Jai Wolf puts a fresh spin on EDM
As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, the Intercultural Center brought EDM artist Jai Wolf to Levin Ballroom on Saturday night for a stunning, sold-out concert.
Before Jai Wolf, however, two opening acts performed. The first, Beauz, played mostly remixes of existing songs, which I thought were unoriginal and boring. Repeating his signature chant, “Beauz in the motherfucking house,” Beauz tried in vain to engage a crowd that was clearly only waiting for the headliner.
The apathy of the concertgoers seemed to sap Beauz’s energy; at first, he was dancing behind his turntable, but he became toned down as his set went on. At the end of his set, Beauz played a new, unreleased song, “Never Over.” During this song, the crowd got off their phones and was much more engaged. Had Beauz played more original songs, I believe the crowd would have displayed much more energy.
The second opener, Masego, was much more well-received by the crowd. The duo played mostly live, original songs, including an impromptu piece about Brandeis. The songs were very innovative, and some even featured the saxophone.
This combination of EDM and jazz was interesting and was something I had never thought of before, but Masego made it work with clever instrumentals and a new, exciting energy which engaged the audience and left those who had previously never heard of the group hungry for more.
When Jai Wolf took the stage, the crowd amped up its energy. He stayed behind his turntable the whole time, but unlike Beauz, his energy never mellowed and he danced the whole time, often gesturing toward the audience to engage with them more.
The screen on his turntable projected beautiful images of nature, a cityscape and different colorful patterns. Each image seemed to sync perfectly with the mood of the song during which it was shown.
Going into the concert, I expected Jai Wolf to be another fixture in the increasingly homogeneous EDM scene. However, I was quickly proven wrong. Unlike many other EDM artists, Jai Wolf’s music does not rely solely on copious amounts of bass and boring digital effects.
Though his lyrics are somewhat boring, the instrumentals make Jai Wolf a refreshing new face in the EDM scene. He crafts his instrumentals with the influence of cultures around the world, making him a perfect choice to be featured in the ICC’s celebration weekend. The standout was one of the last songs he played, his hit “Indian Summer.” The song featured instrumentals which seemed to be influenced by Jai Wolf’s native Bangladesh. I am not an EDM fan, but Jai Wolf’s energy and fresh sound kept me dancing and enjoying the concert the entire time.
As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, the ICC also held a culture fest. Many clubs were represented at the event, including BAASA, BKSA, Triskelion, BASO and more. Each club served food representing its culture, with a wide variety of options ranging from chicken buns to bubble tea to decorating cupcakes. The event was well-attended, though it seemed mostly populated with club members and their friends.
This weekend was a great success for the ICC, with the excellent food options and interesting music providing a great learning experience about cultures around the world.