Grab dinner and a show

With the first week of school behind you, what could be better than kicking off the weekend with barbecue, beer and live music? Maq, a band comprised of UM students, will have all the answers for you at Smoke’t Southern Kitchen and Tap this Saturday.

Maq’s leading men are Quinn Carson and Matt Alderman, who started the band in their sophomore year. Although they met and started playing together in high school in Illinois, Maq wasn’t formed until 2007. Alderman, originally an economics major at the University of Illinois, “discovered his love for music when we started playing together,” Carson said. While the duo was spending time writing music and playing together in Illinois between semesters, they decided to independently record and produce their first EP in Carson’s basement.

“We made about 1,000 copies of the EP, and now it’s on iTunes,” Carson said.

Eventually, Alderman transferred to UM and is now studying economics.

“We like to say that our music is ‘upbeat acoustic pop/rock’- it’s energetic, light, bright and fun. Matt comes from a pop/country direction, whereas I bring aspects of rock, jazz and funk,” said Carson, a media writing and production major in the Frost School of Music.

The band draws from a number of influences, including Guster, Maroon 5, The Eagles and Tom Petty. Although Maq’s songs are written primarily by Carson and Alderman, their band includes John Splithoff on bass, David Lukens on keyboard, Eric Lemberg on lead guitar and Quinn’s younger brother, Neil Carson, on drums. Michef, the opening act of the evening, includes UM students Erik Anderson, Paul Murray and Matt Carroll.

Maq and Michef may be the first bands to play at Smoke’t this semester, but they certainly will not be the last. Robert Richardson, barkeeper and event planner at Smoke’t, started a weekly live music series every Thursday and Saturday. An eclectic mix of bands are lined up to play in the coming months, and audiences are eager to listen, especially with two-for-one draft beers and well drinks every night from 9 p.m. to close.

Rumor has it that Smoke’t could be the new student hangout of choice- especially with beer pong Mondays, karaoke Wednesdays and live music weekly. With the conveniently close location, drink specials, delectable food and entertainment from Maq and Michef, you won’t want to miss this event.

Carey Goldenberg may contacted at