Colgate’s Brown Commons headlined the third installment of its Coffeehouse Series on Thursday, November 2, with the folk band The DuPont Brothers. The series invited students to 110 Broad Street for a mini-concert filled with indie vibes and snacks from Flour & Salt and FoJo Coffee Roasters. First-year Annalise Simon co-directed the event, and expressed her appreciation for the Brown Commons Coffeehouse Series.
“Everyone comes, listens to music, has a good time, eats great food and it fosters community,” Simon said.
For those unable to attend and partake in this communal ambiance, the concert was broadcast live on WRCU.
The space for the concert was intimate and simple, candle-lit with the smell of coffee tinging the air. A distinctly hipster vibe seemed to permeate the room as local friends of the band and students alike mingled and waited for the concert to begin. First-year Ian O’Kelly opened the show with his guitar, playing hits from musicians such as James Taylor and Simon & Garfunkel, which set a distinct musical tone for the remainder of the evening.
Finally, The DuPont Brothers arrived onstage to start their set. The pair started making music together in Burlington, Vermont, where they honed their indie-folk sound until they rose to local fame. Named the “Best Folk Group” in Vermont by Seven Days, they gained more support, leading them to focus on expanding their musical career to a wider scale. Their set reflected this expansion as it consisted mostly of new and experimental songs not yet recorded on an album. The brothers attempted new vocal techniques to give the crowd an exclusive listen to their developing musicality, and commented on their unique sound.
“We just play two guitars. We try to make weird noises with them and get them going in interesting ways,” the brothers said.
Their opening song, “Words,” gave credence to this statement, centering around a refrain with an ethereal harmonization of guitar and voice in an inflected “ooh-ing” sound.
The brothers were quick to remind the audience that they weren’t just skilled in creating pleasant melodies, but were skilled in writing impactful lyrics as well. “Paintball Gun” constructed a nostalgic memory of an older brother while underscoring it with the sense of uneasiness that surrounds growing older and losing emotional ties. Another song, “Fake News and Talkshows,” cleverly tackled modern political discourse in its lyrics, trying to make sense of it all and lead the listener to a sense of order. Throughout each song, the brothers maintained a folk-like lacquer over these deeper insights and critiques.
“It’s lyrically driven indie-folk that we also like to keep simple enough but also challenge ourselves as musicians and writers too with the harmonic language and whatnot,” the brothers said.
The two finished their set strong, always met with the sound of applause as well as the grinding of coffee after each number. Their new take on indie-folk impressed the students in the room. The DuPont Brothers signaled another successful Brown Commons Coffeehouse concert, bearing the mark of success for the series and its next musical artists to perform.
Contact Andrew Kish at [email protected]