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Inside Beat

Corefest 2024 rocks Rutgers campus with pitch perfect lineup

Frankie Cosmos dazzled audiences at Corefest. – Photo by Christian Sanchez

On Saturday, the student and community-run radio organization 90.3 FM The Core hosted its annual Corefest at the College Avenue Student Center.

For $10, Rutgers students could engage with local vendors, congregate with their peers and, of course, listen to live sets from four stellar bands. The event featured all the classic indie music festival staples: attendees wearing clothes with earth tones, people randomly sitting on the floor and a passionate crowd.

One of the student center's joint multipurpose rooms served as an indie bazaar, with vendors selling handmade crafts like jewelry, zines, plushies and crochet novelties.

The other multipurpose room was set up as a concert hall with band merchandise tables lined up against the walls and a standard concert stage at the head of the venue, leaving a large empty space in the middle.

This layout worked during the performances when a sea of green and brown outfits crowded around the front of the stage, but there was a desperate need for chairs in between sets. Still, a lack of complaints from concert attendees proved one thing about the event: It was about the music, man. 

Goalie Fight, equipped with a drum machine, went onstage first and delivered a subdued indie rock performance, no doubt affected by first-act jitters and some recent off-stage restructuring. Regardless, opening a multi-act concert is no small task, and the two remaining band members held down the fort for their setlist.

Lightheaded went on later, tambourine in hand, to perform the musical equivalent of burning sage and play their latest song, "Dawn Hush Lullaby." Tula Vera, in turn, woke everyone up with an energetic rock-heavy set, featuring "liar bitch," that resulted in the opening of a mosh pit. 

Corefest ended with headliner Frankie Cosmos, a band led by singer-songwriter Greta Kline, making its glorious return to Rutgers. In April 2023, the band performed outside of Scott Hall on the College Avenue campus in solidarity with striking faculty and graduate students.

Their performance consisted of an hour-long set featuring some of their most popular songs like "Abigail" and deeper cuts like "On the Lips." The band's classic indie rock sound reverberated throughout the venue, compelling a sea of heads to slowly headbang in response.

Kline spared a few words in between songs, offering occasional comments about Rutgers, event attendees and turning 30 years old.

The venue being less than full and the rainy weather outside led to a slight disconnect between artist and audience — an issue that persisted for the other bands in the lineup.

But did that really matter? An hour-long set from a veteran indie project was something every attendee was grateful to experience, even if the atmosphere wasn't at its best.

Corefest 2024 made for a standard foray into the local indie scene, featuring both local artists and an iconic genre band in Frankie Cosmos — what more could a Rutgers music lover ask for?

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