So now that a week has passed, I think it’s fair for us to finally give a proper review of what went down at Juice Jam.
I arrived at the venue at approximately 10:30 via University Union’s press shuttle, which in actuality was about seven reporters and photographers crammed into a five-seat sedan. Once we arrived, we were meant to mill around and do nothing until 12:00, when the first act would begin.
Here’s a great example of how productive that hour and a half was. Behold, the end-game of music journalism.
Shitty tweets aside, let’s talk music for a minute.
First up was SNBRN, a frat DJ out of Los Angeles. His music is pretty standard house with a college party vibe to it, and it definitely could have gotten people going if there were more than 100 people in attendance for his set. If you like Disclosure, which you do because you’re in college, you would probably have had a good time at SNBRN’s set. It’s a shame you weren’t there for it though.
Up next was BØRNS, the alter ego for Garrett Borns. If you were to look up “Standard Indie Pop” in an encyclopedia, I think that there’d probably be a little picture of BØRNS next to it. His hit song “Electric Love” definitely got a few people to rush the barricade, and BØRNS’s set was probably the beginning of the “live” part of Juice Jam.
Speaking of live.
(This is where I would put a video of Matt and Kim fucking killing it at Juice Jam, if only I could find one)
Despite a severe lack of footage, rest assured that Matt and Kim was fucking lit, believe me. I feel like Matt and Kim is the kind of act that very few people really like, but that everyone kind of likes, which means pretty much every human being on the face of the earth is down to turn up to it. Their brazen stage presence is a definite trademark, and we were all singing along to hits “Daylight” and “Let’s Go,” while blocking out any remaining memories we have of their latest album.
Then came ILOVEMAKONNEN. And then went ILOVEMAKONNEN. Our friend Mak was done a great disservice by being put at the “indie” stage at Juice Jam. The hip-hop superstar has released hit after hit since his his opus “Tuesday” was picked up by Drake last year, and has a net worth estimated to be in the low millions. Aside from his shirking of major label support, there’s nothing “indie” about him. As one of the newest inductees into the pantheon of hip-hop deities, it’s pretty fucked that he wouldn’t play the main stage, where there were actually people who might have given a shit about him. I really don’t think that people at Juice Jam were even aware that ILOVEMAKONNEN wasn’t playing on the main stage. Even if you were to put a superstar like him on the same tiny portable stage that BØRNS played, you’d think that any reasonable booking agency would at least communicate that to the audience.
After a low-energy set from ILOVEMAKONNEN, Oliver Heldens, a Dutch house producer took the stage. His music is fucking terrible but people seemed to really like it so I guess it was good. His Wikipedia page describes him as “future house,” whatever the fuck that means. I don’t really know how I feel about two house acts at a one day festival, but it is what it is. After his set he spent about five minutes hugging fans through the barricade until one of his handlers forcefully pushed him into his tent.
After Heldens came Big Sean, and with Big Sean came the
Big Sean is unquestionably one of the greatest rappers in the world. If ILOVEMAKONNEN is a god, then Big Sean is a titan. This guy is fucking amazing and even though his last album was like a six out of ten he still spits fucking flames. A single tear was shed by an unnamed student reporter when Big Sean played his track “One Man Can Change the World,” dedicating it to his deceased grandmother. If nothing else, his hit song “I Don’t Fuck With You” brought the crowd together for one final hurrah before they stumbled to the busses home in a scene akin to something one might see in The Walking Dead.
Juice Jam was good. Was it perfect? Not even close. Did University Union make up for a miserable Mayfest? Probably. In the words of Eli Carter, a sophomore in Whitman “I took a lot of snapchats.”