This past Saturday, September 27, Bard College held an exciting music event Harvest Fest. This autumn-welcoming festival appropriately took place in the campus barn, situated somewhat in the middle of Bard’s open fields and expansive gardens. Pizza with veggie toppings provided by the gardens themselves, was sold along with a Bard Harvest Ale. Mixed in with a lineup of great bands, it’s pretty clear that Bard can throw a music festival.
Plouse, a three-piece from New Jersey, kicked things off slamming into tunes from their newest EP seltzer, etc. Their easy-going sound and carefree attitudes created a fun, catchy and immediately likeable atmosphere that had even the earliest crowd dancing amidst a setting sun. With songs like “Moving & Storage” and “David Blaine” Plouse gives you a comforting feeling similar to riding your bicycle through a neighborhood in the lost city of Atlantis. Though the guys are situated at different colleges, they’re still able to find time to get together, play shows and rattle off new recordings.
As the night went on, another three membered band called Throw Baby hit the stage and lit things up with some mesmerizing synth-featured rock songs. Playing along to prerecorded synth, the makeup of the band consisted of drums, bass and electric guitar. The sound, which falls somewhere within the realm of a more technical and danceable STRFKR, is as if someone left a game of Mario Kart on during band practice. One thing you don’t always hear is an artist telling you what their song is about before they play it. The lead singer of Throw Baby was quick to inform the audience of each track’s subject matter, adding a unique aspect to the performance. By the time Jose Oyola & The Astronauts got on, the barn was filled to the brim with college students. The lead singer, who sang through a vintage microphone, offered an inviting stage presence and effectively brought his lyrics to life with a genuinely positive attitude. One of their more notable songs was a cover of La Mamba, which had the entire crowd in full sing-along spirit.
Before the main act of the night, Kitty, performed, who showcased an energetic set popular among the Bard College crowd, a band from Boston, Mass called Vundabar cranked up the volume, tearing into the upbeat instrumental opener “Troubadour” and let everybody know they’re a band worth hearing. Take one slice of crisply reverbed guitar, another slice of wild drums that are rhythmically all over the place, add a smooth bass in between and finally sprinkle some catchy and lyrically meaningful singing on top and you’ve got a good recipe for Vundabar. They’re definitely a band to check out and see live if ever given the chance.
With more strong performances from bands like Morus Alba, Battle Ave. and Furniture Girls, Harvest Fest was certainly an all around good time. If ever in the area this time next year be sure to greet fall by catching this event.