Staff Picks: Movin’ On 2016 Wish List

As the fall semester begins and everyone gets situated in their usual routines, you might already be  looking forward to the amazing events that come along with attending the Pennsylvania State University. Students have the opportunity to participate in a myriad of events, from the best student section in the country to unique concerts all over campus. Movin’ On, Penn State’s annual spring music festival, is something that almost everyone looks forward to. Always offering up a plethora of iconic artists, the Movin’ On staff has yet to disappoint the student body, and we don’t expect them to start this time around. Past artists include Wiz Khalifa, Big Boi, Ludacris, Big Sean, Passion Pit, Lupe Fiasco, and MGMT. Our staff is here to offer some potential suggestions for some artists we would love to see this spring.

Twenty One Pilots – Jack Lukow 

This coming Movin’ On needs one thing and one thing only — something crazy, fun, and a little alternative. Twenty One Pilots is all of those things and then some. You may only know them for their breakout hit on their second album titled “Tear In My Heart”, but I have been following them for a while. It was at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore, Maryland where I first saw them, before I really knew who they were all too well. Halfway through their performance, I started falling madly in love, and that was before the drummer crowd surfed with his whole set. I’ll repeat that in case you think it was an exaggeration. The drummer of the band, situated on top of a wooden board, crowd surfed while playing. Now granted, things did get a little heavy at this last season’s Movin’ On after rapper Big Sean almost sent the crowd into a craze. But this is a different beast all together, and man does it deserve to be on our stage. If you don’t believe me, have a listen to “The Judge,” maybe “Migraine,” or listen to their entire album repeatedly until you have come to the correct conclusion, that they are the best choice for Movin’ On and why they should make your wish list too.

Zac Brown Band – Lexi Shimkonis

Yes, Zac Brown Band plays country music. And, for some reason, we all love to hate on country music. But let’s all be honest for a second: if Zac Brown Band played a set at Movin’ On it would make you feel better than you thought you could the week before finals. Zac Brown Band is so laid back, and for a festival one week before summer break, the only band that could put you in a mood for warm sand beaches and a cold drink. Zac Brown Band songs are easy to sing, easy on the soul, and, coming from somebody that used to swear by hating country music, the music my Outer Banks-loving heart has been missing for years.
Think about it. The lyrics are true, full of nationalism, and cold beer, and (all!) their melodies include foot-tapping, hip-swaying guitar riffs. Never have I heard a Zac Brown Band song that doesn’t make me want to roll down the windows and sing, because all of their albums are full of feel-good tunes. What would be better for a warm night at an outdoor music festival than something that just makes you feel good? Another major reason Zac Brown Band is my No. 1 wishlist contender for Movin’ On is because it would, likely, be just the change we would need in the middle of or at the end of a night full of rapping and electric guitars. Don’t get me wrong, I can rap like its my job, but the break Zac Brown Band would bring to the eardrums and souls of every student at the show would be well-welcomed. Still not convinced? Please, do your soul a favor and listen to this. Or this. Or even this. And thank me later.

Walk the Moon – Carolyn Popescu

Everyone knows and loves (or at least won’t admit it) the catchy single “Shut Up and Dance.” Walk the Moon’s energetic sound is contagious and high-energy, a perfect match for a warm, almost-summer concert for a crowd of hyped college students. This band would absolutely kill it at Movin’ On because they have a handful of well-known singles under their belt, along with many more catchy tunes. I’ve been a huge fan of them for a while now, and my love only grew stronger this past summer when I had the chance to dance and groove to them at the Firefly music festival. Walk The Moon is a down-to-earth group and they consistently put on upbeat performances. In addition, Walk the Moon once performed in the BJC during THON, making them no stranger to the PSU playing grounds. This indie pop band would energize our entire campus and keep everyone dancing, not to mention mark the start of a fun, upcoming summer!

Futuristic – Jake Abrams 

Being one of my favorite rappers, Futuristic brings a rapping style that would fit Movin’ On perfectly. The Arizona-based rapper is lyrically intricate as he writes his own verses and tries to make his listeners say “wow” every time they hear him rap. While having his own mix of wordplay, speed, and rhythm, he has yet to find the outlet to help him breakout into the mainstream rap culture.

Songs like “The Greatest,” “Too Easy,” and “I Guess I’ll Smoke” are some of his most famous songs and ones that I could see getting crowds bumping at Movin’ On. His sound is similar to some like Drake and former Movin’ On performer Big Sean, so finding his audience at Penn State wouldn’t be hard. If Futuristic were to get his chance on the IM field stage, I feel like he wouldn’t disappoint and would help make the Movin’ On atmosphere even more fun.

Fall Out Boy – Sean Gregory 

It’s time to dig up your checkered Vans, skinny jeans, and middle school angst that we all know is still pent up in you somewhere. Since the four man group rekindled their pop-punk flare in May 2013, Fall Out Boy has successfully launched two new albums, “Save Rock and Roll” and “American Beauty/American Psycho,” and their new sound is just right to flood the stages of Movin’ On 2016.

