By: Bernardo Facio
When: 28 and 29 May 2016
Venue: Sunset Music Festival at Tampa, FL
Performers: NGHTMRE, Audien, Borgeous, 3LAU, GALANTIS, HARDWELL, Marshmello, Cash Cash, Jauz, THE CHAINSMOKERS, JACK Ü.
A thousand and two-hundred miles Southeast to Lake Forest College, Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium hosted what was perhaps the greatest Sunset Music Festival in its history. Headliners like GALANTIS, HARDWELL, THE CHAINSMOKERS, and JACK Ü were expected throughout the weekend while other DJs, such as Cash Cash, Jauz, among others were performing during the day.
Compared to other festivals, SMF is located close to the urban area of Tampa, which makes it easy to find places to sleep and eat. It is easier to find the entrance to the stadium and relatively easy to find each of the auditoriums once inside. While security is arguably easy-going, people inside the festival are what really brought this place to life. There was a wide range of people, a guy on a wheelchair passing through the middle of Sunset stage towards the front, a 50-years-old looking guy dancing to the beat of GALANTIS, and overall a great atmosphere on the audience. Great vibes, people offered water, gum, and cigarettes to one another.
During Saturday performances, in the shadow, around 90 degrees made everyone sweaty. Yet, the weather didn’t stopped them from jumping to the sick beats of each of the DJs there. NGHTMRE’s drops of dubstep melted perfectly with the ambiance of the vibes while sunset was occurring at the horizon. Divided by the VIP area and the General Admission area, everyone seemed to enjoy Borgeous and 3LAU right after when still drops where coming. To finish the first day, GALANTIS presented a combination of mixes from mellow trance to some hard shuffle finalizing with HARDWELL’s classical combination of shuffle with techno-beats.
There is a space of 5-10 minutes between each DJ at the same stage, which given the conditions of the stadium, is perfect timing in case you want to change from one stage to the other. During Sunday, Marshmello seemed to light the audience up with some mellow beats, having almost all the festival dancing to his drops. Cash Cash, similar to the following Jauz, provided a bit of dubstep and highly energized drops; something traditional in Jauz’s style.
To finalize SMF, THE CHAINSMOKERS presented his latest production “Roses”, along with other well-known hits such as “Kanye”, “Don’t let me down”, and “New York City.” Something sentimental to highlight the night before presenting something of their newest production. They said “everyone is going to hate us but fuck it, here’s something new we’ve been working on.” Similarly, JACK Ü presented hits from previous releases and made a huge impact on the audience, waiting for Diplo to make his traditional “back to back.”
While my personal experience was excellent, because I found people who were taking care of one another, good vibes from other guys just trying to dance as I was doing, friends, peace, and love, not everything is pink. Following the festival, two people passed away from drug overdose (may they rest in peace) and more than 30 were hospitalized for dehydration. As a recommendation, if you happen to go to one of this festivals, enjoy the music and don’t be stupid: hydrate yourself, literally everyone can give you water, know your what you can and cannot do. Enjoy the DJs and have fun.
(Pics by SMF’16)
By: Fatima Hasan
When: 8 April 2016
Venue: Concord Music Hall in Chicago
Performers: DJ Smirk, Aryay, Jauz
Sam Vogel, a 22-year-old native of California who goes by the stage name of ‘Jauz’, is an EDM artist who refuses to stay inside the box when producing music. He lives by the motto “music has no boundaries” and proves it with his remixes of popular hits by Ed Sheeran, Asap Mob, and Childish Gambino, to name a few. Accompanied by DJ SMIIRK and Aryay, Jauz returned to the Concord Music Hall in Chicago on April 8th for his much anticipated Friendzy Tour. Paving the way and opening the night was Chicago-based DJ and producer, SMIIRK, plus tour companion, Aryay. It was evident that concert-goers in the Chicago area were hyped for the great white shark of DJs to return to the venue since tickets for his show sold out within just a couple of weeks.
DJ SMIIRK was the first performer of the night, his set was chill and put together well, but many of his songs sounded very similar throughout his mix. Aryay switched up the feel of the music by throwing in some heavier bass hits and hip-hop beats, making it very apparent through his hard-hitting set that he was trying to get the crowd pumped before the main performance. Jauz, as usual, had an incredible performance. He gave the audience a spectacular display of jaw-dropping bass-drops and gnarly transitions throughout the night. Additionally, he incorporated many of his newer songs while also bringing in some of his older hits. He constantly switched up his set by playing dubstep, deep house, hip-hop, and even mixed in some classic oldies that the crowd could sing along to. At the end of his mix, Jauz announced that The Concord is one of his absolute favorite places to play! He explained that the Chicago crowd is always pleasant and remarkably lively. Looks like we impress Jauz as much as he impresses us.
