Hudson Mohawke, Waka Flocka Flame, Pusha T, Modest Mouse, Yeasayer, What? Cheer Birgade
Brown’s spring weekend blows everyone else out of the water. You might as well stop reading this list after this because nothing compares. This is Kanye dropping Yeezus the same day as Mac Miller and J. Cole release their albums. Try as Miller and Cole might, they won’t compare to a god. The lineup is current with four out of five artists planning on or already having released an album in 2015. It’s diverse but not random. And most importantly, it’s fun. Hudson Mohawke’s set will be a standout. He’s been teasing tracks from his upcoming album Lantern in mixes for the past two months. Pusha T hasn’t done a proper tour in a while so he’ll come out swinging for the fences. And relative unknowns What Cheer? Brigade will low-key steal the show from Modest Mouse. Brown’s Concert Agency just went harder on this lineup than Flocka has gone on his last three mixtapes combined. And for that, their Spring Weekend deserves the number one spot.
Big Sean, Raury, Brenmar
Say what you want about Big Sean, but you can’t deny he’s at the perfect stage in his career to put on a great college show. And that’s exactly what he did at Columbia’s Bacchanal. Hot off the heels of his Dark Sky Paradise release, he headlined one of the best spring lineups on the list. Atlanta up-and-comer and perpetual safari hat rocker Raury was the requisite indie unknown act and Chicago DJ/producer Brenmar was the required electronic act. At the end of the day, you couldn’t ask for a more well-rounded, interesting lineup for a single day concert.
3. UMass Boston
At first glance this seems like an odd pairing, plus it was at the House of Blues. But think about it some more: Ludacris is going to do all his old stuff (no way he would push Ludaversal on these kids) and Party is going to do all his new stuff. Imagine getting loosened up and comfortable to “Recognize” and “Let’s Get Married” before going all out for throwbacks like “Area Codes” and “Money Maker.” It’s a perfect marriage of old and new, even if it’s a bit narrow.
Lion Babe, Lauren Lane
Regardless of what you think about Concert Board, at least they try. It takes at least a little musical savvy and taste and ambition to book an (almost) all female Spring Fling lineup, and going after Lion Babe* is cool. So shoutout to them. At the end of the day, they didn’t book Hoodie Allen and isn’t that more important than the glitter obsession, dollar sign/no dollar sign controversy, and whatever other drama Tufts manages to stir up over Kesha?
Lion Babe being sent to Europe by the powers that be doesn’t affect our ranking, even though her replacement, Lauren Lane, is to house music what Carm chicken tikka is to Indian food.
Jessie J, St. Lucia, Klingande
This isn’t a bad lineup for a spring fling, and we get it Majestic Casual has some really chill music on their page. But you guys had Diplo and Chance last year.
Lupe Fiasco, Bad Rabbits
The MIT newspaper’s article on their Springfest lineup announcement included this gem of a quote in the opening sentences, “‘I guess I’m okay with it,’ Jitesh V. Maiyuran ’18 said of the choice of artist, ‘even though Lupe Fiasco wasn’t as big as he was years ago.’” Expect local up and coming pop/R&B band Bad Rabbits to steal the show in a major way.
At least Tufts booked Kesha with some sort of all-women lineup mission in mind. Penn just booked her because they’re lazy. “oh come on, that’s not fair” you, apparently a Penn student, argue. “How do you really know they’re lazy?” They booked Kygo too.
You have to admire Harvard for booking Yale’s headliner and calling it a day just like that. If an arms race of spring fling acts resulted because of this we’d totally write a piece about it.
Chance the Rapper, Magic!
Booking Chance The Rapper for your spring concert is like ordering a burger from Moe’s at 1:30 AM. Sure, it’s not the best for you and you’ve had it a half dozen times before but you’re drunk and tired and at least you know what you’re getting. And who’s going to judge you? Everyone else out at this hour is drunk and tired too and they definitely don’t care. It also doesn’t help that the Ras Trents of Magic! will chill everyone out into submission long before Chance even takes the stage but at least every male on the Cornell campus has had the words to “Good Ass Intro” memorized for nearly two years now.
10. UMass Amherst
Hoodie Allen, Chance the Rapper, Timeflies
Even if this lineup came out 3 years ago, it still would have sucked. No wonder Chance is able to afford living in LA making fun music with the Social Experiment and not worry about releasing an album any time soon. He does shows like this for college kids who still enjoy pregaming to Timeflies like it’s 2012. When you know two-thirds of the lineup wouldn’t have a career in music if it wasn’t for lazy college concert programming like this, it’s a bad show.