Spring Splash returns on campus with an indie and rap-themed playlist that had many students either excited or disappointed with this year’s line-up.
Doors opened at 3:30 PM, and it came to no surprise that many students lined up early in hopes of getting both ASPB merch and a spot at the barricade. The line increased by the minute as it slowly wrapped around the Humanities building. Unfortunately, some students’ early-bird stance may have been a waste of time as a horde of people cut right to the front where line monitoring was poorly enforced. ASPB members and a few security guards appeared right after, but students waiting in line expressed their displeasure and confusion.
While waiting in line, flashes of green lights colored the stage as DJ Miss Ninja! started the event off with EDM sounds. Their electronic beats distracted most from the wait-time in line and excited students as they neared the entrance.
Once inside the venue, students quickly enjoyed the food available, as well as a water station that fortunately didn’t seem to run out of water like last year’s Spring Splash. Majority of the long lines were seen at the event’s attractions, including the mechanical shark, meltdown and ferris wheel. The venue’s set-up was certainly one of the most organized events ASPB has hosted, and well-decorated with large letters spelling out Spring Splash.
Starting off later in the day, the heat did not get to students as Wooli came onto the stage. His fast-paced set had many dancing on their heels with their arms up in the air. The large screen behind the DJ flashed images of a colorful mammoth, and it felt as though the crowd were witnessing a live lucid dream on stage. It was possibly the most energy the audience had for the entire event. As soon as Wooli ended his set, students quickly left the concert area to refresh themselves from their brief moshing.
ASPB members threw shirts into the crowd as DJ Miss Ninja! played in-between breaks. The crowd dispersed throughout HUB Lawn, either going to the misting stations or restrooms in preparation for the next act.
“Please make some noise for Pi’erre Bourne!” announced DJ Miss Ninja!. Brief cheers welcomed the record producer and rapper, though the mellow energy seemed to rapidly transfer onto the rapper’s performance. Awkward transitions between tracks felt out of place during the performer’s set. Bourne soon performed “Biology 101” as he urged the audience to open up a mosh pit that formed only in the middle of the crowd. Pi’erre’s attempts of getting the audience to dance proved futile as the lackluster energy from crowd members showed their dissatisfaction with his performance. When asked if they enjoyed the rapper’s set, a student commented, “He did his best, but [he] failed to energize the crowd.”
Taking the stage after a short intermission, images of 070 Shake trudging through snow appeared onscreen as heavy beats blared into the evening air. It was an enthusiastic way to open the rapper’s performance, but energy quickly died down when the only sounds coming from the rapper’s voice was a pitchy, electronic noise. Either singing inaudibly or barely singing at all, 070 Shake did not seem to liven the crowd as much as people would have liked. Though the rapper had some moments where small mosh pits were formed, it was clear that the performance felt slow as audience turnout lessened with many either sitting or laying down on HUB Lawn.
The rapper performed a new song that only seemed to repeat “Na Na Na,” and though she tried to get the audience to sing along, the silence emanating from the crowd was louder than the beat of the track. Ending with Kanye West’s “Ghost Town,” 070 Shake took a bite from a flower bouquet a member from the audience had given to her before thanking the audience for their time.
A few minor technical difficulties ensued that caused some minutes of silence, but DJ Miss Ninja! reignited the audience and even had a small celebrity sighting of Scotty the Bear. Scotty joined in on the fun and eased the audience into the night’s headliner, Wallows.
Appearing as the event’s saving grace, Wallows kicked off the night with “I Don’t Want to Talk,” an upbeat tune that many recorded on their phones while Dylan Minnette cleverly performed the harmonica. Group members Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters and Cole Preston were the only performers that showed the greatest amount of energy. They showed their spirit through their voices or through their movements on guitar and bass. Yet it seemed that the crowd’s energy was little, leading Minnette to stop in the middle of the group’s song and instructing the audience: “[Let’s] go back to the middle of the song, [and on] the count of four, [go crazy] for the rest of the set.” The second Minnette counted to the final number, the stage and audience exploded into a frenzy of dancing.
Their performance of “Sun Tan” with an excellent trumpet player animated the crowd with joy. Minnette and Preston soon switched roles to perform “Quarterback.” Preston hugged the mic with both hands and sang their heart and soul into the Riverside crowd.
Introducing “Pictures of Girls,” Lemasters showed off their incredible guitar abilities as they strummed to the song’s fast rhythm, impressing the audience. Continuously singing “You should be down in Hollywood,” the crowd joined along to the lyrics as Minnette danced across the stage with sweat dripping down his face. His energetic performance throughout the event alongside Lemasters and Preston will remain unmatched.
Their final song, “Are You Bored Yet” was the main song that the crowd seemed to almost know as many brought out their phones to record the band’s final moment onstage. Minnette pointed the mic towards the audience several times throughout their hit track, unfortunately, there was barely any singing coming from the crowd. The band ended the night with their appreciation before throwing their guitar picks at thrilled fans near the front.
Verdict: Organized a bit more efficiently, Spring Splash 2023 was a bit lackluster in its performances, yet was thankfully saved by the energetic aura from Wallows.