By Fatima Hasan
When: 18 March 2016
Venue: The Rave/Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Performers: Bear Grillz, Figure, Excision
Excision’s Paradox tour featured artists Figure and Bear Grillz as the opening acts. Figure’s set was great. He incorporated his signature style that included extremely heavy dubstep and even threw in some deep house as he was wrapping up. Bear Grillz also had a solid mix and performance as he danced around on stage with his signature bear suit on.
The Rave in Milwaukee showcased back to back nights of one of the EDM community’s most prominent dubstep artists: Excision. The Rave was only supposed to host one of the forty performances The Paradox tour originally announced, but due to popular demand, another show was added. Jeff Abel (aka Excision) brought 150,000 watts of bass to Milwaukee for two nights in a row and some concertgoers even reported having pieces of the ceiling fall on them because of such intense bass vibrations.
The Paradox tour, which features the third revamp to Excisions already impressive stage designs, wowed the crowd with over 50 moving spotlights, color-changing light bars, and an adapting LED stage setup. Abel felt the creation of a stage like the Paradox was necessary for the visual production to keep up with his music. To up the wow-factor of his Paradox stage, Excision also had his opening acts, Figure and Bear Grillz, perform with minimal light and visuals. A giant black tarp covered The Paradox during their sets, so excited fans had to wait until Excision came on to get the fresh and exhilarating experience of this stage.
To say the sense of community and love flowed freely throughout the night is no exaggeration. As far as the eye could see, people were dancing and head banging together, hugging, and just having a good time. During Excision’s set, fans even banded together to lift a man in a wheelchair high above the crowd so he could see the massive stage setup and crowd surf.
By Bernardo Facio
Elvis Kuehn (lead guitar and vocals) and his brother Max Kuehn (drums) played pop punk in their garage back in Los Angeles, CA. Little did they know Zac Carper (rhythm guitar and vocals) and Brandon Schwartzel (bass and backing vocals) would soon join them to form FIDLAR, a shortcut for “Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk,” as later it was referred in their “Cheap Beer” song.
Taking advantage of the underground skatepunk resurgence, the skate-punk FIDLAR features as one referent of the skate pop and skatepunk scenes in cities like Los Angeles (US), London (UK), Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne (Australia). Their chief influence appears to be the punk rockers Offspring and Blink-182. Do you remember them?
While FIDLAR’s songs have been featured in Spotify’s “Skate Park Punks,” some others have appeared in different famous media.
FIDLAR is the kind of band that plays in skate punk sort of style kind of rock. It’s vibrant, it’s energetic, and it’s cool. The type of music you want to listen to when doing an “Ollie,” “kickflip” or “McTwist” if you’re about skateboarding.
What’s cool about this band is while they only have two albums (Too and FIDLAR), six singles (Leave me alone, Drone, West Coast, Awkward, and Cheap Beer), and two EPs (Don’t try and Diydiu), they manage to be sort of original within the skateboarding scene.
If you’re looking for something to listen to when hangover, listen to “No Waves.” If you’re down to listen to something when you’re about to drink, listen to “40 Oz. Repeat.” It might enhance your drinking experience quite differently.
Some related artists are Bass Drum of Death, King Tuff, Wavves, and The Babies. Talking about different bands, FIDLAR’s last touring experience took place along bands like The Pixies, The Hives, and Black Lips.
Give it a try and check if you like them.
Have any suggestion? Check the WMXM Facebook page and leave a comment.
