Tampa ladies bring the snap, crackle and rock
Meeting your favorite band is a fickle task. It involves so many variables: Timing. Velvet ropes. Security guards. Grumpy moods. But one thing always works: Rice Krispies treats.
By customizing the childhood classic, college students Kristin Buechel and Katie Reynolds have met more than 75 of their favorite rock groups. They start with an 8-by-8-inch Rice Krispies Treat square, decorate it with icing depicting the band‚Äôs album cover or a song title and present it to the musicians when they‚Äôre in town for a show.
The women call their creations Rice Krispy Cakes, and their Web site catalogs the roster of bands they‚Äôve met: Fall Out Boy. The All-American Rejects. Plain White T‚Äôs.
Here's an example of a cake they made for Fall Out Boy...
After the jump, get the rest of Dalia Colon's story on Buechel and Reynolds, and see the cakes they made for New Found Glory, Saosin, Tokio Hotel and more.
With Buechel at Florida Southern College in Lakeland and Reynolds at the University of South Florida in Tampa, the friends meet in Reynolds‚Äô South Tampa kitchen on weekends to make their cakes. They recently cooked for the White Tie Affair, who opened for Lady Gaga at the Ritz Ybor.
But sorry, no goodies for Gaga.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre not into the whole pop top-40 scene,‚Äù said Reynolds, 21.
The ladies say Rice Krispy Cakes work better than traditional cakes because they can withstand the Florida heat. They made their first Krispy Cake in January 2007 when alt-rockers Kill Hannah came to The Garage in St. Pete, and they now make one for nearly every show they attend in Tampa Bay and Orlando. They buy tickets for the concert, hang around the venue in the afternoon when the bands are accessible during soundcheck, hand over the cake and return in the evening to watch the performance. They‚Äôve never failed to get a cake to a band, or at least to the group‚Äôs manager.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not really for them to eat. It‚Äôs just something for us to give them that‚Äôs different than anything they‚Äôve ever gotten before. But a lot of them do eat them, so apparently they taste good,‚Äù said Buechel, 19.
In return, all they ask is for a photo with the musicians and the cake.
Usually the bands laugh. Sometimes they offer the women upgraded tickets. The duo‚Äôs most intricate project was a three-cake series chronicling songs from three Taking Back Sunday albums, which earned them an invite onto the band‚Äôs tour bus to explain their creation on video.
Still, there are unforeseen setbacks. Cash Colligan, bassist for the The Cab, remembers the cake his posse received but says he never tasted it. (He‚Äôs lactose intolerant, and butter is one of the three ingredients in Rice Krispies Treats.) ‚ÄúBut all the guys get everything that‚Äôs given to them,‚Äù he said, ‚Äúand eat it with pleasure.‚Äù
The rule is one cake per band, although each member of Yellowcard got his own section of the masterpiece. If a band they like returns to town, they decorate another cake.
On a few occasions, the women have made Rice Krispy Cakes for non-musicians, including comedian Brian Regan, YouTube star Mitchell Davis and some acquaintances. Special orders start at $10 and are available through their Web site.
Colligan said that while Rice Krispy Cakes are thoughtful, all a band really wants is friendly conversation ‚Äî something the women practice.
‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt attack them like we‚Äôre 10-year-olds,‚Äù Buechel said.
Added Reynolds, ‚ÄúThey‚Äôre just people, and a lot of people don‚Äôt treat them like that.‚Äù