Classic Signals: Outdoor country concert held in May 1979

In the midst of the harsh winter weather of 2015, students can’t help but hope for spring to come sooner. In the Tuesday, May 8, 1979 issue of The Signal, the College celebrated the flourishing spring and warm weather with an all-day outdoor country music festival held on Quimby’s Prairie.

Students frolic in the grass outside of Green Hall during the concert. (Kimberly Ilkowski / Features Editor)
Students frolic in the grass outside of Green Hall during the concert. (Kimberly Ilkowski / Features Editor)

A brilliant spring day with temperatures nearing the 80s, fresh air and foot stompin’ music provided by three country-rock bands combined for a perfect afternoon on Quimby’s prairie Sunday.

Frisbees and spirits soared, and even campus police seemed to enjoy themselves as a well-controlled, mellow crowd lounged on the grassy areas between Green and Holman halls.

Sponsored by the College Union Board (CUB) concerts committee, the country music festival was the first outdoor concert at Trenton State College in several years.

Mad Fables, a five-man rhythm and blues type band, kicked off the musical events shortly after the 1 p.m. starting time. Their set was uneventful, and received little response from the still growing audience. Estimates had put the number of people attending between 300-400 for the all afternoon event.

Mad Fables’ set was short and totally instrumental, covering a fairly wide range of musical style, with its root sound being in the country-rock boogie that was to be the day’s precedent.

Following a somewhat lengthy intermission (though most of the crowd didn’t seem to mind the delay), the musical entertainment continued as the Molly Cribb band took the stage hammering out a cover of an Outlaws song.

A Pub favorite, Cribb played what was to be the longest set of the day, doing mostly covers of Southern rock band tunes which brought positive responses from the audience.

The crowd began to get on its feet as Cribb played the Charlie Daniels Bands’ “South’s Gonna do it Again,” the Grateful Dead’s “Truckin,” and Lynrd Skynrd’s anthem “Free Bird.”

The band played multiple encores, the last of which was jumping cover of the Outlaws’ “Green Grass and High Tides.”

Crowd spirit stayed at a peak during the wait for Kinderhook Creek. Many students said that the concert was “the best thing that ever happened to this college,” continuing that it helped to bring people on campus together in a way that no one thought was possible.

Kinderhook, a popular New Jersey country-rock band, concluded the musical entertainment with an hour (or less) set, as the sun began to sink behind Cromwell Hall.

Kinderhook, still awaiting a recording contract, mixed original material among their famous cover versions of Jackson Browne and Marshall Tucker Band, among many others.

Some members of the crowd were obviously disappointed at the brevity of Kinderhook’s performance, remembering the two-and-a-half hour plus outdoor jam they did at Rider College on an overcast day last spring.

Kinderhook was forced to leave after their short set to make their regular Sunday night appearance in the rock room of the Royal Manor North in New Brunswick.

Kinderhook got its usual warm response from the audience, many of whom danced joyfully in the setting sun.

The audience was well behaved and obviously clean, as the prairie retained its normal tidy look following the concert. CUB personnel were very helpful for those who needed reminding as to where the trash receptacles were.

On the whole, the CUB country music festival was a huge success and was almost a guaranteed good time for those who attended.

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