Hot dog vendors, beer tents and carnival rides couldn’t settle down the hundreds of attendees at the Purchase College annual Culture Shock weekend. The two-day music festival took place on a small field in the middle of the campus and featured 19 artists, including: Project Jenny, Project Jan, Paper Route, The Red Chord, Streetlight Manifesto and up-and-coming hip-hop artist Drake.
Sporting a black suit, Project Jenny, Project Jan vocalist Jeremy Haines, backed by keyboardist Sammy Rubin and others, kicked off Friday night with “Dia De Los Niño’s,” “Summertime” and “Brooklyn,” followed by Paper Route’s “Are We All Forgotten” and “Tiger Teeth.”
Death metal mavericks weren’t disappointed either. The Red Chord unveiled two new songs: one tentatively titled “Hymns and Hers” and another called “Face Area Solution.” One mosh pit and several head bangers later, the quartet finished their set with “Antman.”
Teary-eyed fans gazed on as Streetlight Manifesto performed “We Will Fall Together,” but the tender moment was interrupted by Drake fanatics, who booed and pushed in hopes that Streetlight would cut their set short – which they eventually were forced to do due to security measures.
The antsy crowd went into a roar when Drake finally took the stage, as they sang and rapped along to songs like “Every Girl,” “Successful” and “Best I Ever Had." Although the Toronto-born rapper forgot the lyrics to the latter at one point, his devotees didn’t have any problems yelling them out in unison for him. Drake ended his set by jumping off stage and into the audience, and thanking his fans.
Some of Saturday night’s acts included The Paper Raincoat, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Dear Hunter, Kiss Kiss, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s and The Cool Kids -- the night's headliner.
Amber Rubarth and Alex Wong from The Paper Raincoat brought relaxation to the evening, performing an acappella version of “Rewind,” “Rough Cut,” “Sympathetic Vibrations,” and “Motion Sickness.” Telepathe’s “Chromes,” “Michael,” and “So fine,” was reminiscent of an electro club night as flashing lights and blaring sounds took over the stage show. The Tallest Man on Earth, armed with an acoustic guitar, provided a much mellower sound, as he belted the lyrics to “Shallow Grave,” “Where Do Bluebirds Fly,” and “King of Spain,” among others.
Setting a darker tone, The Dear Hunter performed “The Oracles on the Delhi Express” and “What it Means to be Alone,” followed by “A Children’s Crusade on Acid” by Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. The eight member band also sang “Pages Written on a Wall,” and “Skeleton Key,” before their set was cut short due to time restraints.
And although a few hecklers threw cupcakes at them, the highlight of the night proved to be The Cool Kids. The crowd swayed their arms from side-to-side as they performed “Pennies,” followed by “Black Mags,” and “Gold and a Pager," ending Culture Shock Weekend with a bang.
- Track Review