By Camron Meyn
A view of the stage at Fall Fest. Photo by Cameron Meyn.
Going to big social events and rambunctious parties aren’t outings I've ever been keen on; often the exhaustive and intoxicating events that take place leave a solitary man such as myself tired. I always found the parties attended by the people back in my high school to be overly decadent, filled with people who'd bully others and turn turtles over on their back for laughs. Quite frankly, they were the last people I'd like to associate with.
But here, at Purchase, things are different. The people I once detested have now gone elsewhere, far from Purchase. Here, people celebrate differently, through means those previously mentioned would find unconventional: music and art.
Such an occasion is Fall Fest, one of the most salient events on Purchase's calendar. It’s host to a score of music, a cacophony of sound, one that remains ever-so-popular with the many students of Purchase.
As someone who a) didn't go to many events during high school and b) wanted something to do on a Saturday night, I was assigned to cover the occasion. So, on the 20th of November, me and my good associate, Mr. Zack, went to Fall Fest.
For the two of us, there wasn't much pre-gaming involved, unless one considers the consumption of one and a half energy drinks and some Hub pizza pre-gaming. Mr. Zack only consumed sushi, chips, and an unsweetened iced tea before our night out
Even before we entered the Stood, we could hear the sound-check of the first band to play emanating through the air.
"I've never been to Fall Fest before," Mr. Zack quipped.
"Me neither," I replied.
I was fully expecting the Stood to be packed, shoulder-to-shoulder, with Doc Martens wearers and other free spirits. Instead, when we arrived, the two-piece band were setting up their instruments, with about half a baker's dozen of people hanging around the mural-festooned building.
As we waited for the show to begin, I beat Mr. Zack quite a few times at Crus'n' USA, despite the shoddy 4-speed that I was forced to deal with in my copyright-complaint Corvette.
"I think the show's about to start," I said after one of our games. We quit the competition to listen and admire the first band that played.
Their music consisted of entrancing, but haunting synths, which was accompanied by eerie vocals. It was a similar feeling to when one reads about the Voyager probes and realizes how insignificant the human race is in opposition to the size of the universe. The music echoed and shook the Stood and my person in an impressive vibrato.
Their act was followed by a rapper. I did not get his name, but I assure you, he could’ve easily passed for one of hip hop's great and good. The rhythmic flow and lyrical ebbing of his music would make even the best Queen pseudointellectual tap their foot.
After the rapper had finished, there was a long pause in between tunes, as the next artist took their time to set up. They wanted to ensure their sound was perfect; in spite of the ear-shattering mic feedback, they kept at it; they wanted to make sure they sounded perfect.
Although the Stood was largely unoccupied during this fine night, I never felt overwhelmed or annoyed at the musicians or the staff; in fact, I was actually at ease during this. Me and Mr. Zack were able to enjoy the music AND each other’s company; there was never the feeling that we had to dedicate our beings to the performing artists; he even beat me at Marvel vs. Capcom 2 without him moving backwards.
But simultaneously, I feel that there could’ve been more students, and even staff, that could’ve come. Sure, the Stood wasn't entirely desolate, but I wish we knew of Fall Fest sooner. When you're in college and have no money to enjoy much of anything, something that's simultaneously free AND on campus seems like a no-brainer.
Regardless, I believe not enough people came to enjoy these great artists. They are the 99%; that is, bands and musicians who haven't made it big yet, who haven't rubbed shoulders and made deals with the 1% they admire oh-so-much. Any exposure they get is invaluable. A new fan who can spread the word is something more.
Even though me and Mr. Zack left Fall Fest early, it's easy to say that the two of us had a good time. My initial fears of being crowded were not made material, and the laid-back environment of the Stood, with its murals and slogans along the walls, made me feel as if I was in an entirely different plane of existence. And for something as deceptively simple as a small concert, no higher praise is applicable.
Editor's Note: This article was written in the "Gonzo" Style of journalism, which, according to Masterclass, features the author as its protagonist, simultaneously experiencing and reporting on a story from a first-person point of view. This style of journalism was popularized by Hunter S. Thompson.