Tag Archives: music

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Behind the Scenes with Bastille

I did not expect to find out that the guys behind “Pompeii,” the chart-topping hit with a foot-tapping beat that builds up to a catchy chorus and explosive lead vocals and chants, are really a group of easy-going lads with a soft-spoken frontman. However, I would not have observed this if I had only seen them in concert, where they are known to have fist-pumping, dance inducing sets.

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Foster the People are now on tour supporting their sophomore album “Supermodel.” (Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Sedayao)

Foster the People Barely Misses the Mark with “Supermodel”

After scoring a sleeper hit in 2010 with their oddly dark and irresistibly catchy single “Pumped Up Kicks,” the LA indie trio Foster the People return with “Supermodel,” a cotton candy grenade of a record, full of sweet caramel-apple hooks and sugar-coated choruses. It’s not a mind-blowing collection of songs, but it manages to inject some purpose into what could have been a bunch of mindless pop.

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Cuckoo Cuckoo For DON-A-ROO

On Feb. 8, the crowd at Campus Activities Board’s (CAB) annual spring concert was doing it right as they worked up a sweat and danced the night away. Swig Gym was converted into the complete dance party venue with massive green and golden lanterns, a large video screen and countlessbackdrops and lights.

DJ Devarock, the stage name of USF sophomore Royce Anies, brought the gathering to life as he pumped up the audience with his mix of popular EDM (electronic dance music) and hip-hop tracks.

“Opening for Krewella was absolutely insane,” DJ Devarock said. “I had a wonderful time opening for them. I felt a little bit nervous at first but calmed down about 20 minutes into the set.”

Watch St. Lucia perform “Elevate” at USF»

Following DJ Devarock’s set, the quintet St. Lucia hit the stage with their indie-synth pop music. The band opened with a gradual build up of guitar and drum instrumentals in the song “Night Comes Again.” To coincide with their ‘island’ sounds that extend beyond their tropical album cover art, lights illuminated the band with greens, blues, yellows and purple.

Amidst the recent rainy weather in SF,  Brooklyn-based band, St. Lucia, brought tropical vibes at USF. (Photo by Danielle Maingot)

Amidst the recent rainy weather in SF, Brooklyn-based band, St. Lucia, brought tropical vibes at USF. (Photo by Danielle Maingot)

The euphoric performance featured groovy instrumentals and melodious vocals. “We Got It Wrong” took you on a rollercoaster of moods that resembled the ups and downs of a relationship, whereas “Elevate” brought high energy and made the crowd jump.

USF’s hip-hop dance club, VarCity SF, performed at the side stage while the main stage was prepared for Krewella.

“Co-founding VarCity SF my second semester at USF and helping bring the Performance Team to where it is now and performing at the CAB concert is truly amazing,” Edwin Sanchez, senior said.

After three opening acts, Krewella finally came on stage with an electric opening to the hit single “Live for the Night.”  The audience surged to life in song and movement. Sisters Jahan & Yasmine Yousaf of Krewella held quite the vantage point of the sweaty dance party, and joined in as they head-bashed to it all from the stage.  At one point, Jahan grabbed a bottle of water and poured it over her head in an attempt to cool off before resuming her bouncing.

There was no such thing as standing still in the crowd—even the floor was pulsating with the music’s rhythm and sound as the crowed moved closer and closer to the stage.

The concert ended with Krewella’s “Alive,” and the audience called for an encore. After a few minutes, students began leaving Swig Gym. To their surprise, Krewella returned to perform “Come and Get It.”  The show finally ended with the group standing on top of the rail below the stage, taking countless numbers of selfies with the audience and praising the crowd. Later that evening, they tweeted “San Francisco, man what a crowd. Thank you for making it so much to perform. Felt like Six Flags tonight XO.”

KREWELLA photo coverage by Danielle Maingot
Last year’s CAB concert was huge, and this year looks promising too  —  CAB has  already sold out their target of 1,000 tickets, and opened up 200 more which are close to selling out. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Rhoades/Foghorn)

Are you Rooting for DON-A-ROO?

We’re two days away from DON-A-ROO, the annual Spring concert at USF organized by the Campus Activities Board.  This year, St. Lucia will be performing in support of the electronic trio Krewella on Feb. 8.  Most of us Dons have heard great things about last year’s Macklemore performance, so is it even possible for Krewella to top it this year?

CAB’s concert director, John Hewitt, expects this year’s show to blow people away — despite the fact that Ellie Goulding was the first choice for the show, but couldn’t attend because of her European Tour.  It is no secret that electronic dance music—or EDM rather—has become increasingly popular over the past couple years. Artists like DeadMau5 and Skrillex have attracted quite a large fan base as a result of music festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Camp Bisco.  So, it’s no surprise that Krewella would seem like the obvious choice for a headliner. But what do the students have to say about it?

“I’m kinda over the ‘rave scene.’ I’d rather see something new and different,” Alison Collins, freshman, said.

“You know what’d be cool? If they got someone like Weird Al, or Smashmouth to play. Just this awesome, [nostalgic] band that everyone knows and loves,” Alec Kaplan, junior, said.

