Superstars close Springfest on a high note

Pop star Kesha performed at Matthews Arena as part of Northeastern’s Springfest. / Photo courtesy Creative Commons

By Jake Sauberman, deputy sports editor

For three hours Saturday night, the walls of historic Matthews Arena vibrated with the upbeat pop rock of opening act Atlas Genius, echoed with the fierce vocals of Kesha and thumped with the overpowering bass of Rae Sremmurd.

A packed stadium filled with mostly Northeastern students took part in concluding Springfest Week, organized by the Council for University Programs. Co-headlined by Kesha and the Creepies and hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, the annual Springfest Concert drew fans of pop and rap, and everything in between.

The concert opened with Atlas Genius, an Australian alternative rock band. Lead singer Keith Jeffery got the crowd involved early and often, venturing into the front row of the floor and snapping selfies with fans. The band played a full set, starting with their popular song “Stockholm” off their first album “Inanimate Objects” and ending with their hit “Trojans” featured in their 2013 album “When It Was Now.”

Despite the relative unfamiliarity with the band, the crowd was enthusiastic and active. Halfway through the set, Jeffery gave a shoutout to three students who were passionately singing every word.

But it wasn’t until Kesha and the Creepies arrived on stage that the crowd went into a frenzy, especially the group of students on the floor dressed in fur coats and covered in glitter.

Opening with “We R Who We R,” Kesha fed off the energetic crowd, often turning her bejeweled microphone toward the screaming floor dwellers to finish off the chorus. The Creepies backed the 30-year-old singer with a more authentic sound than the recorded versions, supplying lead guitar, bass and drum parts.

The most poignant moment of the concert came four songs into the set, when Kesha explicitly cursed her producer Dr. Luke, who is currently suing her for defamation after Kesha claimed in 2014 that he emotionally abused and sexually assaulted her. Urging the crowd to let go of their outside frustrations and enjoy the music, she launched into a cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” claiming the lyrics felt like they came right out of her mouth.

Before starting “Tik Tok,” her first-ever single from 2010, Kesha hinted at a possible encore, but only if the audience went “bat-[expletive] crazy.” The crowd obliged, and Kesha finished out her set with “Timber” and “Die Young.”

Many of the onlookers chose to leave after Kesha’s performance, but those who stayed were greeted by the upbeat performance of Rae Sremmurd, a hip-hop duo made up of brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi.

With a constant bassline that kept heads bobbing, the brothers hopped around the stage, spitting the words to hits like “Swang” and “Black Beatles.” Two screens on the set played various animated videos coordinated to the music, adding a visual element to the excitement on stage.

Rae Sremmurd came prepared to move around, as the brothers brought jugs of water and red solo cups, constantly filling them up to take a quick swig before hurling the still-filled cups into the crowd.

At the end of the night, Matthews Arena was left empty, the crowd left another Springfest Concert with their ears ringing from a trio of worthy acts.

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