After winning Movin ‘On’s Battle of the Bands on Sunday night, the “post-mom rock” group Women’s National Hockey League punched its ticket to headline the annual end-of-semester music festival on April 29.
Women’s National Hockey League captivated the HUB’s Alumni Hall with a discography spanning 60s and 70s classics all the way to modern hits. Before the band’s performance, a handful of other groups battled for the chance to headline Movin ‘On’s festival.
Alternative rock / indie group Mellow Honey led off Sunday night’s Battle of the Bands. “We’re about to express ourselves,” frontman Martin Borysiewicz said as the group opened with a guitar-heavy track. Mellow Honey slowed things down before wrapping things up with intense riffs and a quick pace.
Slowing it down, alt-rap performer Maslow came next with emotional tracks to underscore his raspy vocals, all accompanied by a DJ deck, keyboard, and electric guitar. With a mix of rap, techno, and rock, Maslow’s final song of the set drew the crowd in with a slow clap. A guest appearance by Sara Rebarchak provided a round duet between the two to cap off the performance.
Battle winner Women’s National Hockey League then took the stage, opening with “a silly little song about a kangaroo.” Gaining inspiration from Carole King, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Beatles, the band’s high-energy tracks had the crowd bouncing along with the instrumental switch from acoustic guitar in “Portrait Lady” to keyboard in “Time and Place.” Kristen Nodel’s clean yet airy vocals took center stage in the group’s closing song, “Angie,” to round out the set.
Alumni Hall was jumping along with The Willard Building’s opening song “Diesel” off of its new EP, “Goblin Rock II.” The four-piece indie rock band, which performs self-described “goblin rock,” engulfed the room with guitar riffs and solos scattered throughout. The end of the group’s final song, “Willard 3,” started a “Willard” chant as the band exited the stage.
Penn State senior Eric Damiano took the next stage backed by beloved State College band My Hero Zero. Damiano’s pop sound was present throughout his set with consistent instrumentals providing a catchy beat. His newest single, “Anytime Anything,” was performed with Damiano on the acoustic guitar before closing out the set with his most popular track, “Half of My Heart.” The crowd requested Damiano to perform one more song as he said his thank-yous.
The final act of the night, Dogwood Company, brought the alternative rock vibe back with its energetic set. Frequent guitar solos from Jack Flannery and controlled vocals by Forrester Connor in the group’s rendition of “Leaves” left the audience wanting more. Crowd involvement, instrumental breaks, and head-banging beats allowed the band to engage fans during the night’s final set.
Following Women’s National Hockey League’s big win, the group will kick off Movin ‘On’s annual music festival on Friday, April 29, at the IM Fields. Jack Harlow, Aminé, and Fitz & The Tantrums will headline the event as it returns in person for the first time since 2019.