WEEKEND | 618 brings lessons for Spring Fling

“If 618 were my last day on earth, I’d say I had a pretty good run,” YouTube Fratstar Dom Mazetti declared in a promo video for 618, an “electronically flavored music and arts festival” that took place June 18.

Set on Penn’s Landing overlooking the Delaware River in Philadelphia, the festival featured rappers and DJs who performed in front of a crowd of over 2,000. Alison Greenberg ’14 was a member of the festival’s production team, Pixie and Buck, which is run almost entirely by college students.

From the body paint and fire dancers to the serious light setup, the festival was clearly built around dance music As Dom put it in the promo, “me and my bros love electronic music. I liked it first and more than you do.”

Jokers of the Scene and Autoerotique both delivered solid sets — they didn’t dilute their sounds with Top 40 remixes. T3RROR, founder of the popular blog Vacay Wave, raised the energy level as the temperature began to cool. It seemed that in the smaller venue these DJs were allowed to deviate from their familiar dance tracklist, as if they were playing to a club instead of a seaside amphitheatre.

Eighteen year-old Porter Robinson whose single “Say My Name” hit #1 on Beatport for electro-house really knew how to work the largely high school and college crowd. Next up was Switch, one half of Major Lazer and a strong DJ in his own right. Though the drops may not have been as dramatic, he closed his set with an excellent Bounce track, “Rock Around Tha Clock.”

The Cataracs, rapper/producers who rose to fame after ‘Like a 6G’ blew up in 2010, delivered a puzzling set. They set up a computer and midi keyboard on what amounted to a pong table in front of the DJ booth. They seemed as if they weren’t taking the show too seriously and had not put enough thought into building energy throughout their hour onstage. They felt like two college kids messing around in front of a crowd. Yet their beats and hip hop mixes closed out the night with a hybrid of the two dominant sounds of the day.

In throwing together 618, Greenberg and company put up a festival that Spring Fling could certainly learn from. While bands like Third Eye Blind have their place, kids really just want to dance.

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