By JAMES M GEMINO
Manhattanville College is no stranger to its fair share of talented musicians. Over the years, I have witnessed the student body express more than its fair share of zeal when it came to watching and supporting local musicians as they performed in the Pub, at Quad Jam, or even at venues in surrounding towns. Yet for as many passionate musicians as there are on campus, there is one band that over the years has gained more than just a few followers at Manhattanville College; that band is One Fell Swoop.
Rather I should say that band was One Fell Swoop. It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to report that the Yonkers and largely Manhattanville-based band played their final show on Saturday January 9th, earlier this month. The concert took place at The Homefield House in Yonkers, New York, and was just as fun as it was loud. Swoop’s set consisting of both modern and classic Swoop songs was preceded by performances from Taylor Beard, Darco and Friends, Huffers, Earth and Stone, Second to Last, Mike Fraizer and the Dying Wild, Vicky Speedboat, and Safeliving, the last of which includes former Swoop members A.J. Chiarella, John Rodriguez, and Brandon Florich.
Despite it being their final show, many of the 50 plus attendees at Swoop’s last show were Manhattanville College students. Fans killed time between sets by sharing stories about past One Fell Swoop shows, or just by catching up over a long few weeks without seeing each other over the break.
At the very least, you could always count on a Swoop show to attract friends from all over the county, even if the performances weren’t conveniently located on campus, as they have been throughout the last 5 years.
“Manhattanville was where One Fell Swoop was born,” said Swoop member A.J. Chiarella. “We were so fortunate to gain support from a bunch of people, including so many from Manhattanville. The people that supported us made it all worth it.”
O.F.S. bassist John Rodriguez approached the microphone to say “I am starting a 9 to 5 job on Monday so this song is kind of ironic”, before closing their show with their popular song Security and Compliance – a track about holding onto the fun that comes with being young and playing music instead of becoming a proper adult.
The last note of the song, whose music video can still be found on Youtube, was held out as A.J. allowed the members of the crowd to lift him over their heads for a short crowd-surf before exiting the venue while the rest of the band was still on the stage.
Right down to the very last second, One Fell Swoop retained their punk-rock style, even while taking time during their set to thank fans for being so supportive throughout the years. Many fans helped themselves to Swoop’s free E.P.s on their way out of the venue as the show came to a close.
Despite it being the last performance from One Fell Swoop, Chiarella explained that the band would not fade away with its last performance.
“We have something in the works that may continue on the legacy of this band,” said Chiarella.”
One can only hope that One Fell Swoop’s attitude and messages will be persevered through their music, and if any of Manhattanville’s current students feel any sort of anxiety about graduating in May, I implore them to remember one of the many legendary One Fell Swoop lyrics:
Don’t have to grow up just because we grow old.