Now before you launch into the high-culture argument of “They don’t sound as good as they use to!”, consider most bands from the past 15 years and how their music has changed with the times. In most cases, the groups have grown up with their audiences, or they’ve faded into the background just like the rest of our favorite early 2000s groups (Simple Plan, Bowling For Soup, All-American Rejects, you get it). While some of FOB’s new chart-toppers, namely “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” and “Centuries,” have fallen victim to being terribly overplayed, redemption is offered by way of more towering titles like “Alone Together” and “Uma Thurman.” As a whole, their new albums still carry more than enough punch to get people head banging once more, though I’ll be the first to admit that they’ll need to pull extensively from “Take This To Your Grave” and “From Under The Cork Tree” to really sell it for the good students of Penn State.

I’ll be honest, some of the best party nights in college have been when my friends and I pulled together a hearty mash-up of bands like Good Charlotte, Blink-182, and Fall Out Boy and screamed until we lost our voices or the neighbors told us to cool it. Patrick Stump and company know how to put on a show, and it’s high time we give them their second opportunity to do so in Happy Valley. Because deep down, there’ll always be a part of you that needs to shred on an air guitar during the opening notes of “Sugar, We’re Goin Down,” and anyone who says otherwise is either lying to themselves or doesn’t know how to have fun.

Kid Cudi – Ben Rappaport 

Mr. Rager is on his way to making his immaculate return to music with his new album “Speeding Bullet to Heaven” currently in the works. Cudi has ensured a tour following the album, so the stars seem to be aligning for him to be the headliner of Movin’ On. You can say what you want about some of his past music, but Cudi can still throw together an incredible live performance. His music  will grab the attention of the crowd and he will pour out hit after hit after hit. I had the pleasure of seeing him front row this summer at Firefly Music Festival, and although his set got cut short because of inclement weather, the tracks I got to see left an everlasting impression on me. The emotion he brings to his songs, old and new alike, are top of the line of any artist I have ever seen live. He has an energy that surrounds him which is almost aura like, and he creates an atmosphere which is both intimate and electrifying. With songs like “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” “Erase Me,” and most recently “Love.,” Cudi has the portfolio and the artistic talent to bring the best concert performance ever to a Movin On’ show. You can listen to his newest single “Confused” and watch how he has evolved into a multidimensional artist.

Cudi has always been in the conversation as an artist to be booked for Movin’ On and now is the time. He is the perfect artist to headline and connects fans of all ages. From freshman to seniors, his music is the music of our generation and should top everybody’s wish list.

Third Eye Blind – Sara Civian

You’re savoring those few warm days at the end of the tundra that Penn State refers to as “spring semester.” Maybe you’re a little buzzed. Could life be better? Shockingly, yes. You hear the ominous “do do do, do do do do, do do do, do do do do” in the beginning of Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life.” Is there a better song to sing along to while celebrating the end of classes and the start of the summer? There’s nothing like the combination of an upbeat melody and lyrics like ‘doing crystal meth will lift you up until you break.’ Third Eye Blind is the unsung hero of 90s bands. Scream along to ” Let You Go,” “Jumper” and “Semi-Charmed Life.” Reminisce on your freshman year fling during “How’s It Gonna Be.” Maybe even subtweet him. Third Eye Blind will make you feel every emotion.

The Front Bottoms – Doug Leeson

The Front Bottoms are, in my mind, the quintessential college band. Their sound is a quirky mix of alternative, punk, and pop, but their strongest facet is their wicked lyrics. As someone who takes himself far too seriously as a writer, listening to The Front Bottoms’ lyrics bums me out because I know I’ll never be as good as them, whether it’s writing metaphors or making the most mundane scenarios seem so relatable.

Flashlight” is one of my top-five favorite songs ever – its opening acoustic guitar is so catchy, and it’s one of many songs where Mat Uychich’s signature drumming is a highlight.

The Front Bottoms have developed a pseudo-cult following in recent years and rightfully so. Their growing fanbase is certainly present in Happy Valley – say you’re a Front Bottoms fan in any decent-sized class and you’ll make a friend.

If you need further convincing, listen to any of the following jams – “Twin Size Mattress,”Maps,” or their new single, “Laugh Till I Cry” – but really, almost every Front Bottoms song is a winner.

The logistics might pan out too – they’re dropping their new album “Back on Top” on Sept. 18 and the last tour date they have scheduled is in Hamburg, Germany on Feb. 29. If the New Jersey natives come home and are looking for an exciting outdoor festival to play, Movin’ On is the place to be.

Vampire Weekend – Anna Foley

It was the summer of 2013. I had just finished my freshman year, which was a pretty big year for my musical tastes. Let’s call it my musical awakening. It was the first time I was introduced to really great music, and one of the bands that I fell in love with was Vampire Weekend. Their sound, this amazing retro and indie mashup, was something I couldn’t get out of my head. When I found out they were playing at Firefly, I knew I had to trek down to Delaware to see my new favorite band in the flesh.

Let me tell you, Vampire Weekend puts on an incredible show. Their set lists are exhilarating, which is perfect for an outdoor music festival like Movin’ On. And whether you realize it or not, everyone knows at least one Vampire Weekend song. Their music is everywhere: commercials, trendy coffee shops, etc. Plus, their frontman Ezra Koenig’s twitter is on point. What more could you ask for in a Movin’ On Headliner?

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In the end, maybe none of these artists will be booked for Movin’ On. However, it is always fun to speculate and we would love to hear which artists you would want to come. Let us know in the comments who’s on your wishlist for Movin’ On 2016!

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