Yesterday was the last day of classes for the spring semester (and my last day of classes ever, incidentally). True to Cornell tradition, a majority of students lucky enough to have professors not assign them tests spent the day in a state of barely coherent debauchery on Libe Slope.
This year’s “Slope Day” performers were The Wailers, Neon Trees and Taio Cruz. The Wailers were announced as an opening act just a few weeks ago, and while most of my friends immediately hailed the decision as one of the best Slope Day picks in recent years, I was a little more weary. When I think “Wailers,” I think Bunny Wailer (whom I already had the privilege of seeing live), the late Peter Tosh, and of course, the late Bob Marley. From a quick reading of “The Wailers” website, it seems that the main original “Wailer” present yesterday was Aston Barrett — fairly cool, but not enough to cure my skepticism. Fortunately for other, less cynical Cornellians, it seems like The Wailers put on a great show — hearing “No Woman, No Cry” on Libe Slope was a fairly fitting way to celebrate my senior Slope Day, I suppose.
I didn’t know much about Neon Trees before they were booked for Slope Day — after discovering that they were the group behind the ubiquitous “Animal,” I got pretty hyped. As it were, the start of Neon Trees’ set coincided with my urge to take a quick jaunt to Collegetown with some friends for food. From what I heard, they were the high point of the day — poppy music and an earnestly energetic live show.
Taio Cruz — about as controversially poppy a Slope Day act I’ve seen in my time at Cornell — was only on for about five or six songs. Seems like Mr. Dynamite doesn’t have much of a back catalogue. Regardless, I had a good time fist-pumping and thought his unabashedly catchy songs made for a perfectly fun main act , although it seems the general attitude following his performance was pretty negative. Some of the more common complaints I heard: his set was too short, he wasn’t actually singing (more often than not he would put the mic down and fist pump while the full song played from speakers), and he didn’t do a great job of audience interaction (besides, you know, the fist-pumping).
Even more memorable then the concert, of course, was the pre-game in Collegetown and at my fraternity house, and the night-time rally of bars and porch parties. The weather was perfect, the food was good, and the parties were popping. Overall, I’d say it was a great Slope Day.
Libe Slope during calmer, more sober times.