As soon the lineup for Fall Fest was announced, the hype began to grow, especially considering last year’s hiatus from the festival. Ty Dolla $ign headlining helped draw quite the crowd for this year’s party.
The “doors” of the makeshift venue on the Freshman Quad opened at 6 p.m on Oct. 14, and students began to filter in as the sun slipped behind the mountains and the stage lights turned on. Rockstar Energy supplied the energy for the evening, passing out free caffeine beverages to anyone who passed by, because what college kid is going to say no to free caffeine? With the opening act, DJ Ben Maxwell, not starting until 7 p.m, folks were already getting hyped well before Joe Moses took the stage. On that note, let’s talk about Maxwell.
Maxwell was tasked with the demanding responsibility of preparing the crowd for a lively evening. The openers job is to get the concert started just enough the people will stay around for the acts to come, and Maxwell is no joke when it comes to DJ’s. A USC music student, Maxwell often performs across the country, bringing an electric vibe to the stage. The first people to trickle in sure got moving and grooving early, with Maxwell spinning his tables to hit hip-hop, R&B, and EDM songs that got the crowd hyped for the evening’s festivities, and ready for the second act, Joe Moses.
Moses, a Los Angeles native, had a vastly different style than Maxwell. Being the second act, Moses was charged with keeping the attention of restless college students who came to see the rapper known his infectious lyrics and silky flow. But Moses’ style hits hard with aggressive beats and catchy rhymes, so the crowd quickly picked up on his energy. Moses mixed some classic, mainstream songs, that anyone who has ever turned on a radio would know, just to make sure people were getting hyped. After almost an hour-long set, Moses bid the crowd a farewell and dipped backstage.
“Is that Ty Dolla $ign?” I heard a student say to a friend in the middle crowd. Nope, that’s Ben Maxwell, back again for another set. The up and coming DJ had an even more impossible task of maintaining the attention of now an even more impatient and caffeinated crowd of college kids. Maxwell had a killer set, which may have been underappreciated as folks were clearly distracted in their anticipation for Ty Dolla $ign. Mixing between popular hip-hop, R&B and EDM music, Maxwell blended genres that kept the vibe going while still building excitement. With songs that electrified the crowd, got heads bobbing, and arms waving made sure people weren’t going to leave early. His final song left the crowd wanting more, feasting for another hit song to dance to.
Maxwell’s second set was the perfect build up for the headliner, the one and only Ty Dolla $ign.
Finally, what everyone was waiting for, the man of the hour, Ty Dolla $ign arrived. With lights flashing, cameras snapping and music blasting, Redlands’ students were in for a show. In a hoodie and sunglasses, with his signature braids tucked underneath, Dolla $ign took the stage, igniting the powder keg that was the Orton Lawn. Dolla $ign didn’t waste any time getting into his act, slipping into those smooth, rhythmic vocals he’s known best for. The crowd was feeling the vibe, especially ready for a party after that two-plus hour build up. Dolla $ign sure knew how to play to the crowd he was performing for, offering to “smoke a joint” with students who offered him one.
Shockingly, no one was brave enough to blaze up with Ty. When Dolla $ign played his most iconic song “Or Nah”, the crowd’s energy peaked. Known for its sensual lyrics and groovy melody, “Or Nah” set the vibe for the remainder of the show. Dolla $ign also dropped a few unreleased songs to tease the crowd for his upcoming album “Beach House 3”. And the audience ate it up! This is what everybody came for.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. As the energy began to fade from the evening’s festivities, Dolla $ign bid his farewell to the Redlands crowd at approximately 10:01 p.m., slipping off stage as the lights dimmed, putting an end this year’s Fall Fest.
As another Fall Fest comes to a close, students stream out of Orton Lawn, some heading to bed, some heading to after-parties, all left with the lasting memories of this year’s Fall Fest. From the doors opening to the last song, and everything in between, the show did not disappoint. Joe Moses, Ben Maxwell, and Ty Dolla $ign sure gave the students of the University of Redlands a festival for the ages.
photo contributed by Redlands Bulldog Photo Editor Halie West