B.O.M.B. Fest — An Explosion of Music


Alix Neenan ’12 and Mel Mignucci ’12
Features Editor and A&E Editor

Rapper Lupe Fiasco looks out into the crowd | Alix Neenan '12

On May 30, a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon, over 5,000 people gathered on Durham Fairgrounds in Durham, Conn., to see a plethora of musicians perform at the music festival, B.O.M.B. Fest.

B.O.M.B. Fest, which stands for “Bring Our Music Back” was created for two reasons: one to help increase listener-ship for lesser-known musical groups, and also to raise money for charity. All profits went to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which gives seriously ill children “a camping experience of the highest quality, while extending year-round support to their families and health care providers.”

The lineup was very diverse, from rapper Lupe Fiasco to indie rock group Ra Ra Riot. Other smaller, more local bands played as well.

Some of the earlier artists included rapper Jay Electronica and Roots of Creation.

Rapper G-Eazy from New Orleans swaggered around the stage, screaming “my life is a party!” At the end of the show, he passed out his newest album, Big.

The Cool Kids, a mid west hip hop group composed of Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks, showed off their flow and thumping bass with hits from their first album, The Bake Sale.

New Orleans-based alternative rock group Mutemath played a long set filled with plenty of jams. Drummer Darren King got creative with places to percuss, like the stage latticing.

New England group Ra Ra Riot played a good but short show. Featuring both electric violin and cello, their music was quite a departure from the deep bass of the Cool Kids. They are expected to drop a new album sometimes this year.

The most theatrical artist by far was the Atlanta, Ga., group Of Montreal. Their set was a grab bag of their most danceable songs from all their albums, not just their newest “Skeletal Lamping.” Frontman Kevin Barnes took the stage in electric blue eye makeup, a green J. Crew round neck sweater, denim high waisted shorts, and cerulean tights. His “Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh”s of  “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse” were punctuated by the heavy breathing of an actress giving birth to an explosion of feathers on the main stage. Tigers, bears and red-robed priests also ran around the stage with gusto.

Mashup extrordinaire Gregg Gillis/Girl Talk brought the house down with his signature musical medleys. Hey mashed up both new and old tunes, ranging from Lil Wayne to Journey. While V.I.P. attendees (and some unauthorised fence jumpers) hopped onstage to dance with Girl Talk, his cronies throwing rolls of toilet paper into the crowd, those who hung back still felt the full force of thumping bass and fans’ fanatical screaming.

While 30 Seconds to Mars brought the crowd to its knees (it was hard to tell if it was from the music or Jared Leto’s stage presence), a few attendees took advantage of the carnival-type attractions also available at B.O.M.B. The top of the ferris wheel afforded a beautiful view of the bucolic Middlesex farmland and a rosy red 9 PM sunset. The carousel provided nostalgic relief in night otherwise filled with modern delights.

The final act of the night was Grammy-nominated Lupe Fiasco. Fiasco, from Chicago, played some of his classic hits, as well as introducing some new ones, like “Hip Hop Saved My Life” and “Solar Midnight.” His presence incited many reactions from the audience; shock, awe, and adoration.

B.O.M.B.Fest this year can be considered an absolute success, based on its ability to attract crowds to large performers and smaller ones, such as the Easton, Conn., based Fugue. With over 4,000 people in attendance, it raised a lot of money for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and shook up the sleepy town of Durham for a day.