Last Saturday, Greylock was lit with glowsticks and filled with high energy for the Williams Student Music Association’s 10,000 Glowsticks music festival. The festival was student-organized and featured only student bands. The seven groups included the Bread Helmets, Axolotl, Think Tank, Fuck Beach, Robonixon, Bad Drama Club and Long Island Sound. The crowd was alive and energetic and largely adorned with multiple glowsticks in creative shapes: some as necklaces, some had glowing glasses and others sported my favorite look, fluorescent antenna.
Describing the revelry, Williams Student Music Association (WSMA) member Steven Yannacone ’17 remarked, “The lights were off but the whole room was glowing like a cavern of fireflies.”
Yannacone enjoyed the festival and was impressed with the efficiency and organization of the event. “Every band was on point and played a good mix of upbeat, rock or jazz numbers to jump and jive to and calmer tones to slow dance to,” he said. “The festival was very well organized. Bands took little time getting ready on stage and each group played for 20 minutes to a half hour. OSL did a spectacular job with the stage and lights setup.”
I also caught up with Phoebe Mattana ’18, who performed with her band Think Tank. The band formed a few months ago and also features members Charlie Jersey ’18 and Gary Chen ’18. Think Tank’s members are excited for their future and are thinking of possibly adding another member to their group. At the Glowsticks festival, the trio performed two original songs as well as two covers, including “I Got” by Young the Giant and “Puzzle Pieces” by Saint Motel. Their band definitely had a blast performing, fostered by the enthusiastic vibe of the night.
“The atmosphere at the event was really vibrant – everyone was out on the floor dancing and rocking out, and that’s pretty much all we could have hoped for,” Mattana said. Mattana also enjoyed watching other student groups perform, and it seemed that all of the bands were having a great time performing, she said.
“The whole setup was awesome, and everyone really killed it on stage,” Mattana said. “It was great to see another all-freshman band, Robonixon, up on stage repping [the] class of 2018.”
The number of first-years performing in this event was promising for the College student music scene. The festival displayed up-and-coming talents who, with the rest of their collegiate careers ahead of them, have a lot of time to grow as bands and to help the College musical community grow as well.
It certainly seems that the music scene at the College has improved for the better over the past few years. While some in the past have complained that a cappella groups have controlled most musical happenings on campus, this event displayed the impressive development of bands and the music scene as a whole. Gabriel Morosky ’17, a drummer who performed on Saturday with his band Axolotl, is very excited for the future of the music scene at the College and the talented musicians who will help to further its progress. “I watched seven bands made up entirely of Williams students give seven incredible performances to an enthusiastic audience,” Morosky said. “No longer can anyone say this campus lacks a student-organized music scene.”
The event’s evident success was the product of hard work by WSMA members striving to not only plan a fun evening, but to continue the growth of the campus’s musical culture.
“A big part of this proliferation of bands has been Brice Green ‘15’s founding and leadership of WSMA, fostering a cohesive, motivated culture of students making music,” Morosky said. He’s additionally optimistic because of the talent in younger classes. “What I am especially happy about is that there are just as many underclassmen, if not more, as there are upperclassmen making music. Hopefully, this signifies a lasting change; student-organized music will flourish for years to come.”