The Depot kicks off the semester with a solid lineup

Cool Ghouls band members Richard Harkens (horns, left) and Max Manker (AV-Technician, right) set up for Board Game Night on Aug. 30 in The Depot at SF State.  Cool Ghouls will be one of the bands performing in The Depot's Kick-Off show on Sept. 4. Photo by Benjamin Kamps / Xpress

Cool Ghouls band members Richard Harkens (horns, left) and Max Manker (AV-Technician, right) set up for Board Game Night on Aug. 30 in The Depot at SF State. Cool Ghouls will be one of the bands performing in The Depot’s Kick-Off show on Sept. 4. Photo by Benjamin Kamps / Xpress

With the fall semester underway at SF State, students are turning their easygoing summer mindsets into more studious demeanors. The Depot is looking to combine the best of both worlds, offering students the chance to dance, listen to music and have fun in an academic campus environment.

The free event, which is open to students plus their guests, takes place Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. The show will feature three notable up-and-coming acts in the indie rock scene: Mikal Cronin, who has also experienced success as a member of Ty Segall’s touring band, The Fresh & Onlys and Cool Ghouls.

“This is a solid lineup,” said Stephanie Escoto, manager of The Depot. “It’s a show that people would pay $20 to see in the city, and you’re getting it for free on campus.”

Sierra Taoatao, a design major at City College of San Francisco, echoes these sentiments.

“The lineup for this show is really good. I always enjoy seeing the Cool Ghouls, supporting my friends and dancing along, but I’m also pretty excited to see The Fresh & Onlys since I haven’t seen them before,” said Taoatao.

Local band Cool Ghouls’ ties to the SF State campus run deep. Not only has the band performed at The Depot before, but it is also comprised of two alumni and one current student of SF State.

“It’s cool playing for and with people we went to school with,” said Ryan Wong, guitarist for Cool Ghouls, who is currently in his last year as a BECA major at SF State.

Because The Depot management estimates a large turnout, the Student Center’s recreation and dining level will be transformed into a concert venue to accommodate the expected crowd. Shows in the R&D level started last year when The Depot began booking higher-profile acts, such as The Growlers.

“It’s so much more work for us, but we can fit a lot more people than we could in our little venue. It creates a much better environment,” said Escoto. “We just try to make it so you don’t feel like you’re at school.”

Support for The Depot has continued to rise in the last few years, and growing attendance for all events is giving the venue a chance to book bigger shows with increasing regularity.

“Expect bigger bands,” said Escoto. “At least once a month we are going to bring one good band in whether they are a solid city or touring band. We have definitely started having a name. People who are in the same scene know who we are.”

While The Depot usually focuses on bands that are predominately of the rock genre, Escoto said they are working to bring diversity to the venue this year by collaborating with other SF State groups such as the Student Life Activities Board and Associated Students, Inc. to book more hip-hop artists, as well as adding an open-mic event featuring hip-hop and soul artists.

The Depot will also look to add non-musical events to its calendar, such as board game nights, art socials and poetry readings.

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