ACE announces Spring Fling concert headliners

All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) will be bringing Blue Scholars and Young the Giant to co-headline this year’s Spring Fling concert on Friday, April 15 in Lasell Gymnasium.

“We decided to bring these acts because we wanted to bring an up-and-coming group and appeal to a wider range of musical tastes on campus,” ACE President Jerusa Contee ’11 said. “We are hoping that we will grab the attention of students who know these groups and introduce these two great groups to those who don’t.”

Blue Scholars describes its music as “cinema art rap.” The group, which has been based in Seattle, Wa., since 2002, is made up of Alexei Saba Mohajerjasbi, the DJ and producer, and George Quibuyen, who met as students at the University of Washington. Mohajerjasbi performs under the stage name Sabzi, while Quibuyen goes by MC Geologic. The group draws on Jamaican dancehall culture and artist mix tapes as inspiration for its music.

The duo focuses its energy primarily on live shows and has performed alongside Kanye West, Common and other popular artists; they also headlined the Northwest hip-hop festival The Program in 2007. Blue Scholars has released two full-length albums as well as four EPs, with OOF!, the most recent EP, having been released in 2009. Blue Scholars has been recognized by Seattle Weekly’s music awards poll in a number of categories over the years, including Best Hip-Hop Artist, Best Local Single and Best Album. Passing up traditional record labels and distributors, they plan to release their third full-length album, Cinematropolis, on their own in June.

In contrast, Young the Giant’s music is classified as “soaring, melodic rock ‘n’ roll,” according to the band’s website. The band boasts two guitarists, Jacob Tilley and Eric Canata, a bassist in Payam Doostzadeh, Francis Comtois on drums and Sameer Gadhia on lead vocals. Canata and Comtois both serve as vocalists as well.

The band hails from Southern California, specifically from Irvine and Newport Beach, and they began playing together in high school. Young the Giant signed its record deal with Roadrunner late in the summer of 2009 after opening for Kings of Leon at the Chicago House of Blues. The band, which is currently touring the country, released its self-titled debut album late this January.

Both Blue Scholars and Young the Giant were ACE’s first choices to headline this event. “There was actually a push for us to bring Blue Scholars last year and [Concerts Co-Chairs] Chris [Picardo ’13] and Thomas [Daubert ’13] were really excited about the opportunity to bring them this year,” Contee added.
The decision to bring Young the Giant as well came from an interest to diversify the musical offerings during Spring Fling, according to Contee. “After looking at Blue Scholars we wanted to choose another act which would complement Blue Scholars but appeal to a different musical taste,” she said. “Young the Giant has had some great success in recent months and we are really looking forward to having them here.”

ACE “had always hoped to have a second concert” in addition to this fall’s Homecoming concert, according to Contee. November’s concert, which featured Kid Cudi as the headlining act, brought in about $20,000 in revenue.

“We just needed to wait and see how the revenue from Homecoming went and what acts were available before we could make the final decision,” Contee said. “All of the revenue from the Kid Cudi concert ticket sales [was] put towards this concert.”

While ACE hasn’t entirely finalized the concert plans and its costs, the groups are “right on target for our budget,” according to Contee. The revenue brought in by the Homecoming concert will cover all the costs of this spring’s concert.

April’s concert will be entirely free of charge, with no tickets necessary for entry. “It was our hope that with the great ticket sales during the fall concert, we would be able to bring an act that was both appealing and affordable,” Contee said. “We’ve been lucky enough to find two great acts within budget so we can make this free to all students.”

A full schedule of Spring Fling events, including the specific time of the Blue Scholars and Young the Giant concert, will be released just after spring break.