By Ohad Amram Staff Writer
Hofstra University students stormed the intramural fields Saturday, May 4th, for Hofstra Concert’s spring Music Fest. The highly anticipated acts delivered memorable performances fully engaging the audience. While the main stage housed the acts that were advertised on flyers, the side stage offered all of the acts that competed in a ‘battle of the bands’ competition. If the performers were not enough of an incentive to attend Music Fest, then the rides and free hot dogs and hamburgers were sure to be the kicker.
Among the more memorable openers were Twenty One Pilots and Joey Bada$$. Twenty One Pilots, the alternative rap-rock duo, sported hooded outfits draped in skeletons and redefined the outdoor concert experience. As opposed to indoor shows where audiences can feel a more intimate connection with the audience, outdoor shows tend to lose that close-knit feeling. However, Twenty One Pilots broke that barrier by hopping the barricade and taking their drum kits to the center of the crowd. Playing tribal beats, the eclectic and very dynamic duo stunned the Hofstra student body. “They put on one of the most entertaining shows I have ever seen, and it was completely free,” said Max Knoblauch, a junior, after Twenty One Pilots’ performance.
Joey Bada$$ fronted the stage with his rap posse, Pro Era. The group engaged the audience with ad libs to Joey’s songs, but Bada$$ did not miss one beat. The Brooklyn native had nothing but love for Hofstra University, at one point shouting, “This is how all shows should be. I’m lovin’ the energy from ya’ll,” prior to delving into his verse from the song “1 Train.” It proved only a matter of time before the rap collective had the audience cheering “Beast Coast” and other catchy, pun-filled terms, encouraging both the young rapper and Pro Era with their enthusiasm.
Host Erin Willet showcased her talents not only as an alluring host for the event, but also as the talented singer she is. The Voice star has continued to make Hofstra proud, regularly returning to play shows on campus and remaining friends with the Hofstra Concerts committee. Belting out lyrics to her songs with a confident stage presence, Erin proved herself to be a fantastic choice as both a host and a performing act.
As the afternoon reached evening and the audience began growing to its largest crowd of the day, Music Fest’s headliner, Third Eye Blind, took to the stage to an overflow of cheers and adrenaline. Opening with the song “Narcolepsy,” the band made it apparent that they hadn’t played a show in years; however, they embraced the opportunity to perform for Hofstra. “We’re currently recording our album in San Francisco, but thanks so much for having us,” said front man, Stephan Jenkins, before continuing to play such favorites as “Never Let You Go” and “How’s It Gonna Be?” The crowd began chanting in unison and every other audience member had a cellular device handy to capture the footage. The nostalgia grew immense as Third Eye Blind and the audience fed off of each other’s live energy. “Third Eye Blind brought me back to simpler times, of nights around the campfire and carefree summers,” reminisced senior Joe Tonelli.
To conclude their set, Third Eye Blind pretended to end with their hit single, “Jumper,” which united all audience members. Friends hugged friends and danced together in support of a terrific spring festival. Just as the band left the stage after this jam, they quickly reassembled once more for an encore. “Semi-Charmed Life” officially concluded Third Eye Blinds’ setlist, after which singer/songwriter Jenkins said, “Thank you so much Hofstra University, we hope to see each and every one of you again. May peace be with you.” Music Fest 2013 will undoubtedly remain among the most unforgettable Hofstra University shindigs of all time.
Photography Courtesy Of Katelyn Harrop/The Chronicle and Zach Mongillo/The Chronicle