Review: The Misfits perform at FAU’s annual bonfire

Emily Bloch

FAU students and members of the Student Alumni Board, in red, show their spirit in front of the stage at the Fifth Annual Fall Bonfire. Photo by Ryan Murphy.

The night’s events were packed with balls of fire, two opening bands and FAU’s most famous bonfire headliner getting their set cut early by the police.

On Thursday, Aug. 23, FAU’s fifth annual bonfire featuring The Misfits welcomed a crowd of about 2,800 students, according to an anonymous security staff representative.

The evening kicked off at around 6:40 p.m. with the event’s MC FAU alumni Hayden Trepeck announcing, “We’ve got the fire marshall in the house, we’re gonna do it up,” to a crowd of about 100 people.

Groups of students started walking in within the next half hour amidst the red and blue strobe lights — half of which were coming from the stage, and the other half from the fire and police units’ vehicles who were on standby because of the open flames.

The event had appearances from Student Government representatives like SG president Robert Huffman, and head football coach Carl Pelini, introducing the dancing FAU football team.

“I want to see stuff on fire!” Skye Sarwal, a freshman biology major, said. About 1,000 students had gathered by the time the fire was lit.

And after SG volunteers, fully decked out in their FAU Misfits giveaway tees, scattered shredded paper and debris across the bonfire wood, it was finally ignited with a huge cheering crowd in response.

But before the first sparks had even hit the ground, two opening bands took the stage.

The night started off with New Jersey natives Heart of the Matter. The band had a complex pop punk sound with New Found Glory-esque choruses and tight background harmonies. The band’s singer Mike Serino and guitarist Jerry Caiafa, explained their desired genre. “We’ve been going with like a power pop kind of sound,” Serino said.

“We’ve tried everything to make sure we have the band that we like,” Caiafa continued. “… and I hate all these mother fuckers,” Serino joked about his bandmates.

The band performed for a few hundred people — small compared to the huge open field. Soon, their high energy had students breaking out their iPhones and recording the band.

“It’s hot. I’m from New Jersey. I’m not used to this shit,” Serino said to the audience. “You’re so beautiful, by the way FAU. We love you.” Hundreds of girls in the audience squealed.

Next up, were The Attack, based out of Orlando, Fla.

Photo by Emily Bloch.

The punk four piece had definite shades of Against Me, Rise Against, Alkaline Trio and especially Rotting Out in their sound. It was rebellious, it was angsty, it was fast.

“For those of you who know punk rock, you know the deal,” lead vocalist Charlie Bender said as they began their songs. “For those who are new, we welcome you.”

The Attack prides themselves on their old school style punk. With song themes based around propaganda, status quos and politics, the band brought the audience back to the DIY roots of punk rock. They also brought the audience back to the power of the circle pit.

As the end of The Attack’s set neared, Bender asked, “Are you guys ready for The Misfits?” The crowd responded with a cheer.

“It’s been really fun so far,” Monique Hollier, a junior studio art major, said. “I came to see The Misfits.”

As the flames began to grow, the DJ then played Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO, and so many students broke out into their best shuffle, you’d think someone had planned a flash mob.

Free T-shirts were next. Being thrown into a crowd who treated these things like they were answers to their chemistry midterms. The event went on with Event Coordinator Michael Burdman walking onto the stage to the tune of DMX’s Up In Here, and a crowd of thousands of grateful students.

The field became covered with students from the front of the stage barricades, stretching all the way to the sidewalk where the grass ended. They were ready for The Misfits.

Campus was filled with loyal fans, or as the band calls them, Fiends. Ranging from The Misfits shirts to patches to bandannas.

The sea of people soon began a Misfits chant, building the anticipation of their on stage appearance up that much more. When finally, it had arrived; “FAU proudly presents, the one and only—,” the announcement was cut off by The Misfits’ opening tune, The Devil’s Rain.

By the band’s second song, the pit had gotten heavy, the smell of marijuana floated through the wind. The legendary Misfits were playing with flames roaring high.

As the band played more songs, it seemed like it finally hit the students — they’re at a Misfits concert. Thus, the crowd surfing began. “It was great being that close to a legendary band though it was kind of scary with people falling on your head,” Stephanie Irizarry, a freshman computer engineering major, said. The circle pit had extended out and anything from water bottles, to baseball caps, to flip flops were darting through the air.

Unfortunately, at this point things took a slight detour. Mid-playing Jack the Ripper, the police realized the mosh was getting a bit out of control. They put themselves smack dab in the middle of the circle pit like some twisted version of a merry-go-round.

Suddenly, the police had the band stop. “You have to have respect for you, for me, for them [referring to the police], for everybody.” Jerry Only preached to the crowd. “Don’t get us shut down.” But they did get shut down, only being a half hour into their set.

There was plenty of entertainment at the Fifth Annual Fall Bonfire. Photo by Ryan Murphy.

FAU Police declined to comment on why the show was cut short.

Despite the music’s plug being pulled, Only told the audience, “This is your night FAU.” He announced that the band would be walking around meeting fans, taking pictures and signing autographs for whoever was interested. Only even let some of the girl fans try on his giant, leather, spiked vest.

“It should have been longer,” Christopher Kwan. a junior English major, said.

Candice Sanzerg, a sophomore communications major, was disappointed. “It’s a shame because you get such a talented band and people have to ruin it,” she said.