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University News

Sunny, warm Spring Weekend delights

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, April 20, 2009

By the time Of Montreal’s dizzyingly psychedelic performance closed with an explosion of feathers Saturday Evening, Mother Nature had given little cause for complaint about this year’s Spring Weekend.

Both concerts were held on the Main Green for the first time since 2006, anchoring a weekend marked by warm weather, vibrant performances and an annual sing-along with acoustic guitarist Dave Binder on Wriston Quadrangle.

“Everything went immaculately,” said Stephen Hazeltine ’09, the Brown Concert Agency’s administrative chair. Almost all of the additional tickets made available after BCA announced the concerts would be held outdoors were sold, said BCA’s booking chair

Daniel Ain ’09. Both shows sold to 90 percent capacity, he said — almost 4,500 people per show.

The total count of eight transports by Emergency Medical Services was slightly less than last year’s. Two transports were reported for Friday night and six for Saturday night, said Vice President of Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn.

She said there were also a number of students who were evaluated by EMS but did not require further aid. There were 10 EMS transports in 2008 and four in 2007, The Herald reported last year.

“As far as I know, this year went pretty well,” Klawunn said. “The good weather made it an enjoyable weekend.”

Klawunn said the only cause for concern was noise complaints by neighbors during Friday night’s concert. Though Klawunn said negotiations to hold the Friday night concert outside were resolved before 2007’s Spring Weekend, this year’s concert was the first night concert held on the Main Green. The last two years were relocated to Meehan Auditorium due to rain.

Because of the complaints, Klawunn said there would be evaluations this week with Senior Director for Student Engagement Ricky Gresh to determine next year’s sound volume and concert hours. Next year’s concerts may start and end earlier, Klawunn said.

The festivities began Thursday afternoon with the annual SPEC Day carnival, which featured snow cones, cotton candy and giant inflatable structures and games.

Friday’s show opened with local indie folk band Deer Tick, who entertained the fast-growing crowd with impassioned lyrics and twangy guitars.

Retro soul group Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings followed with a dynamic and commanding performance to prime the audience for hip-hop star Nas and his controversial ire.

“This crowd is crazy,” Nas announced in the middle of his set to a wild, feverish audience. “A crowd like this, with it, you don’t want to go home.”

Saturday’s concert drew a slightly more subdued crowd. Many concert-goers lounged on blankets as the smell of curry from a booth catered by Taste of India flooded the Green.

The student band Doss the Artist and PGA Tour, winners of a battle of the bands competition, featured an eclectic mix of rap, brass, bass and guitar, setting the stage for Toubab Krewe’s world-fusion funk.

The audience packed the center of the Green to see the bombastic and authoritative rhymester Santigold, who overwhelmed the crowd with her sleek money-print suit and backup singer-dancers clad in sunglasses and gold jackets.

Her final number, the insistent dance-infused “Creator,” featured an on-stage dance party with about 10 audience members.

By the time Of Montreal took the stage wearing garish makeup and brightly-colored costumes, many in attendance were visibly exhausted. The band’s 90-minute set — dampened by an occasional raindrop — featured animal masks, ninjas and frightening silver men parading across the stage in a frenetic spectacle.

“Santigold rocked it,” said Chris Archuleta ’11. “I just thought the concert was awesome.”

On Friday, with the sun blazing and the temperature approaching a much-appreciated 70 degrees, Archuleta participated in an impromptu race on Wriston, he said. “We put ourselves into the large trash cans and raced down Wriston,” he said.

“It was a little out of control, to be honest,” Archuleta said.

Many students also said the weather made the weekend more enjoyable.
“It was super-duper,” Cameron Meyers ’12 said of the concerts. “It was just a lot of fun. I liked seeing everyone out.”

“It was nice to see the trees blooming,” said Austin Miller ’12. Despite the weather, Miller said he left in the middle of both concerts because he was “bored.”

The only unforeseen circumstance of the weekend was a wedding in Manning Chapel on Saturday morning when Of Montreal was preparing to have their sound check, according to Hazeltine. But he said everyone — the BCA, Of Montreal and the wedding participants — worked together to coordinate the timing of the sound check and the vows.

Next year’s Spring Weekend will be the 50th anniversary of the event, Ain said. He said the BCA hopes to work with the Undergraduate Finance Board to procure additional funding, allowing for an especially popular headliner.

“Our hope is to put on something pretty big,” he said.

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