Movin’ On 2014 will be a year to remember for music fans at Penn State. With performances from six artists ranging in a variety of genres, Saturday’s festival captured the feel-good vibes that the spring season has to offer.
Movin’ On Battle of the Bands winner Lenina Crowne entertained the early afternoon crowd with a relaxing set filled with original songs. The seven-member group had a unique jam band style that utilized the sounds of a saxophone, mandolin, keyboard, and cello as additional elements to the average guitar-bass-drum model.
Following Lenina Crowne was Sky Ferreira, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Los Angeles with a powerful voice and transcendent electropop sound. She opened her set with “Boys,” the first track on her 2013 debut album, Night Time, My Time. The crowd, though small, became enthralled with Sky’s personable stage presence along with her emphatic lyrics. The most notable song that resonated in my mind when I returned to my apartment later that night was “I Blame Myself” because everything about it felt right, like nothing else mattered in the world except for the music. I could tell the audience felt the same way as they sang along, nodding their heads and swaying their bodies to the beat. Sky’s performance was so profound, I had no idea how to feel once it ended. I yearned for more, but there was nothing I could do to rewind the time and relive the moment.
Denver-based hip hop band Air Dubai took the stage at 4:30 p.m. Their sound comprised mellow back-and-forth rhyme patterns with complex melodies that filled the afternoon air. Air Dubai’s audience was even smaller than Sky Ferreira, but the band assured the audience they were happy to be a part of the experience and would come back to Penn State in the future if students enjoyed their set.
Aloe Blacc was the act that really kick started the evening, as the audience grew from the hundreds to the thousands. Aloe and his backing band, the Grand Scheme, opened with his 2010 hit “I Need A Dollar,” immediately captivating his fans. His soulful voice reminded me of Bill Withers and other R&B singers from the 70s. He broke out into several more of his famous singles like “Wake Me Up” and “The Man,” while giving inspirational advice to students in between songs about making the world a better place.
There was even a Sue Paterno sighting in the late afternoon.
Fitz and the Tantrums played its set as the sun began to set on Happy Valley, making the breezy day even chillier. But the drop in temperature only made the audience feel more enthusiastic about dancing (not to mention some concert goers indulging in smuggled beer and marijuana in a not-so covert fashion). The band built up the crowd’s energy with their hits, like “MoneyGrabber” and “Out of My League” and even a cover of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” As the band left the stage, only a fading glimpse of light from the sun could be seen.
At 9 p.m., Wiz Khalifa strolled out onto the stage immediately getting the crowd hyped up. Wiz played songs from across his musical career, practically all of which referring to either wealth, weed, or women (or all of the above). He played radio hits like “No Sleep” and “Roll Up” in addition to songs from his older mixtapes like Kush & Orange Juice. Even though many were disappointed that A$AP Rocky cancelled last minute, you had to give credit to Movin’ On for reeling in such a big name on such short notice.
After the show, Wiz made a surprise visit to the Lion’s Den.
Overall, Movin’ On 2014 was an incredible day of entertainment. First off, it didn’t rain, which is always the best case scenario for an outdoor concert. The diverse lineup of talent successfully showcased today’s music scene, all while harnessing an overall theme of what it means to “move on” with our lives after college and make a positive change in the world. Whether you were a freshman, a senior, or not even a student, Saturday was a reminder of the unifying power of music. Movin’ On brought thousands of people together as a community to soak in the messages of these modern-day prophets and immerse themselves into a crowd of fellow peers to enjoy the artistic wonder that this life has to offer.