Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey competes hard, falls to No. 10 Providence College in overtime -

February 26, 2017

Overtime goal hands UMass hockey its 15th straight loss in regular season finale -

February 26, 2017

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Bonnaroo 2009: Thursday Day 1

Caption
Cloudy skies and rain cast a shadow over the festival’s first day

If the first night was highlighted mostly by sporadic weather, Thursday night’s attractions were met with similarly uneven results. The forecast ranging from bands that generated the high voltage of Tennessee lightning to ones that barely generated the excitement of a passing shower. Despite Kanye West’s infamous set problems last year, hip-hop regenerated in full force Thursday night with high-energy shows from festival newcomers, MURS and People Under the Stairs.

Both emcees were successful at integrating the crowd early and succeeded at keeping the drenched festival-goers dancing through the storm, each with their own individual styles. While MURS played mostly with hip-hop’s commercially successful bass thud and soul-beat model, he was able to breath fresh life into the medium with his spitfire verses and solid beats succeeding on his promise that he would offer a, “fun approach to hip-hop.” Despite that, the rapper born under the ironic name Nick Carter and who’s alter-ego is slang for “Making Underground Raw Sh*t,” offered surprising versatility with songs that discussed everything from his full-mane of dreadlocks to the nation’s economic crisis.

Conversely People Under the Stairs provided a style that would be fitting coming out of a boom box, with DJ scratching provided live by the group. The One and Double K, the principal members of the group, traded verses often conversationally dipping into freestyles often and drawing in the crowd with tunes dedicated to their troubled home city. While People Under the Stairs were largely unknown to the crowd, they quickly won fans with their wit and showmanship, even asking coyly when the crowd stumbled through a sing-a-long, “what you guys didn’t buy that record?”

The night’s rock acts provided most of the uneven moments, with the biggest pressure of the night falling squarely on the shoulders of Cambridge, Massachusetts natives Passion Pit. The group generated a heavy buzz throughout the scatted campground and drew what was surely the largest crowd of the night. The five-piece band talked a big game with lead singer Michael Angelakos stirring up the crowd like the ring leader of the circus. Draped by their lighting personnel in the soothing tones of pink and purple, the group’s sound was similarly limited by an equally bland musical palette. The song’s off their debut album “Manners” sounded full live however they failed to incite the large crowd in the same ways as last year’s This Tent headliners, Vampire Weekend and MGMT, a point of note as Passion Pit’s sound seems a likely adaptation of Vampire Weekend’s drum-heavy beats and MGMT’s catchy keyboard flourishes. Varying from slow soulful keyboard infused pop tunes, to more uptempo synth-driven pop tunes, Passion Pit often sounded like they were going through the motions, robotically trodding over musical group that has recently been mostly colonized.

White Rabbits, who graced the same stage before the torrential rain fell also saw a sizable crowd and similar mixed results. The Brooklyn, New York natives have received high praise from England’s premier music magazine NME, no doubt for their sound’s heavy drawing from UK bands like The Specials and Arctic Monkeys. In spite of lofty comparisons the band fought against the sizable evening crowd drawing applause and maintaining interest at what was still one of the day’s earlier shows.

Elsewhere The Low Anthem slowed things down at That Tent with a more mellow evening set. The Providence area band’s members formed a virtual musical carousel, switching instruments and tones often. The group’s members pulled duties on instruments as diverse as upright basses and violins while handing off vocal duties on song’s like “This God Damn House” which they dedicated lovingly to a former band member. The Low Anthem kept things simple, sticking to lyrics that used simple imagery to craft songs about drinking, debauchery and wild and simple rhythms to craft tunes that ranged from keyboard laced acoustic downers to uptempo blues ditties like “Cigarettes and Whiskey.”

Overall Thursday night’s bands did little but whet the appetite and expectations for Friday’s main event which offers up a lineup with acts as diverse as David Byrne, The Beastie Boys, and the main attraction Phish.

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