Hofstra Spring Music Fest 2014

Music fest

Hofstra University’s Spring Music Fest 2014 did not fail to bring out the dancing fool in me.

If you follow me on Spotify, you’ll notice that I listen to a lot of alternative rock and pop music. Hence, this year’s lineup of ASTR, Vic Mensa, SZA, and Young the Giant made me extremely excited.

fest tent

The only rides this year were inflatable, so I didn’t really go on anything except the slide with my friend Aja. My jeans weren’t slippery enough to go down, so Aja’s satin-like romper wasted no time pulling me down. If we weren’t holding hands, I would have been stuck there for a bit!

Aja and I at the Hofstra Music Fest

We also got some really cool free stuff, including sunglasses, beach balls and airbrush tattoos!

airbrush

First up was pop/rock duo Zoe and Adam of ASTR. They performed a few songs from their new EP Varsity including my favorites, “Blue Hawaii” and “Operate.”

astr

Might I add that Zoe sure knows how to move those hips! Dayum girl!

Next up was Vic Mensa from Chicago. If you learn anything from Mr. Mensa it’s, “Make money, but the money you make don’t make you.”

vic mensa

I can’t stop dancing to his new single “Down on My Luck.” It’s so good!

Sub-headliner SZA put us all in a mellow state of mind with her beautiful R&B vocals. She sang crowd-pleasers “Babylon” and “Child’s Play.”

sza

At one point during her performance she told us she was self-conscious because her clothes kept falling off. She still looked cute!

Then came the moment we’d all been waiting for: Young the Giant.

They opened with “Anagram,” one of my favorites off their new album Mind Over Matter.

Lead singer Sameer Ghadia explained to us that the guitarist traded pants with someone for inexplicable reasons. I gotta say, he worked those baggy floral pants!

young the giant

After singing some of my all-time favorites, including “Cough Syrup” and “Eros,” Ghadia did the unthinkable:

He came off the stage and into the crowd during their closing performance of “My Body”!

I was standing against the gate, so I got to touch his armpit! AHHHHH!

I can’t believe this was my last Spring Music Fest as a Hofstra student. Hopefully next year someone can bring me as a guest?

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Album Review: Young the Giant’s ‘Mind Over Matter’

Mind Over Matter

Alternative band Young the Giant is back with a new album titled Mind Over Matter, which was released on January 21st, 2014.

“This record is kind of like chronicling our battles in the last couple of years,” says Sameer Gadhia in the “Young the Giant: The Making Of Mind Over Matter” video.

Said battles can be heard loud and clear on this album, with its bittersweet and triumphant sounding instrumentals. Coupled with Gadhia’s vocals, which have very distinct story-telling quality to them, Mind Over Matter easily becomes an album to fall in love with.

The intro to the album is a 48 second track titled “Slow Dive” which features a beautiful crescendo of soft violins and bell sounding instruments.

It’s About Time” and “Crystallized” are currently the two singles on the album. While “Crystallized” is very somber with slow guitar, piano, and synth melodies, “It’s About Time” is very loud, fast paced, and danceable with strong electric guitar and drum beats.

“Teachers” is another fast paced song on the album with similar qualities to “It’s About Time.”

“Firelight,” “Camera,” “Waves,” and “Paralysis” are the tear inducing ballads on this album. “Camera” is particularly interesting because of the abrupt beat change at around 1:20.

The tracks I loved the most on this album were the ones with striking lyrics, those being “Anagram,” “Mind Over Matter,” “Daydreamer,” “In My Home” and “Eros.”

The chorus in “Anagram” is simply genius. The song is about a guy who just wishes he could figure out the meaning of his relationship with the person who’s playing games with his heart. The first part of the chorus goes,

Anagram
I’m just a messenger man
It’s the last time around
One of these days I wish you were
A hologram […]

It’s as if the relationship itself is a scrambled word play that he can’t figure out. Even though this seems like something one would be upset about, the medium tempo of the chorus makes it sound playful, adding to the anagram word play aspect of the song.

“Mind Over Matter,” the song the album is named after, is my absolute favorite on the album. I love the second half of the chorus where Gadhia sings “And when the seasons change / Will you stand by me? /’Cause I’m a young man built to fall.” After that last line he let’s out a beautiful falsetto “oooh,” which makes my heart melt with all the vulnerability packed in this one song.

“Eros,” which I would assume is named after the Greek god of love, is filled with vivid imagery, my favorite being the line “I want to dance, and I’m not dancing alone.”

“In My Home,” comes across as a powerful anthem, especially where Gadhia sings “Well, I know I was born for this / Every night I dreamt of it.” The song is a wonderful rendition of self-realization and empowerment.

And the last of my favorites, “Daydreamer” I love for two reasons, one being that I am the biggest daydreamer and the second the song’s heartfelt lyrics. “For you I would steal time,” is the one line of the song that resonates with me.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mind Over Matter. It’s melodies are very soft and soothing, give or take a few tracks. There’s something very relatable about this album, which can potentially draw a lot of listeners to it.