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Friday Night Live: Slow Pulp

Arts And Entertainment Features

Friday Night Live: Slow Pulp


Students slowly trickled onto the green grass of the academic mall as dusk settled on Southwestern’s campus Friday night. Student Activities held their major event of the year, Friday Night Live: Music on the Mall. Live music is in the works of making a comeback to SU, and this event was the kickstart. 

The main attraction of the night was an indie band from Chicago, named Slow Pulp. Their opener was Jake Pinto and the YeahTones, a small band from Los Angeles. The two groups were invited to campus to perform live music, free for students and faculty alike. Free food including hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and funnel cake fries were provided, with student volunteers from Student Activities and Alpha Phi Omega serving the masses. 

The Megaphone had the opportunity to interview Evan Alexander, director of Student Activities. Evan said that STUACT began looking for artists back in December, and they settled on Slow Pulp about a month and a half before the concert. With humor, he stated, “We paid them money and they came here.”

Most of the black and yellow lawn chairs were placed in a semicircle facing the stage and were promptly filled by the student audience. People also brought blankets to sit on, ready to eat their free food and have a relaxing evening with their friends.

Jake Pinto of Jake Pinto and the YeahTones, photo by Carolyn Bray

Jake Pinto and the YeahTones promptly started at 7:55 pm and played a fun, upbeat set of songs, including “The Smartest Person in the World,” “I Just Want the Truth,” “Believe,” and more. Each member was wearing a rocking outfit, owning the stage. At one point, Jake Pinto, the lead singer, hopped into the crowd riffing on his light green guitar, completely immersed in the music. A small group of students stood right at the front of the stage, dancing along to the fun rhythms of The YeahTones. As their set came to a close, students prepared to see Slow Pulp, with about twenty students huddling at the edge of the stage.

Slow Pulp walked on stage and immediately started playing music, opening with “Slugs”, a song off their most recent album. The lead singer, Emily Massey, actively interacted with the crowd, asking how spring break was and if everyone tried the hot dogs yet. She informed everyone that Slow Pulp flew into Austin from Chicago specifically for this concert, and the crowd of students cheered in excitement. The band played some of their hit songs such as “Broadview,” “Cramps,” and “Doubt”. During some of the slower songs such as “Broadview,” the audience held onto each other and swayed to the music, with the final line stating “you are enough.” Happiness beamed from students’ faces, and the experience felt ethereal. They closed with a song titled “High” and said their goodbyes.

Emily Massey singing, photo by Carolyn Bray

When talking to Evan Alexander after the concert, he stated that he was a little bummed about the turnout, and was hoping to break attendance of 200-250 people. He stays optimistic, however, because he knows students love live music.

“It’s a unique opportunity,” Evan said and informed The Megaphone that Music on the Mall used to happen all the time before 2020. Evan hopes to bring more live music back to campus, knowing it is a way to bring students together.

“I want to have more bands in The Cove more regularly. I foresee that happening within the next year.” Evan further stated that he wants to have a band visit Southwestern at least once a month, so keep on the lookout for that. 

Students rocking out, photo by Carolyn Bray

At the very end of the night, The Megaphone had the opportunity to briefly talk to Emily, the lead singer of Slow Pulp. Emily has been playing in bands since high school, but Slow Pulp formed in college, and they’ve been playing these past seven years since. They are not unfamiliar with playing universities—they have played at many before, including Cornell and New York University (NYU)! Emily said that our small crowd had “great energy, and we all had fun, and that’s what’s important.”

Stay on the lookout for future live concerts on campus by keeping up with Student Activities and in the meantime stream Slow Pulp’s latest album, titled “Yard.”

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