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Newton “Porchfest” grows community of local musicians


Hot Pretzel performs during Porchfest Saturday, June 1.
Eric Lam
Hot Pretzel performs during Porchfest Saturday, June 1.

An afternoon of genres ranging from self-composed reggae grooves to iconic rock and roll songs, Porchfest featured live music from all corners of the Newton music community Saturday, June 1 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Performances were done on open porches around Newton by all ages, from North student bands to adult groups. 

Student bands played covers of exciting hits such as Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart,” The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” or The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There.”

“We try and do two set lists a year if you play like a bunch of shows,” said sophomore Jack Ryan, a performing member of bands 30 Angry Dwarves, Dad Bod, Hot Pretzel, and The Omen. “Porchfest is our last big show of the year so we probably prepared for about three or four months before—not necessarily for Porchfest, but for that setlist.” 

Hot Pretzel’s performance featured remarkable displays of musical synergy between student performers. The bass, guitar, vocals, and drums blended seamlessly to captivate audience members. 

For bands not composed of students, Porchfest allowed them to display their passion for music in front of live audiences. 

“It’s a good chance for us to play because we do this for fun,” said Daniel Cohen, a performing member of Roger That. “It’s sometimes difficult to find opportunities to play in front of people.”

Roger That played a blend of both originals and covers, featuring rock, funk, and reggae influences. 

Moreover, an overlap in the student and non-student musical community in Newton was highlighted by sophomore Ari Cohen’s appearance during one of Roger That’s pieces, laying out an impressive saxophone solo. 

According to Ryan, some porches hosted seven separate performances throughout the afternoon. 

 

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Eric Lam
Eric Lam, Arts Editor
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