Hana Pestle plays at Rocky Top

By on September 21, 2011

Hana Pestle is young enough to be mistaken for an average college student. But having released a full album titled “This Way” in 2009, she is far from average.

Pestle, 22, a Montana native, performed in the Rocky Top Student Center on Friday, Sept. 16 in an event sponsored by QU After Dark.

The show was one of the first in an eight-month tour that will span to colleges and universities across the country, and was particularly exciting given the fact that Pestle’s EP “For The Sky” is scheduled to be released on iTunes in the next two weeks.

According to Pestle, fans should check out her songs “Pinch Me,” “Trying to Get Used To You” and “For The Sky” once her new album is released.

The singer-songwriter is a talented musician, with songs ranging from easy listening to sinister, but it can hardly do justice to the happy personality and effortlessly enjoyable experience of hearing her during a live performance.

After enjoying the rush of large crowds while touring with musicians such as Joshua Radin, Blues Traveler and Collective Soul, Pestle said she’s looking forward to exploring the “completely different world” that college campuses represent.

According to Pestle, her current tour is “just getting to a really intense part,” but she’s still been able to enjoy the “intimate” feeling that comes from singing to smaller audiences, as well as enjoying traveling to new places.

In a post on her official website, Pestle wrote that she hiked Quinnipiac’s legendary Sleeping Giant mountain on Friday morning, which was a much needed break from her hectic schedule.

According to Pestle, it brought back some of the “fresh air” that she has missed since moving from Montana to Los Angeles to pursue her music career.

That air and environment has provided some of the inspiration behind Pestle’s musical dreams, as well as her lyrics. But her true inspiration comes from her parents, Pestle said, who were “always listening to really cool ‘80s music.”

“Artists like Incubus really sparked my interest with their interesting and inventive guitar parts,” Pestle said.

But she also credits artists varying from Radiohead to Ani DiFranco, and even literary greats Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson for her melodic and thought-provoking songs.

Freshman Brooke Basiliere wrote down memorable lyrics during the performance to later use as her Facebook status.

“It was amazing, I got chills,” Basiliere said of Pestle’s performance.

Lynelle Ferreira, QUAD’s performance chair, originally saw Pestle perform at the National Association for Campus Activities last spring.

“I loved the acoustic sound. I thought she sounded really good,” Ferreira said.

It was easy to get swept up in the relaxing music and the show’s humorous vibe, because even during the darkest of songs, Pestle was there with her fresh and smiling face.

With her stage presence and ability to generate such a welcoming atmosphere, it’s hard to imagine Pestle as a self-proclaimed “choir geek.”

And yet here she is just a few years past her high school life, finding happiness and fulfillment as a professional musician, and spreading that joy to Quinnipiac.

“I hope I come back,” Pestle said.

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