The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Del Water Gap Brings FallFest to New Heights

Annalisa Madonia
Del Water Gap headlines Fall Fest held in Roy L. Patrick Gymnasium Sept. 22.

Electric isn’t a word most UVM students would typically use to describe Patrick Gymnasium, but it was certainly an accurate descriptor for last Friday night. 

On the evening of Sept. 21, students descended on the building for the long-anticipated annual FallFest, hosted by the UVM Program Board. Tickets, which sold for $14 per student, were easily purchased online, avoiding last year’s tech crashes.

Students’ motivations for attending the concert were mixed. 

“Everyone else was going and it’s right across from where I live, so I am a sheep,” explained first-year Rosemary Paxson, while waiting for the opening act. 

The secrecy of the headliner caused some speculation among students, but the announcement of Del Water Gap was generally well-received. 

“Everyone thought it was going to be Noah Kahan. I was just stoked to hear it wasn’t,” said first-year Eadhmonn Odell. 

Others were more enthusiastic. 

“I am so excited. I literally became a fan three days ago when I heard that Del Water Gap was the artist for FallFest,” said first-year Audrey Powers. 

Under moody blue and purple lights, Del Water Gap took the stage.

Full of emotions laid bare, his songs were intimate and soft—some slow, others fast-paced and energetic—and audiences sang, swayed and head-bopped along accordingly. At one point, he donned a cowboy hat gifted by an audience member.

Del Water Gap is the indie rock solo project of Connecticut-born, Brooklyn-based artist S. Holden Jaffe—yes, it’s just one guy—but it initially began as a band formed with singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers before the two opted to pursue individual projects.

His songs explore themes of romance and regret, of dimly lit conversations, of words left unsaid and memories that can’t ever be re-lived. Today, he has nearly 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Del Water Gap’s electrifying performance was preceded by an equally exhilarating set from UVM’s own Comatose Kids, a self-described “alternative funk rock” band composed of juniors Kai Pasciak, Sawyer Bouley, Yann Calderwood and sophomore Tobias Siegel. This March, they were the runner-up at UVM Program Board’s Battle of the Bands.

For some, the concert offered them the opportunity to be introduced to these artists for the first time. 

“I wasn’t super familiar with either of them but the bands were really good. I just really enjoyed it,” said first-year Cooper Powell. “It was really good.”

Members of Comatose Kids were excited to take on the larger stage and bigger audience. 

We were initially very happy to take this show as a way to get more exposure, but once we got on stage, we were just having a good time,” said Calderwood. 

The large pull of the student body that FallFest facilitates allowed the artists to enjoy new experiences. 

“Playing, writing and performing music is a passion we all share, and seeing large crowds receive it well is just as encouraging as it is exhilarating,” Bouley added.

The group performed several songs, including their newly-released single “Clouds,” which is now available on Spotify. During their hour-long set, their music became progressively more eclectic—the beats got heavier, vocals got harsher and the strobe lights intensified—and the energy inside the gym only grew. 

“It was a great atmosphere. The energy was incredible—a lot of people were really getting into it,” said Powers. 


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About the Contributor
Annalisa Madonia
Annalisa Madonia, Co-Photo Editor
(She/her)  Annalisa Madonia is a sophomore majoring in public communication with minors in food systems, applied design and nutrition and food sciences. She joined the Cynic as a staff photographer before taking on the role of photo editor. In her free time, she loves to combine her passion for baking and photography with food photography. Email [email protected] to get in contact with Annalisa.