The New Paltz Music Collective Club held its first fall 2022 Concert in the SUB 100N since last year’s “Re-resurrection,” and it turned out to be a blast. As magical as the previous, the room was drenched in fairy lights and tapestry, packed with live music fanatics looking for the next big thing. The club showcased four bands, each displaying various tastes, raw talent and strong vocals.
President of Music Collective and fourth-year journalism major Alli Dempsey said selecting the bands was pretty simple since it acted like a homecoming for most of them. “It kind of went together very naturally, which I was very happy about,” she said. “It’s really exciting, and it just warms my heart to know they were so excited just to come and play on our campus.” The lineup poster went backward as monarch. opened and waveform* closed the concert. New Paltz-based alternative band Kablamo! followed suit, and the upcoming indie-folk city band Fish Hunt was sandwiched in between.
“Originally, Lucy, the singer of Fish Hunt, reached out with the idea to have a show,” confessed Dempsey. “It was going to be Fish Hunt, waveform* and Hello Mary, another band from the city, but they had to drop out.” Fish Hunt is an alternative collaboration of lead singer Lucy Marie, co-singer JT Bardassarre and New Paltz alum pianist/songwriter Emily Charash. Their most-listened-to song, “Mystery,” just hit over 50,000 streams on Spotify. “Usually, we reach out to the bands. That’s what we did with our last show. We do a vote with everyone in the club, like what bands we want, but I just thought this was a cool opportunity,” commented Dempsey.
Starting the show were Hudson Valley’s very own monarch. members, lead singer Sarah Hartstein and guitarist Nick Pappalardo. With just two members of their band, the opening acoustic set was sung by lead singer Hartstein and developed into an intimate connection with the audience. After some people started sitting down in a mass group conscious decision, a massive wave of relaxation and comfort spread throughout the crowd. “You guys have the right idea. It’s like I’m singing a lullaby. I love this,” she commented between performances of “The Risk” and “Shake You Off,” which both have nearly a thousand streams on Spotify.
Raspy yet soothing, Hartstein was like a siren, encapturing all eyes on her and her powerful, unique voice. “This is really cute and intimate, and I love it. A lot of our songs were written like this, just me singing things and playing guitar, and that’s it,” said Hartstein. “So it’s nice to hear things like this.” Pappalardo softly added a background acoustic, highlighting his bandmate’s strength in performance which was a nice touch. In the middle of their set, monarch covered Elvis Presley’s “I Got a Woman.” The style shifted into something more cheery and nostalgic as the guitar quickened the pace, but Hartstein allowed for complete harness in her vocal strength, hitting high notes easily.
With the energy a little more turned on, Kablamo! entered the makeshift stage. Fans and supporters of the band were eager to stand and dance the night away. Julia Bellontine rocked on the drums; Aidan Ludlam and Tom Giuzio shredded those guitars and Santiago Coto Segnini sang his heart out. Opening the set with a rendition of their self-titled EP, the possibly-better-than-Tame-Impala band performed “Cruisin’,” “Intro,” “Unnatural,” “Shallow” and “Autumn of Breakups.” They also added surprise covers of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” which got the crowd singing. With the orgasmic layering of synth and bass guitar and the swirling sensation of galaxy colors, the night turned into the indie-sleaze scene, a.k.a. the place to be before Thanksgiving break.
Getting these bands to play on campus was quite challenging but very rewarding.
“Going back and forth with these bands — one of them is from Connecticut — was kind of difficult to do,” Dempsey stated, regarding the communication and scheduling problems before the show. The band from Connecticut is none other than waveform*, which has over 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. “They were very excited to come here, which I was surprised at because they have a pretty good following,” said Dempsey. Waveform* consists of the duo guitarists and singer/songwriters Jarett Denner and Dan Poppa. Their most-listened song, “Secret,” is nearly at 960,000 streams. Being friends and music collaborators with Fish Hunt, these two connected the chemistry between sets and finished the concert with an aggressive and everlasting sound.
“I’m also really happy that everyone stayed until the end. I was afraid that people would only stay for bands they knew, like Kablamo!, and leave right after, but everyone stayed for Fish Hunt and waveform*,” stated Dempsey. “I am a huge believer in not just going to shows to get drunk and see the bands that you know, but exploring music and learning about other types of bands instead. So I was very happy that everyone was enthusiastic just to sit and watch other artists play. It’s great to see.”
Be on the lookout for another Open Mic Night and something big coming in the spring semester. For more information about the bands featured and the New Paltz Music Collective, follow the club’s Instagram @npmusiccollective.