Perhaps the popular choice isn’t the best choice, at least according to a couple of students.  Should CAB have gone the retro route?  Granted, St. Lucia was booked as the opening act in favor of Hewitt, who describes the five-piece band as having a “tropical 80’s style.” Maybe that’s as retro and as far away from EDM as we’re gonna get for this year’s DON-A-ROO.

In addition to the annual pressure of picking a compelling headliner for the show, CAB faced an even bigger challenge, given the exponential success of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, thanks to songs like “Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us,” and “Same Love.”  The duo won four Grammys last week in the categories of Best New Artist, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance.

When some students were asked about their expectations for DON-A-ROO, half of them hadn’t even heard of Krewella.  Hewitt considers this fact to be in the concert’s favor.  “Krewella may not be as well known as Macklemore, but if you look back to this time last year, there were a lot of students who did not know who he was earlier, and that’s the fun in bringing up and coming talent,” Hewitt said.

Who knows what we can expect from this year’s show.  Maybe next year we’ll be bragging about how Krewella performed exclusively for USF; or maybe we’ll still be talking about Macklemore.  Either way, how many universities do you know of that hold concert quality performances on campus?  One of the great things about San Francisco is the easy access to great live music, and we get to have just that in our own school gym.

Large art sculptures are placed around the festival grounds at Coachella. This installation of an orchid allows photographers to get a bird eye’s view of the event. (Photo by Madeleine Bonniot)

Coachella Sells Out Within Hours: Is it Really Worth It?

After months of speculation about which artists would be present at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, in Indio, California, the wait has finally come to an end. The much anticipated lineup was released on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and tickets went on sale the following Friday. In under three hours, the festival was sold out. This is just months before the actual festival takes place for two weekends on April 11-13 and 18-20.

A general admission ticket to the festival is almost $400, which begs the question, “is it really worth it?” For a three-day experience of music and the opportunity to see as many as ten musicians or more in a day, the hefty price of attending seems worth it for those who bought tickets.“There are only a few bands on the lineup that I am super stoked to see, and spending that much money on it seems a little bit too much,” said Tony Son, a senior at USF and a pass holder for this year’s festival. “’I’m hoping it is all worthwhile.”

Having gone to the festival a few times myself, I think the atmosphere of sharing a musical experience is what makes it so special. Even though the festival takes place in the hot desert, secluded from the city, everyone is in good spirits and the live music sets off a high energy in the crowds.

Across the festival grounds, there are all sorts of activity booths and food being sold. Big companies set up tents every year for various activities like photo booths, arts and crafts, and most importantly, phone charging stations and air conditioning. Heading over to sponsored tents also allows for bands to do meet and greets with fans.

When walking between stages, you can marvel at the enormous art installations placed around the grounds. When I went in 2012, there was a massive orchid sculpture that doubled as a photography station. A photographer sat in the petals of the flower and moved it around to take pictures of the festival grounds, high above all of the action. There really is never a dull moment at Coachella, between the art, the activities and of course, the music.

The lineup is really what pulls people in to spend half a thousand dollars on this annual event. Coachella showcases popular musicians, emerging artists, and even groups that have come out of hiatus and have reunited.

Muse is coming back to head- line this year’s festival again after their last appearance at Coachella in 2010. The English band’s performances are some of the most memorable and still talked about to this day. A new headliner on the bill is Outkast, who is reuniting and making its debut performance at the festival. Outkast has announced a tour of over 40 different festivals and shows all over the world to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a group, and they are kicking it off at Coachella.

Other music groups that are reuniting are the Knife, who is known for its weird, dramatic music, and Neutral Milk Hotel who has not played a show together since 1997. Neutral Milk Hotel, an indie/folk/ experimental band, has somewhat of a cult-like following and fans are making the trek to Coachella Valley to see them exclusively.

Aside from the headliners, there is a long and extensive list of other performers who will be playing at the show. Some stand out artists are Haim, the kick-ass trio of sisters who have blown up since Jay- Z signed them to his record label, Queens of the Stone Age, Pharrell Williams, Lorde, Kid Cudi, Beck, and Lana Del Rey, just to name a few.

With the rise in electronic dance music, there is an abundance of electronic music artists performing at the Sahara tent, also known as the “rave stage.” A few of the big names are Zedd, Skrillex (who made the genre of dubstep what it is today), Calvin Harris, Flosstradamus, Adventure Club, Disclosure and Krewella, who will be headlining at our very own Don-A-Roo this February.

Although a few bands with new album releases like Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand did not make the cut, it seems to be a promising lineup of music superstars and up and coming artists.

Jasmin Rezaie, a current sophomore at USF said, “I really do love the lineup, but as a college student it’s really hard to justify spending that kind of money. I would love to experience it someday though”.

For a college student budget, the cost of Coachella is pricey, but after going in 2010 and in 2012, investing money for this event is worth it. For those interested in going to Coachella in the future, even if you only want to see a few of the people on the bill, the shared musical experience with thousands of other people in the desert, and the no- table spicy pie pizza will make the travel and costs all worth the hype.