades spoke of Anthony’s performance by saying, “This is why we do music. It’s not for the eyes, it’s not about what you see in front of you. We love music because it’s about feelings and what’s in the heart. He is just a prime example of you see more without seeing.” Even Kabanda had to admit Anthony stole the show and brought an energy that was well needed to close out a great event.

Luxxe will be on tour on the West Coast until they resume their duties at Vans Warped Tour. A detailed list of their tour schedule can be found at

More information about the band and Kabandas non-profit work can also be found on Facebook by searching “Epic Proportions Tour.”