May 30, 2020

Froshstock sends sound waves through freshman dorm

Given the pleasant weather of Saturday, the main lounge of the Travers and Wolfe dormitories seemed like an unlikely gathering place. Ultimately, students were drawn in from games of Frisbee and outdoor studying by the powerful sounds of rock ‘n’ roll emanating through the lounge’s open doors. The bright sky and warm temperature didn’t deter students from attending the indoor concert Froshstock.

Froshstock, featuring seven acts free of charge and sponsored by the Office of Residence Life, was well-attended by upperclassmen and underclassmen alike as well as by students from other local colleges and universities. Several of the performers managed to entertain, while two left audience members mesmerized with their refined musical abilities and raw energy.

Gene Reda, sophomore communication studies major and Community Advisor in the Wolfe dormitory, organized Froshstock. Reda used Froshstock as an opportunity to expose students at the College to a variety of music. “There’s not really a good outlet on campus for good music, aside from the Rat,” Reda said. Reda’s distinct tastes in music were represented in his selections for Froshstock.

The closing band, Adam Streicher and the Molotov Cocktails, a power trio hailing from West Milford, N.J., left a standing crowd silent between songs and guitar changes, anxiously waiting for the next song. The crowd was wholly won over by the band’s homegrown rock and blues-inspired sound, featuring infectious melodies, soaring vocals, an intricate rhythm section and captivating stage presence. At the close of the concert, the Molotov Cocktails succeeded in shaking the bleary-eyed crowd with pure rock revelry.

After a brief introduction, the Molotov Cocktails launched into “8 a.m.,” a song about the doldrums of the working week and the life of a working musician. “None of my new stuff ain’t got hooks, and my old shit ain’t got soul,” Streicher crooned, to the tapping feet and bobbing heads of enthused spectators.

This song was followed by a flawless, gapless transition into “Guilty Valentine,” a song about a scorned lover seeking redemption. “It all rose to my brain, and I’m really quite insane,” Streicher sang. “My senseless self will kill me til the day that I die.”

Other crowd pleasers included “Sentimental Overstatement,” a blues rock blast from the past with the feel of a Beatles B-side from the “Rubber Soul” era; “Puddle,” a jazzy tune about “a small body of water,” that was punctuated by an incendiary guitar solo; and “Do You Think You Can Save Me,” a spacious rock song with a marching bass and drum line.

Conspicuous Consumption, a ska punk rock band from Monroe, N.J., filled the venue with blaring brass, pulsating drums, slap bass and precise rhythm and lead guitar. The horn section, featuring trumpet, tenor saxophone and alto saxophone, captivated the audience’s attention with its intricate musical movements and choreography.

The band entertained with songs such as “Age is But a Number,” which tells the story of a young man pursuing a woman of 29. “There’s just one thing you should remember,” Kwame Korkor, frontman and alto saxophone player, sang. “Age is but a number.”

Other upbeat songs, including “CMent Kids,” “One Long Night” and “Lovesick Soldier Boy,” featured the same raw energy, two-part harmonies and rapid fire vocal deliveries popularized by bands such as Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto.

Of the six members of Conspicuous Consumption, only two are students at the College. The band put on a command performance, having only practiced the night prior. Despite an unapparent lack of rehearsal, Conspicuous Consumption, with a distinct blend of ska mixed with reggae and funk, produced a sound that complimented the bright, sunlit skies.

French Girls, a pop-punk band, played a variety of guitar-driven songs typified by acts such as Taking Back Sunday and Midtown. The band’s live act was solidified, showing signs of extended playing experience and musical character. Both the rhythm and lead guitarists worked together to establish the driving force behind the band’s songs.

Other acts included No Regrets, a ska/pop-punk band; Mucus with an Eye, an ambient metal band that played a set consisting of one synthesized extended metal jam; Spot On, a guitar duo; and Head Traffic, a thrash metal/hardcore band. Head Traffic buried the audience under an onslaught of well-constructed sound consisting of an intense rhythm section contrasted by expansive leads, similar to those played by The Edge of U2.

“This is definitely the coolest atmosphere we’ve ever played in,” Victor Frat, vocalist of Head Traffic, said.

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