Review: Spring Jam 2018 offered worthy respite from academics, cold weather

The weekend's offerings were not too shabby for $25.

Lil Yachty performs at Spring Jam on Saturday, April 21, 2018 in Minneapolis.

Ellen Schmidt

Lil Yachty performs at Spring Jam on Saturday, April 21, 2018 in Minneapolis.

Maraya King

Spring Jam’s festivities Saturday provided campus a mix of entertainment and respite at a critical point in this year’s winter-weary semester.  

From Instagram-worthy backdrops to beanbag lounge areas to the mosh pit for Lil Yachty, it was not your typical spring evening in Minnesota. 

For starters, most of the snow had melted off, sandals were broken out, overalls were donned and even the sun made a guest appearance. Combine that with tinted Gatorade bottles, camouflaged flasks and the looming pressure of finals — this was a much-needed weekend.

Dreams We’ve Had kicked off the evening after their Battle of the Bands win on Friday night. The indie-pop band, which was arguably better than any of the other opening acts, played to a small but loyal crowd early in the night. The band has been together for over two years, and it certainly showed in their free-spirited confidence onstage.

Following Dreams We’ve Had came Remo Drive, a stark contrast with their angst-ridden lyrics. The Minnesota-native band knew just how to get the crowd on their feet — by shouting their problems into a mic with accompanying guitar riffs. 

Ella Mai, a name not many knew beforehand, played a lively set. Between her British accent, navy bomber jacket and smooth vocals, she was a crowd favorite. If you didn’t know her name before, you do now. 

Cashmere Cat’s set was … nontraditional. He moved from endless buildups and the occasional bass drops to slow melodies that were reminiscent of childhood lullabies. Albeit an impressive set, it seemed misplaced for a college party.

Then came Lil Yachty. His setlist was ideal with hits like “Broccoli,” “iSpy” and the anthem we all came to hear — “Minnesota.”

What should have been a slam-dunk for Yachty, however, received mixed reviews from the crowd. Knowing all too well that after hearing “Minnesota” the crowd would disperse, Yachty saved it for the end. Once the beat started for “Minnesota,” beers went flying, the crowd started jumping, and then he stopped it. Then he started it again. Then he stopped it. This process repeated multiple times, to everyone’s discomfort.

With long winded buildups and short-lived choruses, Yachty’s performance seemed amateur at best.

Aside from the headliner, all the attractions last weekend were a home run with surprisingly short lines.

The Ferris wheel at sunset was as romantic as it was Insta-worthy, complete with shrieks in the background from passengers of the 1001 Nachts ride. 

Surprisingly enough, the free food lasted throughout the night, a miracle by any stretch of the imagination.

Co-sponsored by Coca-Cola, there were free refreshments in every corner of parking lot 37 and an abundance of free Spring Jam swag from other sponsors.

Whether it was a glowing bracelet from Xfinity, a neon fanny pack from housing communities or an unnecessary keychain — it was impossible to leave without them. They’re free, so why not?

The most underrated aspects of the event by far were the lounge areas. Whether you wanted to stretch out on beanbags and watch the entertainment from afar, or hit up the hammock stations and sway to the beats, there was something for everyone.

Overall, this year’s Spring Jam was well received. Your student services fees went to good use. 

Grade: B-