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Friend of a Friend Fest returns with an extensive lineup

April 27, 2023

Shihab Moral
IN CONCERT: Daphne Eckman performs at the Friend of a Friend Fest last April. The E-Board brought in musicians with connections to Bowdoin students for the festival and hopes to create similar events this year.

Last Friday, students gathered in Jack McGee’s Pub & Grill to watch the friends of their friends perform for their friends. The Friend of a Friend concert, put on by the Entertainment Board (E-Board) and the Bowdoin Music Collective, brought in artists with direct connections to Bowdoin students to perform on campus.

The concept revives the annual “Shameless Plugs” concert that was put on until 2011. E-Board Leader Alex Tesson ’23 spearheaded the concert, coordinating with students to create a musically-diverse setlist.

“We got a lot of submissions, more than I expected. We got submissions from pretty much every genre, [from] a lot of different parts of the country,” Tesson said. “People were really enthusiastic—you know, it’s your friend who plays music. So, of course, people want to plug their friends, but it was exciting to see how enthusiastic people were about getting their friend on [Bowdoin’s] campus.”

The night began with Lonnie Davis and the Carraways followed by Sasha Cee.

Both acts set an indie tone for the evening, preparing the audience for the most popular performer of the night, Chance Emerson.

The attendance peaked for Emerson, who came armed with three guitars and a looping pedal to fill the pub with a fusion of folk and pop sensibilities. Nico Guzman ’23, who was hired by Student Activities as the audio engineer for the concert, praised Emerson’s style and stage presence.

“His songwriting was amazing, very moving, and it was a great show with great crowd interaction,” Guzman said. “He was having a conversation with the audience. He was talking while changing guitars; he was asking the audience questions, reacting to their hollering.”

Following Emerson’s performance, there was a stark change of pace with rapper Killer-Jay taking the stage. While his style was a tonal departure from the indie sound that permeated the previous acts, it was appreciated by attendees.

“I really enjoyed Killer-Jay’s performance. There was a lot of energy in some songs that I will keep listening to afterwards,” Gabe Gitter-Dentz ’25 said.

To end the night and bring the indie-folk energy back, Aristotle Jones, a Boston-based indie rapper, took the stage, followed by Maryland-based folk singer Daphne Eckman.

Aristotle Jones was accompanied by a live band, and Guzman praised his distinctive sound.

“It was very refreshing, something that I had never heard before,” Guzman said.

While the artists were minimally compensated, the main draw for many was getting to spend time with their friends at Bowdoin. Noah Saperstein ’25, the friend of Eckman, emphasized the excitement of getting to see his friend perform.

“I really liked it because it was a way to get one of my talented friends here while also providing something for the Bowdoin community that I think a lot of people genuinely enjoyed,” Saperstein said.

The concert was one of the primary events the E-Board planned this year, particularly drawing interest following the spring concert being taken over by the BSG. Tesson hopes that the success of the concert will make students excited to apply for the E-Board in the future.

“I hope that it gets people saying, ‘If I join the E-Board, this is the kind of stuff I get to plan.’ So, when we send out the application in the next week, people will have that fresh in their minds,” Tesson said.


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