Ferry House, the on-campus student co-op situated between Main Building and the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, is known for often hosting a variety of off-beat concerts. Last Friday, I attended Couchella, a concert hosted by the residents of Ferry. There were five acts in all headlining the event: Marco Pittarelli ’19, Found Object, Lizard Pile, Huckleberry Spin (Bevan Whitehead ’19) and Ayela Faruqui ’19. DJ Dahl was originally supposed to headline as well but he dropped out a couple days before the concert, and Faruqui filled the vacant spot.
Before the concert began, I wanted to learn a little more about the venue itself, as well as how the residents decided on their theme. I spoke with Ferry residents Klara Kaufman ’19 and Olivia Zane ’19 about the co-op. “It straddles the line between public space and private space, because it has the accessibility of a dorm but is built like a house,” Kaufman said. “We’re looking forward to throwing more throughout the year.” On Friday night, the residents removed the furniture from their living area and set up the room for a couple hundred students to jump around and enjoy themselves.
All acts showcased what Vassar’s talented student body had to offer, with Lizard Pile being the standout of the evening. The bands and DJs that played last Friday matched or surpassed the caliber of bands which I’ve happily paid for back home. We’re very lucky to get to hear on-campus music for free.
Pittarelli had a sadboy alt vibe, and a great amount of talent with their intricate melodies and witty lyrics. Found Object played with great emotion, with Ilan Korman ’19 masterfully adding fills and maintaining consistent tempo. Lizard Pile brought an intense energy and professional punk-sounding vibe that commanded the crowd. They were fun and loud and rowdy.
I asked Whitehead before the show how he had crafted his set and he responded, “I sort of play my sets on the fly, and sometimes that bites me in the butt. I have a core amount of music and often I add to that. A lot of songs end up sounding good 10 bpm [beats per minute] faster than they should be, 10 to 15. And then you turn off the key-lock and it sounds together, it sounds good. I pick songs that connect and go from there.” Faruqui transitioned seamlessly between hip-hop and electronic, throwing in a multitude of songs I had never heard. She put together a unique and invigorating set. When asked how she keeps her style signature, Faruqui said, “I try to turn people on to new music as much as possible.” Her drive to provide a creative set unfolded in a coherent performance that pleased the crowd and kept them dancing.
All in all, the concert turned me on to several new groups of different genres, the acts felt cohesive as a unit and the crowd was exceedingly into the music. Ferry has surprisingly decent acoustics, and the reverberating music was never uncomfortably loud. Being from Seattle, it was refreshing to see moshing (or at least an attempt at moshing) during Lizard Pile’s set. Although the crowd was jumping around, it never impinged on my enjoyment of the concert.
Kaufman said Ferry concerts were bent on ensuring and encouraging a supportive music-listening community. The next Ferry Concert’s theme is “Fluid(s).” Kaufman said the intent behind the theme is “creating a safe space for queer-identified people, but also about liquids and gas, so expect a lot of goop but don’t bring your own.” Zane added, “As a non-binary person, it feels good that our community is hosting an event like this. A lot of people think Ferry is homogeneous, but we are actually very diverse in class, religion and sexual orientation.”