Last Sunday, thousands of UCSB students descended on to the fields of Harder Stadium to enjoy the free annual concert put on by the A.S. Program Board, Extravaganza. Extravaganza is famous for bringing top-notch musicians to the event and this year was no disappointment: artists included Bad Rabbits, AlunaGeorge, Joey Badass, Madeon, and Miguel.
Upon arrival, one would have seen students dressed in flower skirts and tie-dyed shirts flooding into the stadium in hoards. Inside, various food vendors lined the stadium serving up deep fried desserts, authentic and spicy tacos, and of course Woodstock’s pizza.
The Bad Rabbits started the show with a fresh sound, their funk and rock fusion grabbing the attention of anyone within a mile radius. They were loud and absolutely ripping. The Bad Rabbits were voted Best Live Pop/R&B Artist in 2014 at the Boston Music Awards and their set proved it was well deserved. The most important thing about live bands is the energy that they exude and the Bad Rabbits were pumping out their music like smooth criminals.
Next up was AlunaGeorge, an electro-pop duo from London with a comfortable cotton candy tone. Aluna Francis, the frontwoman of the duo, had an engulfing stage presence. She looked like she was having the time of her life and this translated directly to the crowd’s ecstatic faces. Francis only wore a long and abstract boutique football jersey that had the word “FASHION” written in bold across her chest as an artistic and ironic statement.
The sound of Francis’s voice is so high that it has been described as childlike, and when tracked over the revolving beats of George Reid she sounds playful and pure. AlunaGeorge’s amusing disposition made them a crowd favorite. It would be a safe bet that she will garner more acclamations as her career progress.
After that, the radical style of Joey Badass and his posse tore up the stage. The rapper came to represent New York City and had a booming voice that left no room for questions; he came to throw down. Badass had lyrics that were in your face, and spoke of everything from the streets to achieving enlightenment, or “Christ consciousness.” Students were totally hyped; some girls were even invited on stage to bump and grind with Badass’ boisterous hypeman. Badass ended his set with the ultimate boast, a wholehearted “fuck police,” chant with hands waiving side to side to get the blood in the crowd pumping.
Next up was the crowd favorite, Madeon. The lean 20-year-old French DJ riled up Harder stadium with crazy electro songs and even some remixes of the White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” and the Beastie Boy’s “Sabatage.” Madeon’s heavy Eurobeats was just what the doctor ordered.
To end the festival, Miguel grabbed the mic and spread the wings of his frayed leather jacket in an attempt to make the audience fly even higher. Several student musicians mused on the intricate technique of Miguel’s drummer calling him “on point.” The soul of Miguel was pouring out with the funky R&B jams.
As the students exited the stadium they chatted, yelled, and hollered at each other with classic college rowdiness. Extravaganza was another huge success.