The Vermont Cynic

FallFest attracts fans, makes new ones

Allie O'Connor and Kelly Duggan

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Fog swirled through the streams of blue and purple lights, illuminating the instruments and equipment on the stage. Students cheered as silhouettes emerged on stage.

UVM Program Board’s annual FallFest concert took place Oct. 19 at the Patrick Gym. This year’s show opened with student band Father Figuer, followed by Frankie Cosmos and headliner Dr. Dog. 

“I’m excited to see what tonight is like,” first-year Shannon O’Kelly said before the show began. “I wasn’t going to come ‘cause I didn’t recognize the bands, but I thought I’d check it out and have a good time with friends.”

In recent years, FallFest has hosted hip-hop headliners such as the Ying-Yang Twins and Vince Staples.

Junior UPB member Cole Frangiosa typically works on operations for UPB, but for the concert he was put on crowd control.

“I think tonight’s been pretty successful,” he said. “We didn’t sell out, but attendance is around 2000.”

While UPB member Sean Brewer, a sophomore, didn’t know the exact attendance of this year’s event, he mentioned that they’d sold out in previous years.

Father Figuer, comprised of juniors Erin White, Elise Albertini, Caroline Franks and Charity Beckert, kicked off the night with a few slow, personal songs.

Several fans in the center of the crowd occasionally cheered wildly for individual band members, drawing grins and waves from the musicians.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Franks said in between songs, tuning her guitar and looking out at the steadily building crowd. “There are so many people to talk to.”

Some students in attendance, while unfamiliar with Father Figuer’s music, were excited to see what they had in store.

“We’re definitely here for the experience, even though we haven’t heard of them before,” first-year Jillian Rathman said.

First-year Caitlin Covello said she didn’t need to know the music to have a good time.

“I know a ton of people who didn’t want to come since they didn’t know the band,”  sophomore Charlotte McCarthy said. “Obviously it’s exciting if you know them already, but I’m just as happy discovering a band and experiencing something new.”

Frankie Cosmos was on next, dazzling students with her vocals and singer-songwriter charm.

Students were still entering the gym as a layer of fog enveloped the stage. Dr. Dog’s set began with a pounding drum beat and uproarious cheers.

“Welcome to Catamount country, folks,” vocalist Scott McKinnen said. The audience swayed and head-nodded to the Philadelphia-based band’s neo-psychedelic sounds. Each track escalated into a sing-along chorus.

“Dr. Dog killed it,” Brewer said. “They have such great stage presence. They know how to keep a crowd entertained. They’ve got it all.”

Blue-shirted members of UPB, including senior Emily LaFleur,  could be spotted throughout the gym and in the lobby, as well as in the area designated as the “ChillZone,” a quiet room where students could rest during the event. Free water and snacks were available to anyone who needed a break.

“We’ve been trying to cater to all different needs,” LaFleur said.  “But this is the most dancing I’ve seen at a show.”

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FallFest attracts fans, makes new ones