Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Party on the Green draws energetic crowd despite rain

Andrew Kilbride

Staff Writer

On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Wooster Activities Crew (WAC) hosted its annual Party on the Green on the academic quad. The music roster boasted an impressive list of student openers, two of whom sadly were cut off the bill due to heavy and constant rain, and headliners: the Philadelphia based dream pop group Japanese Breakfast and Los Angeles rapper Duckwrth. Though it was downpouring, that sure didn’t stop students from seeing their favorite local and national artists or enjoying the unlimited free hot dogs, sodas and boxed waters WAC had to offer.

The Wooster community was beginning to brave and embrace the rain by the time  openers Brendan Lemkin ’19 and Derrick Florence ’18 aka MoonManFlo emerged to play strong, confident sets despite the less-than-desirable conditions. By the time MoonManFlo walked offstage and the crowd was anxiously waiting for Japanese Breakfast to begin, any concerns one might’ve had that this year’s Party on the Green wouldn’t feel like a party were long gone.

If Japanese Breakfast was road weary and exhausted from touring their latest album, 2017’s “Soft Sounds from Another Planet,” all year, they sure didn’t show it. Even while wrapped in hoodies and covering their pedalboards with strategically-placed Wooster umbrellas, the band offered up gorgeous renditions of fan favorites like “Everyone Wants to Love You” and “Diving Women” that more than lived up to their recorded counterparts. The band’s touring guitarist even emerged from the stage’s protective awning to soak himself alongside fans during his solo for “Soft Sounds” highlight “Boyish,” and the project’s leader Michelle Zauner offered fantastically hilarious banter reflecting on the loneliness of the college experience and past relationships.

Duckwrth had his work cut out for him following Japanese Breakfast, but he did the job admirably and enthusiastically. The rapper, plus his airhorn-savvy hype man, is nothing if not a showman, offering a charismatic performance and using fan interaction to bridge the gap that often exists between artists and their audience in a way that never felt like a crutch. He then ripped through an exciting set with songs “MICHUUL” and “Bernal Heights,” putting on a fantastic show in spite of censorship laws that arguably disadvantage hip-hop artists, especially when compared to performers in other genres.

When it’s as miserable outside as it was last Saturday, it’s all too easy to hole yourself up with your friends in your dorms. The fact that the student body soldiered through all four sets is a testament to the artists’ talent and showmanship.


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