The New Paltz music scene is alive and well, and after almost three years without a concert, on Friday April 29, the New Paltz Music Collective hosted their long awaited Re-Resurrection show in SUB 100N. This spectacular event was open to New Paltz students only, and was quite the success!
After COVID-19, the Music Collective was almost forgotten, and if it wasn’t for third-year journalism major Alli Dempsey, it probably would’ve been! Assuming position as President of the club, Dempsey, along with two other E-board members completely reimagined the Music Collective and were responsible for making this event a reality.
“Music Collective has been around since 2012, and was started by students who wanted to bring bands to campus, since, at the time, the only place they could see live music was the bars with a cover,” Dempsey said. “I want to make music accessible and free to everyone, because there are a lot of amazing budding musicians that just need a stage and an audience in order to live out their musical passions. Past Music Collective shows have gotten bands beyond New Paltz, which is something I want to look into for the future.”
Time and dedication were put into deciding who would perform, and the club put it up to a vote. They decided to feature two well-known New Paltz student-run bands, Man’s Mother and Meow Meow, who put all of their energy into their performances to give the audience a great time.
“I was shocked at the crowd turnout at the show,” Dempsey said. “People came ready to dance and cheer on the bands. Meow Meow and Man’s Mother are pretty popular around campus, so everyone seemed really excited to catch them live, which was heartwarming to see. I saw a lot of old friends and new faces alike. Everyone was just having a great time, which is all I wanted. It truly felt like a victory.”
The show kicked off at 7 p.m. with Meow Meow taking the spotlight and welcoming the excited crowd. The band is made up of second-years Aiden Martin and John Roy, and third-years, Harry Benjamin, Natasha Wilk and Kathryn Valentina.
“Performing has been especially difficult since COVID,” Valentina stated. Their set was a hit and everyone was grooving along to the music.
“We’ve been working on homemade merch including buttons, shirts and other apparel,” Benjamin said. “We plan on spending as much time in the studio as we can this summer, so fans should expect lots of cool new stuff coming from Meow Meow, especially coming in the fall.”
The show had a great turnout and everyone who attended had a wonderful time. For the E-board members, having the event was a weight lifted off of their shoulders, as they’ve been planning for everything to go swimmingly for months prior. “Finally having the show was an absolutely euphoric feeling and a huge weight off of my shoulders,” Dempsey said. “Seeing everyone in the club being able to celebrate their hard work and share it with the student body was also an amazing experience.”
Up next was Man’s Mother – a local favorite. Well known for their concerts outside the Groovy Blueberry, third-year members Jack Salzman (Man’s), Matt Motherway (Mother) and SUNY Binghamton graduate Joe Panettieri, took to the stage for a stellar set. They’ve been wanting to collaborate with the Music Collective for a while and are honored to be given this opportunity.
“Our shows have definitely picked up a lot more since COVID as we took advantage of some local outdoor spots and gained a pretty good following from that, allowing us to play at bigger venues in the area,” Salzman said. “We usually try to get one or two practices in before the show, then we make the set list and really try and know these songs as best as possible.”
Man’s Mother has music available on Spotify, as well as live shows almost every week. This summer they’re looking forward to new projects and shows around New Paltz and as well as around their hometown on Long Island. They’re a truly talented group; you’ll want to say you’ve been following them since before they got famous.
The Music Collective Re-Resurrection show is just the start of the impact this club will make on campus. As a Liberal Arts school, music is a big part of bringing people together, and the opportunity to see live music from your own peers on campus is a very heartwarming experience. Keep an eye out on their Instagram @npmusiccollective for future events and ways to get involved!