Close to 4,000 Yalies flocked to Old Campus Monday, where Nappy Roots and Wilco performed for Spring Fling crowds of enthusiastic students after a day of lounging and games.
The afternoon began with a show by local bands G Band Free, Jigsaw and Sonido Unidad, winners from last month’s “Battle of the Bands” at Toad’s. Other events included a moon-bounce and bucking bronco, and an “All-American Cookout” put on by Yale Dining Services. Unlike last year, the sun also made an appearance.
“I really think Spring Fling went fantastically,” YCC President-Elect Elliott Mogul ’05 said. “I had no idea how many people would be there or the amount of fun and energy that it was.”
Spring Fling planners said they were relieved by the good weather, after last year’s disappointing washout.
“I definitely was worried about the weather because of last year,” Mogul said. “All the officers were e-mailing each other daily updates of the weather.”
In light of last year’s rainout, the YCC took out a $600 insurance policy in the event of rain, a move that will be continued for future Spring Flings.
At 7 p.m., Nappy Roots took to the stage to play an hour-long set which included many of their own songs and some covers of artists including Busta Rhymes and Tupac Shakur. The crowd was excited, waving, dancing and singing along.
Shortly after 8 p.m., Chicago band Wilco began their set, presenting a genre of music markedly different from Nappy Roots’ rap.
The band was received with mixed sentiment, including grumbles from the crowd. Some students who were already familiar with the band’s music were very positive.
“Even people who had never heard of them before had a great time,” Senwung Luk ’03 said. “There was such an amazing vibe with all of these people together listening to great music.”
While many students were unfamiliar with Wilco’s music, others were appreciative of the group’s unconventional sound.
“I tried to give them a chance,” Carl Fuldner ’06 said. “Overall I liked it–I can see how people would hate it, because a lot of it wasn’t very listenable. But even if you don’t enjoy it, you can still appreciate what they’re trying to do by experimenting by taking a conventional form and trying to change it a little.”
Organizers said the two bands appealed to a wider range of students.
“I was really glad that we got two bands this year,” Spring Fling Co-Chair Lenore Estrada ’05 said. “In the past we’ve only had one. Normally the biggest outcry among students is that they don’t like the band that’s coming — and this way we were able to please more people. If they didn’t like one, they liked the other.”
Over an hour into the Wilco set, an unidentified junior from Wesleyan climbed on stage with his violin, in hope of playing with the band. The student admitted he was drunk and briefly discussed majors with Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy onstage before playing along for a song.
“You a music major?” Tweedy said.
“I’m a junior,” said the student, somewhat incoherently.
“Well, we’re all music majors here,” Tweedy said, and then resumed playing.