Photography by Claire Barnett, Bruce Brookshire, Blake Dover, Jenn Li and Ziyi Liu
This past weekend, indie and hip-hop artists came to Vanderbilt for yet another Rites of Spring, the annual campus music festival that has been going strong since 1986.
On Friday, married couple and Nashville natives JOHNNYSWIM kicked off the main lineup with a fun indie folk set, featuring songs like “Heart Beats” and upbeat ballads like “Home” to get the crowd warmed up for the weekend.
New York synthpop act St. Lucia was up next, bringing their cheerful hits to the stage. Backed by a mesmerizing LED screen, the band rocked out to songs like “Dancing on Glass,” “Physical,” and “”Elevate” while the crowd danced in the rain.
The Shins rounded out Friday night, playing tracks from their new album Heartworms while throwing in a few old favorites like “New Slang” and “Simple Song.”
On Saturday night, Aminé was a crowd favorite, engaging with the audience as he wandered down the center barrier. Of course, “Caroline” and “REDMERCEDES” were highlights, but Aminé surprised with a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Novacane.”
Ty Dolla $ign got the crowd fired up by addressing Vanderbilt students directly before launching into the loudest set yet, with songs like “Blase” and “Or Nah.”
Finally, pop rappers Rae Sremmurd closed the festival with the hypest concert on the bill. Not only did they perform smash hits like “Black Beatles,” “Swang,” and “Unlock the Swag” (which thoroughly unlocked everyone’s swag), they even premiered some songs from their upcoming LP SremmLife 3.