This past Saturday marked Fordham’s 36th annual Spring Weekend concert and allowed students, whether first or fourth-timers, to spend an unforgettable afternoon on Martyr’s Lawn with their fellow Rams.
Fordham’s own Drowsy Joy, the winner of Rodrigue Coffee House’s Battle of the Bands, kicked off the concert. The band performed a four-song set that was a combination of originals and covers. By playing both music of their own and other artists, Drowsy Joy was able to appeal to the crowd, regardless of if people had not previously heard the band perform. “It was really cool to play ‘On the Road’ for the first time live. It’s such a high energy song, and I could tell the crowd was feeling it” said Sean O’Connor, FCRH ’18, lead vocalist and guitarist for Drowsy Joy.
Being the band’s only female member, Mary Munshower, FCRH ’18, seized the opportunity to share her love of drumming with Kim, one half of the headliner duo. “It was not only an honor to open for Matt and Kim and Public, but then to get to meet them and talk music. Kim and I bonded about us both being female drummers,” Munshower said.
Following Drowsy Joy’s set, Public, a Cincinnati-based rock trio, took the stage. Having gained exposure from the local festival circuit ranging from MidPoint Music to Bunbury, the band easily won over the audience. The repetitive chorus in “Heartbeating,” Public’s newest single, allowed people — even those who were unfamiliar with the track — to provide some vocal feedback for the band.
The band’s take on “Toxic,” a Britney Spears classic, demonstrated John Vaughn’s vocal strength, Matthew Alvarado’s guitar tricks, and Ben Lapp’s powerful drum fills. Because Public previously opened for WALK THE MOON, Neon Trees and last year’s Spring Weekend headliner, Twenty One Pilots, their performance had a sound reminiscent of other indie rockers on many people’s favorite playlists.
Despite the well-received nature of both openers, the pinnacle of Saturday’s concert proved to be the headliner, Matt and Kim. This Brooklyn-based indie dance duo was welcomed with roaring applause before they reflected on their last previous experience at Rose Hill — a 2007 concert held at Rodrigue’s. After almost a decade since their last performance in the Bronx, the two embraced a bigger stage at Fordham.
After performing at popular music festivals like Bonnaroo, Firefly and Coachella, Matt and Kim certainly know how to please audiences with high energy, riotous performances. As beats dropped and beach balls bounced, those in attendance became fully immersed in the intensity of each song. The duo performed popular tracks such as “Hey Now,” “Let’s Go” and “Daylight” in addition to sampling other artists’ music that is frequently featured in a club or bar setting.
The densely-packed audience fed off of each other’s energy, which inspired the occasional crowd surf. What likely made for a headache for Public Safety was pure fun for students. As Kim entered the crowd and shook what her mama gave her, relying on audience members to hold her up, the duo proved that their energy could carry through the entire concert.
Fiona Leary, FCRH ’19, snagged a front and center spot in the audience despite not knowing what to expect for her first Spring Weekend concert experience. It made for quite the view. “What stuck out to me the most was how in sync Matt and Kim were with the audience, both completely immersed in the music. Kim wildly dancing while sunburnt students yelled the lyrics right back,” she said. “The vibes were just unmatchable.”
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