Ep.187 – Rites of Spring 2009 @ Vanderbilt University – Nashville , TN
Apr 20th, 2009
Category: K'NAAN, Nashville, Q-Tip, Rites of Spring, Santigold, T.I, Video Concert Reviews
Much like Asher Roth, I love college (or loved college). Attending Day 1 of the “Rites of Spring” concert at Vanderbilt University made me nostalgic, and jealous that my school didn’t have a two day music festival on campus every year. I can’t complain too much, because we did get Run DMC and Biz Markie one year, but still – I wanted to be 21 again, stressed to the max about exams, and burning teddy bears because some dickhead disrespected me. (Refer to video for explanation)
This was the 26th year of festival, and it featured a diverse group of acts ranging from Q-Tip to The Flaming Lips. With help from the University’s event director and promotion from 360 Media, the student body was in charge of organizing the event. Security was understandably tight. Students attending were allowed a six-pack of beer per person per day, and were encouraged to recycle, as a station was available and attendees could guess how much waste was collected at last year’s event for a prize. After the show was over, a volunteer cleanup crew went right to work with a big job to tackle. Mad Props! As for the sound, I was next to the speakers the whole night, and when T.I. came on, the bass was so loud that I literally thought I was going to throw up.
The press coverage was outstanding! For T.I. we were broken down into groups, because the photo pit was out of control for Q-Tip. As you know, once he turns himself in, T.I. is off to jail for “a year and a day.” I’m not sure how much time that equals out to with parole (which I’m sure he’s eligible for), but T.I. had a huge crew on stage with him supporting him. I’m thinking that these were friends and family members coming out to see him perform before he has to start his sentence.
I saw T.I. perform a few months ago in LA, and he showed a lot more emotion this time. He talked a lot about what he has been through, and expressed his concern about leaving the scene for a year, and coming back to see everything he worked for gone. The way the crowd responded, I believe his fans will be there when he gets out. I’m sure we’ll all be looking forward to the record that comes out after that sentence is complete. He also discussed how he spent a lot of time online while on house arrest reading the comments people wrote about him (some bad), which can be a huge blow to the ego when you’re out of the spotlight and success for a minute. Obviously, this is a hard time for him, which he has been preparing for over the last couple years. The most important thing, after all is said and done, the dude has learned his lesson and will live a better life because of it.
Besides T.I., I got to see Santigold and Q-Tip. Both were incredible. Santigold has a funky and unique style. I swear the girl can do anything, and has the confidence and energy to compete with the men in her format. I was reading her Wikipedia page and didn’t realize that she used to sing in a punk band that was produced by Bad Brains’ bassist. Dope!I loved her expressionless backup singers and their bad ass chest pump dance moves. Sometimes less is more. They were fun to watch.
And Q-Tip…I mean what can you say…really, it was just amazing to finally see him live. While he performs, he expresses every word physically. No one sounds like him. He’s completely original and unmistakable.
I was walking in for K’NAAN, but everyone loved him, and he sounded great from the outside. He’s an interesting mix of bohemian drums, hip hop, pop, and reggae. I guess a lot of his lyrics stem from growing up in Somalia during the civil war there, and he learned about hip hop through the records his father would send him from America. I’ll have to go check him out on Myspace.
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Oh, and if you’re looking at schools, check out Vanderbilt: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/