From 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. last Saturday, Stanford’s Sprung Music Festival encompassed a wide range of musical performances from indie rock to dance. The festival featured the Battle of the Bands, a series of performances by Stanford bands competing for the opportunity to open for the likes of Flume, Kaytranada and AlunaGeorge at Frost Music Festival, the much-anticipated Stanford music and arts festival scheduled for May 16th. Following the showcase of Stanford talent came the headliner acts — Chrome Sparks, Sango and GoldLink — to close out the night.
The Battle of the Bands consisted of a variety of Stanford student groups: Real People Music, Alta Mar, Camp Youth, Arswain, and Siberian Front. From Alta Mar’s self-described “electro-goth” to the soul and folk-influenced rock of Camp Youth to the thrilling electronic rock of Arswain to Siberian Front’s energetic alt-rock, Sprung Festival showcased a broad range of on-campus musical talent.
The festival was filled with memorable moments, like when Camp Youth bassist Dan Ruprecht ‘17 broke a bass string during a thrilling performance of the song “Eldridge.” The vocals of Jenna Swartz ‘17 — evoking contemporary indie folk-rock artist Lady Lamb — rang out over the crowd, who moved energetically to the rolling beat. “Lay in the sunshine,” Swartz sang, as the instruments dropped out, the beat held only by a cappella vocal harmonies and the steady clapping of the crowd. Before long, the instruments, led by Ruprecht’s vigorous bass, returned in full force for one last visceral chorus.
Likewise, Arswain’s performance of a brand new song thrilled the crowd. Entitled “Hologram,” the track opened with an icy synth beat quickly joined by electric guitar. Over the interplay of synth, guitar and drums came the chilling vocal line: “Tired of this place I’m in / Trying to get away / But I can never escape.”
In the end, it was the enthusiastic alt-rockers of Siberian Front who took home the gold. Their infectious energy and talent garnered them the most student votes (with Arswain coming in second and Camp Youth arriving in third), providing them the opportunity to play at Frost. Indeed, the band delivered an invigorating performance that perfectly suited the outdoor venue, which allowed students ample room to move to the music or simply recline on the grass.
Siberian Front opened with “Seattle,” the opening track off of their self-titled debut EP. Frontman Thomas Reidy ‘17 sang with an intensity that matched his yellow blazer: “The voices in my head won’t go away.” The band continued to play essential fan-favorites throughout the set such as the anthemic “Freedom.” As Reidy belted out the chorus, the crowd came alive, jumping with their hands in the air, clapping and singing along. The audience’s excitement was similarly palpable when lead guitarist Gio Jacuzzi ’16 began to play the opening guitar riff to “Last Night,” the classic song by indie rock band The Strokes and another clear fan-favorite.
Following Stanford’s Battle of the Bands, Chrome Sparks’ DJ set got the audience moving, and Sango’s 808 remixes — by turns bass-heavy dance music and more ambient R&B-infused electronica, evoking artists such as Jamie xx and Kaytranada — continued that trend. By the time GoldLink stepped onstage and asked the audience, “How the f*** y’all feeling in here tonight?” it was clear, judging from the audience’s reaction, that Sprung had been a success.
Contact Tyler Dunston at tdunston ‘at’ stanford.edu.