Dillon Francis, Schoolboy Q rock sold-out Juice Jam

Review: Juice Jam's 10th anniversary concert features a wide variety of musical artists.

In a sea of neon and high–waisted shorts, students celebrated Juice Jam's 10th annual show on Sunday with a lineup featuring Dillon Francis, Schoolboy Q, Tinashe, 3LAU, Ace Hood, Broods and MisterWives.

The varied lineup mixed sounds and genres, creating a dynamic setlist that kept students on their feet. The general consensus among students was that they could name at least one song from this year’s artists –- but not much more.

Photo: Sam Maller
Broods performs Sunday at University Union's 10th annual Juice Jam.

More photos, social highlights from the 'magical' Juice Jam

In the past few years, Juice Jam attendees have gotten used to dancing to music from well-known artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Avicii and Kid Cudi. While some concertgoers were disappointed with the lack of big-name talent this year, others welcomed a fresh collection of young artists while spending the day letting loose with friends.

“I’m just excited to have fun with my friends and hope that Juice Jam brings the campus closer," said public relations senior Emely Deleon.

Juice Jam’s headlining artist, Dillon Francis, rocked the stage at this year’s concert. Attendees waited more than five hours for Francis to finally take the stage, but they didn't seem tired when the beat finally dropped. The prolific DJ played songs from his new album, Money Sucks, Friends Rule, including singles such as “I Can’t Take It” and “Get Low.” The students crowd-surfed, tossed orange beach balls and danced to the beat of the music.

3LAU stood out as one of the first artists in the lineup that really interacted with the crowd. The DJ made plenty of references to Syracuse University's top party school ranking as he challenged the crowd to scream at the top of their lungs and show him how SU gets down. He remixed recent hits with a choice selection of oldies that brought everyone back to their childhood days.

On the indie stage, Ace Hood had the crowd roaring and moving their bodies to his catchy song lyrics. The rapper brought a hype man onstage with him, adding to the energy level and excitement of his entire performance. Backstage, Ace Hood talked about about his dream collaboration.

“Where I am at right now, I am not looking for anyone because of the direction that I want to go,” Hood said. However, he did joke that he wouldn’t mind working with Beyoncé.

One of the more anticipated artists was Schoolboy Q, and he delivered his performance in spades. The rapper performed his most popular songs, such as “Studio” and “Collard Greens,” and ended with one of his most hyped songs, “Man of The Year”.

In the middle of his performance, Schoolboy Q brought the young and talented Tinashe to perform her single, “2 On.” Tinashe can not only sing, but can also dance really well. She entered the stage in a metallic green crop top and sang close to her fans. Her appearance was a great surprise and a nice change of pace in the proceedings. It definitely kicked Schoolboy Q’s performance up a notch and kept the audience wanting more. Although I thought Tinashe’s performance was just a hair too short, it left a great impression on the audience.

MisterWives, the opening act, performed on the indie stage. Lead singer Mandy Lee was clearly the heart of the group. Lee’s strong vocals and dramatic presence on stage gave the band a much-needed edge. Still, MisterWives failed to engage themselves with the audience, and the typically festive crowd never seemed to throw their support behind the band.

This wasn’t the case for the New Zealand duo named Broods. This brother and sister did an amazing job in their performance and definitely have the potential to be a well-liked band in any country they choose to showcase their music.

During an interview, they spoke about their transition between playing their music in New Zealand and bringing it to the United States. One thing that lead vocalist Georgia Nott mentioned was "how surprised (she) was by the lack of censorship in the U.S. and how it is so common to see sex and violence in music." Their album launched in New Zealand earlier this year already and it is slated for its U.S. release on Oct. 7.

Overall, Juice Jam did well in its 10th annual show. University Union brought a crop of young and upcoming artists from not only the U.S., but from different countries and backgrounds as well. Juice Jam exposed students to new sounds and beats, increasing the variety in the type of music that students hear.


More photos and social reaction from the 'magical' Juice Jam


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