Variety seems to be the key word this year at Rites of Spring.
Vanderbilt University will play host to an annual music festival known for booking rising talent on April 20-21. This year, the talent will span several genres and will include acts ranging from headliner Wiz Khalifa to country act Gloriana.
“This year, we continue to bring music diversity to the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities,” said Dwayne V. Elliott, Director of Student Campus Events at Vanderbilt University in a statements. “No artist on our line-up is exactly the same. Each comes from a different genre which allows those with different tastes to come together and share moments through music.”
For a taste of the variety, check out the reviews below.
Lack of experience is one thing Friendly Savages brings to the stage. Catchy folk/rock melodies is the other. After only six months together as a band, one EP and several shows, Friendly Savages will break state lines when they bring their act to Rites of Spring. A folksy sound reminiscent of Mumford and Sons dominates the Austin, Texas natives set. Songs like “Her Locket on Her Neck” mix husky vocals with the sometimes-jarring mandolin and banjo solos to form an overall catchy and relaxing melody.
East Coast meets Southern Rap in Wiz Khalifa’s soft-spoken easy beat style of hip-hop. This year’s headliner has been rapping since he was three and recording since he was 14. Hailed as “one of the rap-games brightest young star to watch, Wiz Khalifa, whose real name is Cameron Thomaz, gained major ground as an independent artist through his constant YouTube presence and a series of mix tapes. Part of the new generation of rappers that center around smooth lyrics, Wiz Khalifa has carved out a place with topped viewed songs like “Black and Yellow” as well as being featured on a track by Snoop Dogg.
Experimental pop-duo, Sleigh Bells brings their oddly heavy and melodic style from their new album, “Reign of Terror,” to Rites. Based in New York, Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss bring an edge to each performance, rightfully earning the title of “a tour de force on the stage. “ Vocalist Krauss’ sugarcoated voice subtly masks the lyrics filled with personal tragedy and seems out of place with the harsher, almost metallic sounds. While the contrast between hardcore metal and girlish soprano takes some getting used to, the pop hooks draw you in.
Other performances include rock band MUTEMATH, Gloriana, Soundland performers Reptar and the Fitz and the Tantrums. Single-day tickets cost $40 and full weekend passes purchased in advance cost $55. Check out the Rites of Spring website for more information on artists, ticket prices and performance schedules.