On Friday Aug. 31, a mix of returning and new students mingled outside the MacVittie College Union, eating cotton candy, drinking coffee and listening to the Mac’s Place Welcome Back Jam.
In recent years, Mac’s Place – a subdivision under the Activities Commission coordinated by sophomore Jesse Rabinowitz – brought in acts from the New York City area with a special emphasis on rock.
While the sun was setting over the Genesee Valley, Geneseo hometown heroes Mammal is a Mountain took to the stage, playing about 30 minutes of streamlined folk rock and shambolic old-time music. The recently expanded lineup of senior Dan Lynch, senior Sally Schaefer, junior Rob Wojcikiewicz and senior Michael Vadala along with Jameson Dunham and Jamie Green drew a large crowd and positive reactions.
Having played shows in the area for the better part of two years now, Mammal is a Mountain played an incredibly solid live set, managing tempo changes and sound problems with equal ease. Outside the College Union, the band couldn’t have been more in their zone.
Syracuse post-hardcore band Bridge Under Fire fit this pattern, mixing the melodic punk in the style of Hot Water Music with pop-punk riffs. While the foursome made it incredibly clear they couldn’t hear one another, due to either bad sound or to their massive amplifiers, Hot Water Music still managed to pull in some students who seemed to have been there for the bounce castle and free food.
The band also drew people to its smartly designed merchandise table, which, in addition to selling band T-shirts and a recently released album, hawked used vinyl records and assorted bric-à-brac.
After it was already dark and most students left for something else, Rochester-based Cruelty Free closed the jam. The band played a brand of alternative rock reminiscent of Yellowcard, who the band covered, Creed and a smattering of other bands not heard from in some time.
Cruelty Free also mentioned – both in person and on its website – that its song “Alternative Lifestyle” is featured on Dane Cook’s Tourgasm Soundtrack. Even with few people in the crowd, the band performed admirably, rocking out to anyone who would listen.