The Student Organization for Activity Planning (SOAP) has devised a more focused lineup for Gullfest 2018, yet it appears they are still trying to please too many people. This is not entirely their fault.
SOAP has attempted multiple concerts and it seems like no matter what they do, student attendance is still low. There are two reasons for this and that is divisive tastes in music and questionable artists.
Salisbury University is a hard school to please in terms of creating a concert that people will enjoy. In the same way students in Maryland are often divided because of Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins loyalties, they have their preferred genres of music in the state as well.
Compare this to a school like The University of Kansas where most people there root for the Kansas City Chiefs and the state has a strong foundation in country music. There is most certainly a greater sense of agreements of interests in that part of the country.
This is only intensified when a school like SU is diverse, making it is almost trivial trying to please everyone with a limited budget. This diversity is not a bad thing (in fact it is a good thing) but it does make planning these events a challenge.
At the same time, people should know who Kid Ink is based off of “Show Me” and “Promise.” It is bothersome when people preach that they know rap music but do not know these songs.
California rapper Kid Ink as a headliner is worth the price of admission and has several songs that will be amazing to hear live like “Show Me” and “Main Chick.” His songs are often the perfect mix of Hip-Hop lyrics with R&B melodies.
His past two releases have not created big splashes in the game, but “In My Way” and “F With U” are undeniably great songs that he should perform May 6.
The only concern about Kid Ink is that a lot of his songs have heavy duty features in them (Chris Brown, Fetty Wap etc.) that carry the songs. It will be interesting to see how he accommodates for not having these artists with him.
While rap group Travis Porter is in line with Kid Ink in terms of style and content, Electronic duo the White Panda is what makes heads turn especially because they look like a rip off of Daft Punk.
Their remixes of pop and rap songs are not only bland but also forgettable. For example, their remix of Yo Gotti’s “Rake It Up” is as excruciating as Skrillex’s remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.” This kind of sound only appeals to small population of students and having no original songs is also discouraging.
Based on their live performances, it appears that they will play popular songs with their electronic twist on them. This is great for some people because they get to hear their favorite songs in different ways. But if the remixes are bad, people will be counting down to hear Travis Porter’s set.
In an ideal situation, SOAP would hire one big act and place all their bets on them to bring people to the show. Not only is this risky but it has happened before almost to a tee. Jason Derulo performed in 2016 and he is a pop-star with several top-10 songs. Many students at the time did not see it as good enough.
“I do not plan on attending this Gullfest this year,” says junior elementary education major Nicole Goheen. “I am just not really interested plus I know I am going to be really busy that weekend. I would be more interested if they got an alternative artist.”
This only shows that SOAP cannot please everyone. Pile that on top of limitations in funds, approval from the university, and working around the beginning of the touring season for musicians, and one begins to realize that it is impressive that SU has a concert at all. SOAP hyperextended students with three completely different acts and thankfully this year’s show is more focused.
Hopefully Kid Ink alone and the new rule to bring one non-Salisbury Student will allow for Gullfest 2018 to earn the trust of the students. If not, the fate of future concerts in Salisbury University might be in question.
By DREW LACOUTURE
Featured photo: The Song Is Sick, Chicago Music, and My Space images.