The Chainsmokers, Lupe Fiasco play weekend shows

by Michaela Ledoux | 5/18/14 6:56pm

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Lupe Fiasco performed Friday night on Gold Coast Lawn.

Whether students wanted to enjoy modern bluegrass on the Collis Center patio, rock out to 1990s cover music on the Alpha Delta fraternity’s lawn or rap with Lupe Fiasco on the Gold Coast lawn, Green Key weekend brought ample music acts to campus. Hosted by Collis, Programming Board and Greek houses, students braved the rain to listen to a range of musical artists.

Collis’s programming began Thursday evening when it hosted four groups on its patio, including two local groups, Etna Old Time Association, a bluegrass duo of Will Corbett ’10 and Marc Shapiro ’10, and Reckless Breakfast, an Americana and bluegrass group that includes alumni as well.

Joe Marson, a soul guitar player and singer, as well as Tallahassee, an Americana and roots-rock group, also played at the event.

Corbett and Shapiro formed their band four months ago, when they both returned to the Upper Valley for work, Corbett said. Since then, the group has played at Morano Gelato and the AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon.

A large crowd of students and community members turned out on Thursday afternoon to listen to the musicians and enjoy free barbecue catered by Stinson’s Village Store. Etna Old Time Association’s fresh vocals coupled perfectly with its mandolin and guitar sounds, as the group played a mix of original songs and covered traditional Appalachian and modern bluegrass music.

Collis Center assistant director David Pack, who oversaw Collis’s bookings for the weekend, said he worked through a network of agents and bands he was familiar with from planning Collis After Dark events. He and coworkers looked for groups that had a “low-key ‘come hang out for a while’ vibe,” he said.

“People are taking a break, watching some music and getting some food,” Pack said. “We wanted to make sure there was plenty to do this weekend.”

Corbett called playing at the concert “a really positive experience” and said he and Shapiro looked forward to playing at the College again.

“It’s amazing how much Collis has grown since we graduated, providing music opportunities for people in the community to play and listen,” Corbett said.

Thursday night, Psi Upsilon fraternity arranged for Los Angeles-based electronic artist Goldroom and house and soul artist Figgy to come to campus. The concert took place at Zeta Psi fraternity.

Zete’s dark basement was lined with multi-color lanterns for the concert, and Goldroom’s flowing, infectious electronic beats started a dance party. An upbeat remix to Lykke Li’s 2011 single “I Follow Rivers” was a crowd favorite and transformed the basement into a fun, almost-European discothèque scene.

Kristy Fan ’17, who attended the event, said she enjoyed Goldroom’s music as well as Zete’s atmosphere.

“It was really nice elctro-pop and it wasn’t too crowded, so it was great for dancing,” she said.

Goldroom tweeted on Friday morning that he had “fun” at the event, though he still smelled “like a frat.”

Collis hosted four more performers Friday afternoon, including acoustic singer Brooks Hubbard, indie rock and pop group The Guys, indie pop group MisterWives and jazz, funk, soul and blues group Greenroom.

Pack said MisterWives was one of the most popular group that Collis hosted over the weekend. The band, which released its six-song debut EP “Reflections” in January, has been lauded as “the next golden children of pop” on MTV’s website Buzzworthy.

Favorable timing made booking the band possible, he said.

“They popped up on my Pandora station, and I thought they were really good,” Pack said. “I just decided to call them, and it turns out they were doing a show in Connecticut the night before.”

Comprised of Mandy Lee on vocals, Etienne Bowler on drums and William Hehir on bass, MisterWives did not disappoint the students who packed Collis patio on Friday afternoon. The group played synth-pop tunes from its album as well as a few curveballs, like a tropical rock cover to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” that had the crowd jumping up and down during the chorus.

Aldo Arellano ’17, who attended the MisterWives concert, said the performers were even better live than in the recordings he had heard.

“I was surprised that the lead vocalist’s voice that is so amazing on the record could be even better in person,” he said.

