Indie Music Festival A Riot

Haiming Jin / The Pioneer

Amanda Zepeda

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Indie rock duo Matt & Kim walk on the crowd during the Pukka Indie Arts Festival held Saturday, March 12 at the Hayward campus.

A raucous concert with an assortment of music, all of it underground, took place in the Old Union Multipurpose Room last Saturday.

The Pukka Indie Arts Festival featured the Oakland hip-hop duo Zion-I and the headliner band Matt & Kim, an indie rock duo from Brooklyn, each putting on electric performances.

Live painters Boze and Jack Eastergate were also present, Eastergate painting a live indie band in the midst of a performance and Boze demonstrating a piece representing his love for music painting an eye with the pupil shaped as a heart.

“It’s a common metaphor—’I love music,’” said Boze when describing his artwork.

“It’s simply amazing to be showing my art to this university.”

Boze displayed his various pieces for attendees, such as murals with famous figures like R&B singer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Tupac Shakur with the quote, “Reality is wrong, dreams are real,” across the top.

While these artists were displaying their talents, it was Zion I and Matt & Kim who stole the show.

“Pukka,” meaning authentic and genuine, was chosen as the name of the event, and the live performers put this adjective into play at Saturday’s event.

Zion I, the hip-hop duo consisting of MC Zumbi on the mic and producer AmpLive, demonstrated their positive and uplifting lyrics that got the crowd fully engaged. They opened their performance by expressing their appreciation to be at CSUEB to those in attendance.

“It’s good to be back here,” said MC Zumbi. It had been a while.”

They performed a variety of their songs that included the fan favorite “The Bay,” which turned out to be a real crowd pleaser. They even got their soul blues on with the song “Doin’ My Thang.”

The Oakland duo also paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that had occurred the day before by inviting everyone in the building to join them in a moment of silence to reflect on the catastrophic event.

When Zion-I concluded their stimulating performance, they introduced to the stage the indie rock group from New York, Matt & Kim.

The duo is comprised of vocalist Matt Johnson on the keyboard and Kim Schifino on the drums.

“It’s been two weeks since our last performance, and we’ve been craving it.”

In their first performance in Hayward, they electrified the crowd by opening with the song “Silver California.”

They also performed two songs live for the first time ever, including “Black After Black,” which also proved to be a crowd favorite.

Matt & Kim interacted with the crowd all night long by telling stories to the crowd in between songs and distributing balloons for attendees to blow up and release at the start of their songs.

They closed out the night with the song “Daylight,” sending the sold-out crowd home with an exciting experience.

“It was an amazing night,” said Allen Johnson, assistant events coordinator for ASI Presents. “I’m glad to see that East Bay really enjoyed the concert.”

“That’s our ultimate goal with each event: to see the students overwhelmingly show up and have an amazing time from start to finish. It seemed like the energy was at an all-time infinite high, and that in itself is absolutely astounding. That’s what I loved most—apart from the fact that I loved it personally.”

Johnson is part of a five-person council in charge of booking comedians and performing artists for various concerts and events at CSUEB.

Johnson and the ASI Presents Council put on events including Al Fresco in the fall, Bayfest in the winter and Springfest in the spring. The council asks the students to decide whom they want to see at these events by conducting surveys.

“We’re making it a more pressing issue to focus on the diversity of artists,” said Johnson. “We don’t just have an interest in just hip-hop, rap and R&B but also in electronica, rock and indie, along with other genres we’re looking to explore as well.”

With a campus as diverse in ethnicity, culture and interests as CSUEB, it comes as no surprise why various concerts and art festivals such as Pukka put on by ASI Presents receive such good feedback.

“We don’t want to focus on just one genre,” said Johnson.

“We are a diverse body and I think Pukka clearly showed that.”