Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer falls to Central Connecticut 3-0 in home opener -

August 19, 2017

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 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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