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Spring Concert Preview: Faye Webster to come to Northfield, student band Manderson to open

St. Olaf’s Music Entertainment Committee (MEC) announced Faye Webster as the Spring Concert headliner on March 14, after posting teasers on their Instagram story. Webster, an alternative/indie artist, will be performing for St. Olaf and Carleton students in the Lion’s Pause on March 18. 

MEC has been working on securing an artist for this event since last semester. Their first artist pick ended up falling through for various logistical and contractual reasons, causing MEC to quickly work to secure someone else as well as announce the artist much later than they usually do. The committee reached out to Webster’s team and confirmed her for the Spring Concert, an annual event with a changing artist every year. 

This is MEC’s second concert of the year, following a performance in the fall from DUCKWRTH, a rapper and songwriter from Los Angeles. Webster’s music is distinctly different from the more energetic and electronic aspects of many past artists chosen by MEC. Her music has been described as indie-pop mixed with classic country and bittersweet R&B. She leans towards folk, with emotional lyrics overlaying sweet somber love songs. 

“A lot of times as a campus we choose people who we know will bring an energy that the campus needs. For example, when we brought DUCKWRTH, we were so excited to have someone with that type of energy to kick off the year,” MEC member Sylvia Shutes ’24 said. “DUCKWRTH was just a party to watch, whereas Faye is reflective of a really authentic place that is a really nice compliment to DUCKWRTH’s party. She is bringing the afterparty of ‘let’s vibe out.’” 

Webster is a 24-year-old artist based in Atlanta, Ga., and has three albums — two studio albums and one that she produced herself at the age of 15. Her most recent album was released last year and is titled “I Know I’m Funny haha.” 

MEC was intentional about inviting a female artist in particular for the Spring Concert in hopes of further balancing the types of artists playing on campus. Webster’s music is sure to bring a more emotional feel to the Pause, inciting an intimate and reflective feel for listeners. Some of her most notable songs include “Right Side of My Neck” and “In A Good Way.” Both of these are tender, nostalgic, and wistful songs. 

“We haven’t had an artist like Faye play on campus for a long time. We haven’t had someone who is dipping more into the Folk Americana flavor of things which is really exciting,” Shutes said.

Shutes is also a part of a student band, Manderson, who will be opening for Webster on Friday. They have been playing for about a year and are excited for the opportunity to play. Manderson consists of Shutes on guitar, MEC member Abby Johnson ’24 as lead vocals, Sydney Monge ’24 on bass, and Devin Cuneen ’21 on drums. The group is excited to debut on the Pause stage after playing at an MEC Open Mic Night and a house party. Birthed out of jam sessions in the Hoyme Lounge during the height of COVID-19, the group plays a variety of covers and are experimenting with playing an original or two at the concert. They describe themselves as “Girls’ night out. Girls’ night in. Girls’ night in between,” and “AUX cord in the car with your best friend.” 

“Live music is important,” Johnson said. “It heals the soul and we always want more of it on this campus in any shape or form, even if you’re not a part of the music department.”