Up All Night At Spring Fling 2012
Published: Friday, May 11, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 11, 2012 09:05
It would only make sense that things would come together like this. Spring Fling, Cinco De Mayo, and the moon coming the closest to earth that it will all year all fell on the same day. It’s the kind of crazy coincidence Spring Fling deserves, and with some great weather finally thrown in this year on top of things, the stage was set for Mac Miller.
The night started out with Battle of the Bands winners Pardon The Spins, a large group for a college band. The band is an interesting one, as it has a horn section and saxophone player featured prominently in their lineup. Just like the night before at Battle of the Bands, Pardon The Spins played incredibly well, and with great coordination between their many members, particularly on a great cover of Stevie Wonder’s classic song “Superstition”.
The stage went calm for a while after Pardon The Spins finished, but eventually everything was all set for The Come Up, who came on stage running. The duo showed their touring experience well as they involved the crowd, who responded to their prompts in force. The Come Up’s songs were intense and quick, with a hard delivery. The crowd went along with every tune, no doubt thanks to the infectious energy of the duo, though that energy did seem to fade as the set wore on and reached its end.
After The Come Up came a lull, but then The Cool Kids waltzed on stage. The crowd swelled as the group opened with the fantastic first track off their latest album When Fish Ride Bicycles, “Rush Hour Traffic”. They blazed through their set, song after blistering song with the crowd bopping along to every tune. The band led the crowd along and they followed, screaming The Cool Kids’ name and responding loudly every time they were asked to participate. Various police officers were even spotted bobbing their head as The Cool Kids played.
Later in the set the band shouted out to the late, great Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, who had passed the day before. No doubt honoring MCA weighed heavy in their heads, as even on the last stop of their stint on the Macadelic tour, the band refused to relent and sounded as intense at the end as they did when the set started. They did seem less animated on stage in comparison to The Come Up, but their presence on stage suited their music well. The band ended their set with their Mayer Hawthorne collaboration “Swimsuits,” calling out to the ladies in the crowd and drawing the crowd into chants of “Hell Yeah” before exiting quickly so that the stage could be set for Mac Miller. It was a rather anti-climactic end to what was up until then a great set.
As the crowd waited for Mac to jump on stage, crew members set up in front of large LCD screens that cast them as silhouettes. A good amount of people stayed where they were at to save their spots as the stage went dark. In time, the stage lit up again after a while and music started blaring from the speakers. Mac took his time to make his way on stage, amping up the anticipation of the crowd. “Bring Em Out” by T.I. spilled out of the speakers and spoke the crowd’s thoughts about the headliner for them.
Then Mac Miller hit the stage; lit up bright now with smoke and the massive LCD screens lighting up the night. Mac was definitely pumped, calling out to the crowd before launching into his first song. The crowd went nuts and sang along to nearly every song he performed from his mixtapes and his first solo album Blue Slide Park, matching him beat for beat.
Mac tried his hardest to push himself, attempting to live up to the performances put on by The Come Up and The Cool Kids. That was ultimately the thing that hurt Mac. He doesn’t sound very good live, or even on record, compared to the two bands that set the stage for him and both bands have much better flow. He especially hurt himself when he went a capella for a bit. The silence showed what the loud beats had hidden; Mac Miller’s voice and his lyrics are definitely not his strong point. Also, his songs seemed drawn out and long compared to the intense pace set by the two duos.
What Miller lacks in substance, though, he clearly tries to make up for in style and spectacle with his rather impressive stage set-ups. Throughout the show the LCD screens played random clips of Marilyn Monroe and a home movie of child, presumably a young Mac Miller. It seems Miller even knew how impressive his set-up was. He took a few breaks and let the stage go completely dark, so a minute or so long clips of a floating head would appear and talk to the crowd before he came back to the stage.