By Fatima Hasan
Where: Chop Shop/ 1st Ward located in Chicago, IL
When: 5 February 2016
DJs: Liquid Stranger, Space Jesus, Au5
From the outside, the Chop Shop/1st Ward looks like a simple deli restaurant. As you walk back passed the restaurant area, you can enter a large room closed off by blacked-out glass doors. If you enjoy going to shows in smaller, more intimate venues then the Chop Shop/1st Ward is right up your alley! There is a nice viewing area/balcony that lets you escape some of the heat and crowdedness from the main floor. The Liquid Stranger show was sold out, so there was a good amount of people in the venue, but it wasn’t so overcrowded that it became unpleasant. Au5, a rising dubstep artist, played a really nice and melodic set. However, after about 35-40 minutes, I found a lot of his sounds to be quite similar and repetitive. The artist I was most excited to see, Space Jesus, played after Au5. He’s a fairly new DJ who really hasn’t toured, so being an opening act for Liquid Stranger’s current tour has gotten him some good publicity. His music is very unique and he incorporates a lot of different sounds to his songs. He came onstage with a cool looking synth board, so I thought he was going to really get into his set, except I was a tad bit disappointed to see him barely use the board. I felt like his transitions between songs could have been much cleaner as well. I attribute this to his lack of experience compared to many of the other DJs who tour. Regardless, his set was quite good and I enjoyed listening to the songs he’s released on his newest album. Once Space Jesus stopped playing, Liquid Stranger came on and played an amazing set! This was the third time I’ve seen Liquid Stranger and he definitely brought the dirtiest beats to his head-bangers in Chicago! His set incorporated a lot of his older music but he also played his more recent stuff as well. In addition, he incorporated highs and lows within his set that gave off nice, chill vibes. Overall, this was a great show and I’m looking forward to seeing who the Chop Shop/1st Ward can bring around next time!
SIDENOTE: I appreciate the fact that Liquid Stranger always plays whatever his crowd wants. All you have to do is send him a Tweet during his set and he’ll play whatever song you want! Further, Liquid Stranger is one of the few DJs I’ve seen who really only plays his own music rather than adding other songs created by different DJs in his mixes.
Click here or press play below to listen to an interview with Reginald Dwayne Betts at Lake Forest College, conducted by Professor of English Dr. Judy Dozier.
Reginald Dwayne Betts will be speaking at Lake Forest College’s Meyer Auditorium at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 12. Meyer Auditorium is located in Hotchkiss hall at Lake Forest College, 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL.
Although our website hasn’t been the most active site out here on the world wide web, the WMXM station is as busy as ever!
We have new and returning DJs booked for most of the slots, so tune in on WMXM 88.9FM or live stream from this website to listen in. Rad tunes are always on air.
The first show we put on in September was a huge success! All of your donations for Hope For The Day helped support suicide prevention and awareness through music and the arts.
Welcome back DJs! The school year has just started and WMXM is pumped to have its DJs back from summer break. And to all the new and returning students who aren’t part of WMXM, we want YOU!
Wednesday, September 3rd, WMXM will be at the Forester Fair on Middle Campus from 11 am to 1 pm! Come chat with WMXM DJs and learn a bit more about our community! And Tuesday, September 9th, we’ll be hosting another Recruitment meeting in the Pierson Rooms, starting at 4 pm! You’ll hear a very informative and low-tech slideshow from our faculty adviser, Park, and meet some of the Exec Board staff.
Questions? Concerns? Want to get the full experience? Stop by the WMXM studio anytime!
Time: 04/18/2014. This Friday, 8:30pm
Place: at Woody’s Lounge, in Reid Hall on Lake Forest College Middle Campus.
This show will start at 8:30 in Woody’s Lounge, the big open lounge in Reid Hall on middle campus. The show is free, but please donate money for the touring artist or buy a shirt if at all possible. Do not bring any drugs or alcohol and respect our space and others. If you’re coming from Chicago or somewhere you take the train from, the walk to the school is real easy. Walk east on Deerpath, away from town, and through triangle park. Keep on Deerpath. After you walk by the church, you’ll see the entrance to North Campus. Walk through the parking lot, following the sidewalk. Keep right on the sidewalk. Reid is the building that looks like a big church. It’ll be on your right! See you there! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Anthony Sanders (of The Island of Misfit Toys):
Spoonboy is on a spring tour visiting colleges and other areas around the midwest. As guitarist/singer of the Max Levine Ensemble, they’re not unaccustomed to writing socially concsious, politically charged powerpop/pop punk. Maximum Rock n Roll describes Spoonboy as “A Poor Man’s Belle and Sebastian.”
Anthony Sanders is a local songwriter/musical mage and leader of The Island of Misfit Toys, an eclectic group falling somewhere under the umbrella of emo. Anthony’s acoustic songs are raw and emotionally transparent but with a pop edge.
I’d’ve is a new emo band from Chicago, featuring members of I’m Dead to Me and A Bathtile Green. Tyler Denim says “Their Penchant for party riffs and bummer moods have met and shaken hands and now they’re totally hanging out. So come hang out. It sounds like the bands you grew up with playing the music you’ve been hearing in your head as long as you can remember.” This is the first show for the self-declared “Kings of Pity Party Rock.”
*Visit, and do hit ‘going’ on our Facebook Event page*
Copyright © 2016, WMXM 88.9FM. All rights reserved.