This post was written by Hatchet reporter Callan Tansill-Suddath.
The removal of Action Bronson as this Spring Fling’s headliner provided a perfect opportunity to showcase three local acts.
Although the crowd was thinner during the first two opening acts than in past years, the energy picked up as headliner Goldlink took to the stage for his hour-long set.
The rapper and D.C.-native sported a vintage Washington Bullets basketball jersey while hypnotizing the crowd with remixes of classic songs such as House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” He also played a number of his own tracks including the crowdpleaser, “Spectrum” off of his 2015 album “And After That, We Didn’t Talk.”
Goldlink was impressive in his originality during his freestyles – his creativity shone through when he meshed his fast, free-flowing rhymes with music from different genres. Not to mention his vocals sounded the same both live and on recorded tracks.
Before the headlining act, the crowd was sparse with about 80 students in U-Yard and only about 15 to 20 people dancing at any given time. The area around the stage quickly filled up with people for Goldlink’s set, many of whom were wearing glowsticks from Program Board.
Student DJ Lean Quatifah kicked off the concert with a two-hour set of continuous, high-energy remixes. He was followed by fellow local DJ Manila Killa, a senior at George Mason University, for another hour of music including mixes of “Roses” by The Chainsmokers and his debut original track, “All That’s Left.”
Vendors at this year’s event featured many familiar faces from years past including The 9:30 Club, who hosted a raffle for tickets to future shows such as The Sweetlife Festival on May 14. Domino’s Pizza and Coca Cola were responsible for the food and drinks. Other attractions included an inflatable challenge course and baseball pitching tent.
One noticeable change to this year’s Spring Fling was the absence of free shirts, arguably the most popular part of the festival in past years.
Program Board member Rob Todaro said that although the shirts were ordered, the Program Board decided not to distribute them because they listed Action Bronson’s name on the back as the headliner. Instead, the shirts will be donated. Todaro is a former Hatchet columnist.
Despite the controversy leading up to the concert, the event attracted students from every grade. Freshman Madeleine Pye was very pleased with her first Spring Fling experience.
“I thought it was great, I loved Lean Quatifah and Manilla Killas sets,” Pye said. “Goldlink had really great energy. Overall, great music.”