Just go to Flashfest already


Contact Katy Coduto at [email protected]  

Katy Coduto

Flashfest is never the same beast two years in a row. In 2011, at the end of my freshman year, Bruno Mars took the stage in the M.A.C. Center for a whole $5. The following year, Third Eye Blind threw it back to the 1990s in Manchester Field on a beautiful Thursday night. And last year changed it up again, bringing Kendrick Lamar and Steve Aoki to the M.A.C. Center in a whirl of “good kid, m.A.A.d city” enthusiasm and an EDM-approved light show.

This year, Capital Cities and Ab-Soul will take the stage, along with local DJs Dom Parisi and Evan Evolution. The formula is closer to last year’s hip-hop/dance recipe that brought two often-disparate fan groups together for the annual end-of-the-semester bash. Having said that, the question that always comes up in conversation about Flashfest, of course, is “Should I go?”

The answer to that question is always “Yes.” This year, the free show will take place on the student green, the first Flashfest that the green will ever see. It’s Flashfest’s 20th anniversary, so there’s some historical significance, if you’re into that kind of thing. And, oh yeah, it’s still free. Unless there is a torrential downpour and a tornado is cruising through, you should really be there. (It’s going to be 60 degrees and sunny.)

Of course, it also helps to know the acts that you’re going to witness. To some, Ab-Soul and Capital Cities might not be that familiar. So, if I’ve convinced you to go to Flashfest (because hello, it’s free), or at least to walk by the student green, here is a quick primer on the two artists you’ll be meeting.

Rapper Ab-Soul continues a streak of bringing artists from the label Top Dawg Entertainment to campus — in other words, following in the footsteps of label mate Kendrick Lamar. The 27-year-old recently released a new track, “Tree of Life,” which we can expect to hear, and is probably best known for his last full length release, 2012’s “Control System.” That album features some pretty hefty collaborations with both Lamar and fellow TDE heavyweight ScHoolboy Q, as well as my personal favorite rapper, Danny Brown. Ab-Soul’s flow is smoother than a lot of his counterparts, and his tracks aren’t necessarily the bangers that are coming out of the West Coast right now. That doesn’t mean his set won’t be a good time; in fact, I’m excited to see his songs translated to the stage.

Headliner Capital Cities is going to be a world of difference from Ab-Soul, much in the way Kendrick’s rap game opening last year was completely different from Steve Aoki’s mind-bending set. It’s kind of nice that the varying sets cater to different tastes, so don’t let all of the changes deter you. Plus, if you go see Capital Cities, you’re bound to hear their hit that is playing everywhere all of the time – they’re the ones behind the insanely catchy “Safe and Sound.” In case you didn’t know, Capital Cities got their start as jingle writers for commercials. It’s no wonder their songs deliver hooks upon hooks and focus on danceable beats. Capital Cities is likely going to go nonstop for their full set, and you may as well send the semester off by dancing to the hooks in the middle of the student green. I mean, why not?

Contact Katy Coduto at [email protected].