Updated: Sept. 6, 2015 at 2:57 p.m.
This post was written by Hatchet reporter Regina Park.
With her dreamy, drawling vocals, MØ, the newest darling of electropop, filled up the lawn of University Yard, effectively sealing this year’s Fall Fest as a success.
MØ, the Danish Music Awards’ “Breakthrough Artist of the Year,” was preceded by alumni band Holychild.
When the doors opened at 3:30 p.m., it was clear that Fall Fest would be much the same as the years before, aside from the high-profile lineup. The usual booths representing Monster Energy, Dominos and the 9:30 Club were present with employees handing out complimentary goodies. The free Fall Fest shirts would be handed out later on in the day.
The swarm of students that flooded University Yard was a diverse mix of every grade level, with seemingly more sophomores and juniors present.
Junior Eli Rudy speculated that this was because of the wide appeal of MØ’s style.
“It’s not one specific genre. There are different layers to it,” Rudy said. “You can dance to it, you can listen to it in a more quiet environment.”
Although MØ first hit the Billboard 100 with Iggy Azalea’s 2014 single “Beg for It,” the Danish popstar became a household name after her collaboration with Major Lazer in their international hit “Lean On”.
MØ’s wistful, ethereal voice and synth beat is a far cry from last year’s headliners the Cold War Kids, but what they both had in common was their energetic stage presence. MØ was natural, unscripted and loose and was clearly comfortable with her role on stage.
Not everyone came for MØ, however. Opener band Holychild came with their fair share of fans, like junior Claire August.
“Holychild is one of my recent favorite bands, so when they announced this lineup I was really excited,” August said.
Holychild singer Liz Nistico, an alumna, said that she felt a special connection with the GW crowd. Nistico and instrumentalist Louie Diller met while they were at GW.
“Usually when we play a show, you can’t sympathize with the 2,000 people in front of you as much, you know? I don’t really know what their lives are like that much usually,” Nistico said. “But now it’s like, I know what library you go to study and I know what buildings you hang out in and I know probably where you go out to eat and to bars.”
The duo formed when Nistico took a music class where Diller was a musical accompanist. After she heard Diller riffing off of Radiohead’s “Pyramid” during class, Nistico approached him and the two bonded over their musical tastes.
While they were first starting out, the band would play at house parties around the District. They played their first show at a crowded house party on Pennsylvania Avenue, where Diller and Nistico said the house was bouncing and guests were hanging from the roof.
“It was my first time singing live, ever,” Nistico said. “I was like, ‘Well, I definitely want to do this more.'”
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
A previous version of this post misspelled Liz Nistico’s last name. We regret this error.