After last year’s Girl Talk debacle, no one was quite sure what was going to happen with ACBU concerts at Bradley. Let’s be honest, with the stories of shockingly low ticket sales and even lower turnout, things were looking a little dicey. Couple that with the fact there may not be a fall concert this year and ACBU had a lot to prove with Saturday’s B.A.M.F. festival on the Alumni Quad. After spending the day in the blazing heat and sweating a few pounds off, I think I can speak for most when I say congratulations, ACBU. Great show, you did it.
The weather was cooperative and the festival took place under a bright blue sky without so much as a hint of the rainstorm that would come the next day. Sure, it was about a million degrees in the sun, but there was a consistent breeze throughout the day and cold water on hand for festival goers. Two Star opened the event with mellow but heartfelt indie rock and warmed the crowd up for a day of relaxed music. The openers were a great fit for an afternoon spent lounging on the quad and the crowd seemed to enjoy their performance.
Next up was fan favorite Bradley student Josiah Williams, who, simply put, absolutely killed it. He took the festival to the next level and it seemed that the crowd of people standing in front of the stage tripled when he took the mic. People were still a little drowsy from the heat and relaxed ballads of Two Star when he started, so Williams took it upon himself to jump off stage and perform on the quad to hype up his audience. It worked, and his performance was fun to watch and highly interactive. I hope we see more of Williams’ solo performances on campus because he has an excellent act.
With the benefit of Williams as an energizing opener, Archie Powell and the Exports took the stage and delivered a highly entertaining set of poppy rock and roll jams that had the crowd bobbing their heads and dancing just a little bit.
B.A.M.F then welcomed trio The Front Bottoms for a less energetic performance. While it wasn’t quite as upbeat as the two former acts, The Front Bottoms provided a very college band sound, with lyrics that impressed students with their honesty. They were literally pouring their whole lives out on stage without a drop of pretension.
Things picked up with Kids These Days and an inspired jam session that mixed jazz beats, slow hip hop and ska sounds. It was the perfect lead in for the final two acts, Parachute and The Cool Kids.
Naturally, at least 70 percent of the female population on campus showed up to see Parachute and went absolutely nuts for their charismatic show, especially when singer Will Anderson jumped into the crowd. The scene was one to behold, with the sun setting on the Alumni Center and a growing crowd.
Last up was the much-anticipated performance from The Cool Kids. They closed the festival up perfectly, tying up all the loose ends with Chicago progressive hip hop and a massive crowd of students living it up.
For their part, ACBU did a great job keeping things running smoothly, and Brave Sounds deserves kudos on helping create a great line up. Here’s hoping ACBU can keep it up the good work this semester.