Review: Big Spring Concert 2018
For those unaware, Ohio State has an annual Big Spring Concert, which is free to all students, and this year’s iteration featured a great variety of music. Starting off the early evening was a local Columbus band, Clubhouse. I was impressed by their somewhat laidback yet vibrant style and they set a good mood underneath the warmth of setting sun. Their style can be best described as Indie Pop tinged with synth flourishes. I also noticed that their vocal harmonies were aiming for an Ezra Koenig-esque sound, although this is only how they sounded live as their songs on Spotify have a slightly different tone, but regardless, the band is very good and I’d recommend to be on the lookout for them in the near future as the band mentioned during their set that they were planning on releasing some new music soon.
Next up was Aminé – for the uninitiated, it is pronounced Uh-Mean-Aye, which he clarified during his set – a rapper from Portland. Initially, only his DJ was onstage and he played some music to hype up the crowd for Aminé. Once Aminé launched onto the stage, the crowd was lively and visibly enjoying themselves. Aminé brought plenty of energy and the crowd respond with an equal level of enthusiasm, only to be topped once Aminé took off his coat – which had seemed quite weird considering that it was a pleasant day in a rather cold Ohio spring – to reveal an OSU football jersey. Additionally, Aminé would call out to the crowd through his set with “You’re beautiful” to which the crowd was told to respond with “I know.” I thought it was an interesting touch and his message fit the good vibes that Clubhouse had put out before him. I had never listened to Aminé, but I was impressed by his set since his performance, energy, and message were a detour from the anticipated bravado and aggression that most rappers carry live.
Finally, Young the Giant took the stage and my expectations were thoroughly shattered in just two songs. I should note that I am a big fan of Young the Giant and I was the first person in line to get tickets for the Big Spring Concert, which in hindsight was entirely unnecessary because there was no difference between any of the tickets. The band opened with the first two songs off their latest album, Home of the Strange, Amerika and Something To Believe In, which were excellent choices since the former is a slow building jam that ends with a breathtaking belt, and the latter is a hard-hitting song that set the tone for the rest of the set. The most outstanding quality of Young the Giant’s performance was front man Sameer Gadhia’s vocal performance, which sounded as good – if not better than the recordings – followed by his outstanding onstage antics. An unexpected highlight of the set was Nothing’s Over, which was prefaced by a story about Sameer’s time in college that culminated in the phrase “I’ll grow up when I’m older.” Young the Giant relied on material from their latest album for more than half of their set, but it was a good choice because they crafted a setlist that was centered around their most upbeat beat songs (Anagram, It’s About Time, Silvertongue) with a few selections highlighting their softer side (I Got, Cough Syrup, Titus Was Born). The stage lighting was captivating as the stage was lit up with a rainbow of colors during nearly every song. The night was perfectly encapsulated and ended by the band’s most anthemic hit, My Body, which had the whole crowding jumping and shouting at the top of their lungs.
Ultimately, Young the Giant was a great choice for the 2018 Big Spring Concert as they brought energy and an excellent performance to a crowd that wanted Something To Believe In.