Local bands shake the ground at Fall Fest


Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Mia Adduci.

Big Tuesday performs at Fall Fest, West Haven, Nov. 6, 2022.

This past Sunday, the Music Industry Club (MIC) turned main campus into a hub of high energy as they took over the residential side to hold a two-part music festival.

Fall Fest, which took place in the German Club and on the Bixler-Gerber quad, showcased four bands starring current and former students from the University of New Haven and bandmates from outside of the university.

The day was filled with groups that showcased high internal energy, as well as immense support between bands, who were consistently spotted jamming front and center of the crowd during each others’ sets. It also goes with due mention that Logan Dumas, the usual emcee for the MIC’s events, absolutely kills it when it comes to hyping up the scene before each artist hits the stage.

Kinda Cool was the first band of the day, and they kicked off Fall Fest with edgy indie energy that sucked in those who stepped into the German Club for the first half of the day.

Kinda Cool is composed of five university students: Logan Dumas on bass, Deanna Fielding on drums, Harley Angelillio on the keyboard and Elise Browell and Jada DeJesus on vocals and guitar.

This group has insane power when their two vocalists harmonize, to the point where it’s nearly hypnotic for those standing close enough to the stage. This fact, in combination with instrumentals that blew listeners out of the water, set Kinda Cool up to be the perfect powerhouse to set the vibe high for the rest of the day.

It’s truly no wonder the band kicked it off rocking sunglasses indoors: this band fully brought the heat.

Kinda Cool played hit originals including “Cloudy,” “Didn’t Know,” “After the Rain” and “Upside Down” showcasing both their OG originals and their latest productions.

This band’s vibe erred towards a more relaxed aura, but nonetheless, they had every ear in the room tuned in from the start to the end of their set.

The band also took the room by surprise with covers of pop hits that further showcased the range of this campus group. These included Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” which was wicked, and Billie Eilish’s “Ocean Eyes,” which is not a song you typically watch a mosh pit shaking their heads to.

Their range and versatility as artists was further highlighted when they covered “Jealousy, Jealousy” by Olivia Rodrigo, with Fielding taking over on bass, Dumas on guitar and Browell on drums. Truth be told, this rendition reigned far superior over the subpar original it played off of.

During multiple songs in their set, the lighting changed in perfect timing with the music, which took the entire performance to new levels.

Browell was found interacting with her other band members during instrumental parts of their songs, showcasing their chemistry with one another.

Hope You Like Roses (HYLR) was the second band to create waves during the first half of the day’s sets.

This band hit the ground with energy that consumed the German Club, taking it so high that those in attendance should have worried about the roof of the building flying off mid-set.

Right off the bat, this band created a wicked build before lead singer Jess Finn even took to the stage. The three guys in the band–guitarist Nick Carey, bassist Dani Flores and drummer Cameron Wustenhoff– went off the walls hyping up the crowd with freestyling before their first song even hit a note.

The band held an intense connection with the crowd, with an energy exchange that gave and took in both directions to create a captivating atmosphere that almost made you forget that you were standing in a campus building.

This lot makes it no secret that they’ve been at it for a while– not only is the chemistry through the roof, but in terms of professionalism, they are all very dynamic onstage, making absolute waves of motion and drawing high engagement from the crowd no matter where you look.

It’s impossible not to get chills when Finn hits and holds high notes in the vast majority of their smashing songs.

They opened with songs including “Talk” and “Powder,” displaying the way that this powerhouse naturally has songwriting skill on a time crunch coursing through their veins. Even when performing songs for one of the first times ever, HYLR makes the gig seem absolutely effortless: they were made to make music together.

They held what was with no doubt some of the highest interactivity with the crowd of the entire day, even as the heat and humidity of the indoor space set in. Those in attendance went absolutely wild time and time again during this set.

Finn puts her entire being behind her voice, and the boys behind her clearly channel their entire souls through their fingers when taking to their instruments.

Neither passion nor professionalism are lacking from this group, and it’s very rare to see such an energy match both on and off the stage.

They closed their set with “Juliet,” the first song that they wrote as a band that they always cue up to wrap their set to a close. In this one, Finn hits innumerable notes flawlessly, as if at this point the music is coded directly into her vocal chords.

Fan favorite Big Tuesday has made a large reputation for themselves in the University of New Haven student population, and they kicked off the second half of the day’s performances and took the Bixler/Gerber quad by storm.

It’s hard to tell whether the chills were produced from the breeze of the late afternoon, or because Browell’s voice is just that good. She spent the day showing off in not one, but two campus bands, this time alongside alt rock bandmates Bobby Hiuskamp, Lee Jones and Sean Tierney.

They played a number of songs off of their EP, including namesake “For You” and other bangers such as “Appealing.”

They even gave the crowd a live listen to a brand new song called “Remainders,” which was very relaxed.

Browell was animated throughout the entire performance, and with the connection that the band so clearly holds to their music you can tell that they do this for a reason. Plus, their stage presence is just immaculate.

Even between songs, Browell made sure that the crowd was a part of the conversation, asking if they had enough water and urging them to dance to the songs that she liked to, like their high energy “There She Goes.”

It’s difficult trying to find what hasn’t already been said by all the buzz on campus surrounding this group, but nonetheless, Big Tuesday is worth all of the hype that surrounds them.

“Little Bit of Honesty” was one of the most vibey songs of the entire day, and it was wildly impressive how the group sounded the exact same live as in studio recordings.

Their last song was “Rendezvous,” and the crowd erupted into noise as soon as this was announced. Big Tuesday truly went out with a bang and a storm of energy that wrapped up the quad as the night led into its final act.

CARL! Closed out Fall Fest, serving as the perfect wind-down group for the large crowd that did not diminish at all throughout the day.

They were totally lo fi. The only way to put it, if you haven’t given them a listen yet, is in saying that if beach sunsets were a band, they would be CARL!

The whole band has a wicked aesthetic, complete with a solid manicure. He holds a naturally fluid stage presence that sucked in the attention of everyone gathered in the quad as the sun set.

They put on a performance that juggled an impressive number of covers as well as teasing a hot set of songs that are projected for release this winter.

They had a flawless energy that radiated throughout the outdoor space and bled itself into the neon lights that flooded the stage as the natural light trickled out during their performance.

Backup vocalist Michael Desir really stood out with a wickedly unique ambiance to his voice.

Underground music really holds the power to shake the floor once it bursts to the surface, and that’s what the MIC’s event showed from the beating midday sun all the way through to the darkening of the night hours.