Icona Pop headlines for this year's rainy Springfest
Students filled Chapel's Field on Sunday armed with beach towels and sunglasses for Springfest 2014 despite the rainy weather. The excited chatter that had been circulating campus since the lineup was announced in late March culminated in cheering and singing that echoed around campus.
Organized by Student Events and WBRS , the concert featured Atmosphere, American Authors, RJD2 and headliner Icona Pop.
This year's theme was a beach party, which was ironic because of the chilly temperature and wet ground. The non-musical attractions included free pizza, a rock wall, a slip-and-slide (which was out of place in the climate) and giveaways including towels and tee shirts.
The event, which coincides with the annual Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts was planned by Director of Concerts for Student Events Stefani Gospodinova '14 and WBRS general manager Lee Nisson '14, along with the Springfest board, which is made up of four members from Student Events and WBRS .
Gospodinova and Lee began brainstorming for this year's Springfest after Student Events' fall concert in October. Choosing the artists took up until late January, based on availability and price range. Artists are constantly moving up and down in the list," Gospodinova said in an interview with the Justice, "if artist A doesn't work, we move to artist B, and so on."
The concert's lineup was diverse and full of crowd-pleasers. "When we heard that Icona Pop was available just this weekend, it was a no-brainer based on their popularity," Gospodinova said. "We really wanted a female headliner, since we haven't had that in a while."
[They are] the kind of artist that will be innovative and interesting but not necessarily out of anyone's comfort zones."
Add in emerging rockers American Authors, hip-hop vets Atmosphere and disk jockey RJD2 , and the lineup was varied enough to please a variety of different student tastes.
Electronica DJ RJD2 opened the concert to a relatively small audience that continued to grow as his set progressed.
He was rescheduled for Springfest because he had to miss his performance at the canceled winter concert in February due to a snowstorm. He made up for it on Sunday by spinning an upbeat set to get the crowd dancing.
Students rushed to the stage when American Authors began their set, dancing and singing to their lesser-known songs but becoming even more enthusiastic when they performed a cover of Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" and popular singles "Believer" and "Best Day of My Life."
The indie rock band from Brooklyn, N.Y., which is led by vocalist Zac Barnett, is at the same phase in its career as the band fun. was when they played at Springfest in 2012. Fun. took to the stage at Springfest when they had one or two radio hits but had not reached their current level of fame.
Atmosphere, an indie hip-hop and rap group, led by "Slug" (Shaun Daley), continued American Authors' energy by performing some of their 17-year-spanning catalogue . "This song is older than all of you," Slug joked when introducing material from their 1997 album Overcast!
The rain and increasingly muddy conditions didn't stop the crowd from jumping along and repeating lyrics, enjoying the act despite the fact that the group is on the older end of Springfest performers.
Finally, headliner Icona Pop drew the largest crowd and was lucky enough to have the sun come out. The dance duo, consisting of Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo , both from Sweden, stuck to their DJ roots and spent half of their set spinning dance tracks before taking to the microphones themselves.
Seamlessly transitioning into each upbeat, dance-worthy track, the quirky pair brought their dance moves and encouraged the audience to sing and have fun with them. Hjelt even played a kazoo on the track "Then We Kiss" and left the stage to join the crowd at one point. When the amplifier was turned down, they showed off their voices, which are often hidden by the electronic beats on their album. The group closed its set with its megahit "I Love It," while the audience joyfully joined in the chorus.
The event was a success, judging by the happy crowd at the end, even though the audience's shoes were covered in mud. With its diverse lineup, Springfest offered something for everyone.
Student Events members and volunteers started setting up on Saturday and woke up at 6 a.m. on Sunday to set up. Volunteers stayed to clean up, which shows the dedication of students to put on a great concert.
Springfest is a chance for students to take a break from their pre-finals stress and enjoy themselves, and this year's event more than satisfied.