Despite skepticism from students, members of the Brown Concert Agency remain confident in their selections for Spring Weekend 2011.
BCA's Monday night announcement that Diddy-Dirty Money and TV on the Radio will headline Spring Weekend sparked mixed emotions in students. Reports of excitement, disappointment and speculations about the influence of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival were heard around campus.
The Spring Weekend concerts fall on the same weekend as Coachella, scheduled for April 15 and 16. Serin Seckin '11, BCA's administrative chair, said in a March 7 Herald article that many of the bands students requested on the BCA website were not available because they were playing at Coachella.
The University decides the dates of Spring Weekend without BCA's input. Due to scheduling issues like spring break and Easter, the weekend chosen was the only one available, said Abby Schreiber '11, BCA's booking chair. "We were told that weekend or no weekend."
In an e-mail to The Herald, Schreiber wrote that the University chose the weekend a year in advance, while the dates of Coachella were announced only seven months ago.
Though BCA was initially concerned, the conflict ultimately did not pose much of a problem, Schreiber said.
"Despite going up against Coachella, we've been really fortunate to get some amazing acts," she added. While Coachella "took a chunk of bands out," agents were able to inform BCA pretty quickly of artists' availability because the festival's bids are given out in early October, she said.
"The fact is that some of the Coachella headliners are out of the question anyway for any college, not just Brown," because of financial reasons, Schreiber said. In terms of the supporting acts, "there are hundreds of small, really cool, diverse bands to choose from," Schreiber said, so Coachella did not significantly limit BCA's options.
TV on the Radio played at Lupo's in Providence in 2008. Eli Bosworth '12 said when he first heard TV on the Radio was headlining Spring Weekend, he was disappointed because he and other upperclassmen have seen them perform already. But when he learned that they are set to release a new album — "Nine Types of Light" — just three days before their show at Brown, his opinion changed. "I remember the way they performed was very cool. They create a friendly atmosphere so it felt like it was in your living room," Bosworth said. "They said thank you every time someone clapped like they really meant it, not just like a dismissive thank you," he added.
"TV on the Radio is a wonderful act that consistently puts on amazing shows," Schreiber said. "Two years is a long length of time for a band that basically has been back in the record studio and is going back on tour," she added.
Though Bosworth said he is excited to have the chance to see TV on the Radio perform again, he is "pretty upset about Diddy." Because Diddy's album includes many featured artists who will not be performing with him on Spring Weekend, "it feels like we kind of hired a name," he said.
Diddy is a name, but not necessarily in the music industry, said Kayla Skinner '12. "I'm not really excited about Diddy as a musician. The association that I have with Diddy these days is performer, fashion designer, even producer."
"We don't only want to a pick a big name who doesn't have any relevancy or currency right now," Schreiber said. "In light of his new tour and his new album, Diddy was a perfect fit," she added.
Diddy has never played at a college campus before and Brown is the only college stop on TV on the Radio's Tour, Seckin said. "We're the first in line" to hear these artists "at a really good time in their careers," she said.
"We've watched Diddy's recent performances within the last month or two on YouTube, and we're really excited," Schreiber added. "He's still got it."
"He's the man who (raps on) ‘Shake Ya Tailfeather' and I think the Brown community is forgetting that," said Nate Shapiro '12, who is in the Brown Hip Hop Club.
"I think that obviously the best part of the concert will be when he gets on stage," said Shapiro, "because of the expectations (students have) and the confidence Diddy displays."
"I am reasonably confident that it will be a lot of fun assuming he doesn't only play new songs," he added.
"It's our understanding that he's going to play a lot of his old stuff as well as his new hits, and people are going to be dancing and singing along," Schreiber said.
A previous version of this article quoted a student saying of the artist and mogul Diddy, "He's the man who wrote ‘Shake Ya Tailfeather' and I think the Brown community is forgetting that." While Diddy is featured in the song, he did not write it.