Thursday night’s Acoustic Strip at Mandalay Bay was not only the last show of the year for the intimate courtyard inside House of Blues, but also potentially the last show in Las Vegas for indie-pop transplants The Study Band.
The pair from Pennsylvania is ready to move on in search of new experiences—the same reasoning behind last year’s move to Vegas. “We lived in Philly, and it was this sort of cocoon where everyone was just nesting with their parents. It was too safe,” explains singer Eric Morelli. “We had to leave, so we figured, screw it, we’ll just drive across the country.”
The band’s short stint here has indeed been filled with change. The duo, consisting of Morelli and keyboardist Jack Roberts, was initially a quartet. “It was a number of mistakes, which we’re all sort of guilty for,” Morelli says, referring to the lineup attrition. “Being in a band is just such a hard commitment.” Part of the problem? The housing arrangement. “We lived in the same house, in the same room, because there are no rooms in our house, and we thought it was cool at first,” says Roberts, adding with a laugh, “I’m never doing that again.” The band has since added temporary members Preston Himebauch (keys) and Frank Napoli (drums).
Despite its outsider status, The Study Band found itself fully integrated into the local scene, even landing a three-and-a-half-month Griffin residency. “They really embraced us as much as we embraced them,” Roberts says of the Vegas bands with whom they shared those Wednesday nights Downtown. “There are so many good musicians here, and we got to play with the best.”
Morelli and Roberts now have their sights sets on another residency—in a foreign country. “We applied for a residency in London,” says Morelli, revealing The Study Band’s latest goal: again breaking out of its comfort zone. “That’s how we learned everything we did here.”