Though the group often tours colleges, Lee said the band was impressed by the crowd’s energy at the concert. After just four songs, she remarked to the crowd that the Dartmouth show was already the best college performance that the group has played.

“When we first got to Dartmouth there was no one there and we were sort of bummed and it looked like it was going to rain,” Lee said. “Then, people showed up and it was really refreshing. You all had the best energy ever and it was contagious. We were really taken aback by that.”

After the group performed the title track to “Reflections,” Lee said she wished she had filmed the crowd’s reaction.

“That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” she said.

Pack said members of the band reiterated to him after the show that it was one of their most enjoyable concerts yet.

Phi Delta Alpha fraternity also hosted artists on Friday afternoon, including Clyde Lawrence and JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. Lawrence, a current Brown University student who also played at Phi Delt last year, was the opening act, while the five-member indie soul band from Chicago followed.

Friday night included the much-anticipated Aer and Lupe Fiasco concert. Though Programming Board members considered moving the concert from Gold Coast lawn to Leede Arena because of forecasted rain, 87 percent of students who responded to its emailed survey voted for an outdoor concert.

Programming Board concert director Zach Tannenbaum ’17 estimated concert attendance at around 5,000 people throughout the evening, the largest that the group has had for its Green Key concert, he said.

“We picked Lupe Fiasco because he’s a popular, known artist, and we believed that the basis for his music was appropriate for the campus and would not be controversial,” Tannenbaum said. “We thought that Aer would complement that nicely and would give a wider variety of music that would reach a larger group of people who could appreciate the Green Key concert.”

Aer, or Fresh Aer Movement, opened the concert with songs that combined rap, reggae and indie rock influences. Fiasco followed the Boston-based duo, emerging on stage around 10 p.m.

Fiasco played many rap songs from his most recent CD as well as some older hits, which were more popular with the crowd. The rain held off until near the concert’s conclusion, as Fiasco performed his 2010 hit “The Show Goes On.”

Ted Poatsy ’17, who attended the concert, said the timing could not have been better.

“Everyone was waiting for ‘The Show Goes On,’ and everyone was worried about the rain,” he said. “When they synced up perfectly, it was the perfect catharsis for the end of a stressful week.”

Meili Eubank ’15, who also attended the concert, described the coincidence as “perfectly ironic and quite the rush.”

Later on Friday night, Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity held its annual Gammapalooza featuring four DJs, TWRK, DOSVEC, DJ MSKW and DJ Hollisto.

Chi Gam president Zachary Queen ’15 said the annual dance party was well-attended despite the rainy weather. The DJs were forced to play inside, however, in order to keep their equipment from being harmed.

“We had to make a judgment call because Hanover Strings asked if we wanted to wire up inside or outside and we chose inside because of the rain,” Queen said. “It turned out to be a mistake, so next year we’ll definitely do it outside.”

On Saturday afternoon, Friday Night Rock organized student musicians to play on the Collis patio from 1-5 p.m. Collis hosted three more professional artists in the evening, roots and rock/folk group Pariah Beat, pop duo The Doyle Bros, and funk, soul and hip-hop group Biscuits and Gravy.

On Saturday afternoon, Bones Gate fraternity hosted six-piece roots reggae group Royal Hammer and AD hosted student band Chuck and 1990s cover band The Bayside Tigers.

On Saturday evening, Gamma Delta Chi fraternity hosted The Chainsmokers, the group responsible for the hit single “#SELFIE,” for an outdoor concert. Playing on a stage in the fraternity’s side yard, the concert was extremely well-attended by students.

Avery Brown ’17 said that she “thoroughly enjoyed” attending the concert, despite some pushing and mud, because the group’s “genre of music is meant to get people hyped.”

“Dartmouth you get the award for craziest college party we have played yet,” the group tweeted Sunday afternoon. “Congrats!”

The article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction appended: May 19, 2014

Avery Brown '17 is a woman, and the pronoun referring to her has been corrected.