Glenn already gave his take on Central Jersey’s hottest end-of-semester outdoor concert, but as a fellow concert-attender and pop-culture connoisseur of sorts myself (a bit more on the popular music end of it than Glenn) I figured I’d give my take on how each of the bands are going to fare, as well as providing some YouTube clips to those of you who are wondering what’s to come when you show up April 27.

I’ll do this in the order that I suppose they’ll be performing, since the order seems pretty obvious to me.


Everclear is an alt-rock band that became popular a little after the grunge movement had died down. They have some grunge influence early on, but as time went on the moved away from the sound and got more poppy. A few hits you might remember if you watched a lot of MTV in middle school like I did are “Father of Mine,” “AM Radio,” and “I Will Buy You a New Life.” All three were generally big hits, though I could have sworn AM Radio was Sugar Ray. Yeah, it’s that poppy. But Father of Mine, for one reason or another, was the first thought that came to my head when I first heard that they were playing. I always liked the song, it was catchy, and I remember the line “Father of mine/tell me what do you see/when you look back at your wasted life/and you don’t see me.” Must have been a good line, because it stuck with me since 6th grade.

Look for Everclear to be an underrated surprise this Rutgersfest. If nothing else, they’ll provide you with some solid alt-pop-rock to drink to while you walk around those worthless tent things. And expect to have a few moments where your ears perk up and you say “Hey, I remember this song!” They’re that kind of band. Here’s the video for “Father of Mine.”

Hawthorne Heights

Even moreso than Glenn, allow me to say that I genuinely do not like Emo, having been exposed to enough of it to form a solid dislike of both the music and the people. Hawthorne Heights is not pure emo, as Glenn mentioned they’re Screamo and some type of Hardcore (Post-Hardcore, according to Wikipedia). I’m going to give HH a break and say that their music is not going to be too much of problem. If you are there, out in the sun, with a few drinks in your system, you’ll most likely start bobbing your head to the music. The reason people listen to these guys is because they do have a few catchy hooks. Now, that is far from saying they’re a good band. I’d never listen to them, except for right now, but I’m doing that for you people. What I’m saying is that their music is popular because it’s catchy, and it just has that sound to it that makes you want to bob along.

Here is the true problem with HH, though: they’re going to attract an awful crowd. The people who go to HH shows are more than likely straight-edge high school Emo kids looking to get into a pit and hit someone. Rutgersfest is about hanging out with your fellow Rutgers students and enjoying some music and getting a break from school to just enjoy yourself before you start killing yourself over finals. With the high school Emo kids here, and the likely formation of a pit, regular people are certainly not going to have a good time. This is a plea, kids; please, do not come to Rutgersfest and start a pit. Just let us have this day, you do not yet realize how hard finals are, we need this. Please, if you want to get out of school and drive to Piscataway Friday afternoon so you can write X’s on your hands and listen to HH and slam-dance, just refrain. Very few of us here are straight-edge, unlike you usual crowds, and most people are bigger than you. If you hit a big drunk college guy, he’ll beat you to death.

I’ve put their hit “Ohio is for Lovers” here as an example. This is definitely how I know them, and I’d consider it to be the Emo anthem. Every time I mock the genre, I find myself fake-screaming “Cut my wrists and black my eyesss” with a little holier-that-thou smirk on my face.

The Roots

People who are friends with musicians know who The Roots are. Fans of solid Hip Hop know who The Roots are. If you don’t know who The Roots are, I’ll tell you as best I can. The Roots are a Hip Hop band out of Philadelphia. They are a full 6-piece band, made up of an MC, drummer (?uestlove), bass, guitar, keyboard, and extra percussion. They are critically adored for their fantastic musicianship and poetic flow. They are a very funky, talented, enjoyable act. The rhymes are not going to be at the level of Common’s last year, but the overall show will probably be better. They’re a moderately famous band; interestingly enough, both bands preceding them have had bigger hits than The Roots. They’ve never met up with huge commercial success, much like the other great Hip Hop artists around today (as compared to the hugely successful but undeniably less-skilled Rappers that make a killing talking about topics that us white folks love to bring up whenever a race issue arises). Hold out hope that The Roots close the show, because as the sun goes down and everyone starts to mellow out and dance, you’re gonna be glad you’re bumping with some fine lady to a smooth ?uestlove groove as opposed to getting hit in the face by some kid with really tight pants.

It’s interesting, the group I want to see the most is the group I have the least to say about. I guess that is because I am, by nature, a complainer. I’m going to put the song “The Seed 2.0” here because it’s a favorite of mine. If you don’t know it, give it a listen. It’s a cool one.