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Juice Jam 2011 will please electronica, hip-hop fans with B.o.B, Avicii and guest Chiddy Bang

B.o.B, Avicii and Chiddy Bang will perform at this year's Juice Jam fall student show at Syracuse University on September 11, 2011

Juice Jam 2011 will please hip-hop and house music aficionados, pairing a well-known rapper with an up-and-coming DJ that promises to be a lively set.

Grammy-nominated rapper B.o.B and Swedish electro-house DJ Avicii headline the event at Skytop Field on South Campus Sunday, with Philadelphia alternative hip-hop duo Chiddy Band selected as the event’s openers.

B.o.B exploded onto the music scene last year with his debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, collecting five Grammy nominations for the album and his hit single, "Nothin' on You," which featured Bruno Mars. The star-studded cast on his album includes Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo in "Magic," along with Eminem and Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams on "Airplanes." After his breakthrough 2010 campaign, MTV put him on their list of the current scene’s top 10 rappers.

Avicii, a name with less impact in the States, blends elements of electronic and house music to his live DJ performance. His hit song, "Seek Bromance," generated over 50 million views online and topped international charts in Belgium and the UK. Recently, he’s collaborated with David Guetta on a new song "Sunshine" and remixed tracks from artists such as Tiesto, Enrique Iglesias and Daft Punk.

The 20-year-old European dance music sensation looks to increase his prominence in the US, and his high-energy club music is hugely influenced and comparable to fellow European DJ Tiesto (also coming to Syracuse this month).

This year’s openers, selected by a University Union survey, will be hip-hop duo Chiddy Bang. The group matches the energy level of the headliners, and bridges the gap between B.o.B’s hip-hop leanings and Avicii’s electronic, fast-tempo dance beats.

Chiddy Bang, composed of rapper Chidera "Chiddy" Anamege and rapper-producer Noah "Xaphoon Jones" Beresin, use alternative hooks and samples from other popular electronic-influenced bands like MGMT and Passion Pit to deliver a fresh take on modern hip-hop, perfect for a college setting.

The group has one full-length album, Chiddy Bang: The Preview, and an EP, The Opposite of Adults, released through EMI records. They also released three mixtapes, including the most recent Peanut Butter and Swelly which is available for free download on the group’s website.

The headliners both bring a distinct sound — B.o.B’s soulful, R&B-influenced pop music is a completely different scene than Avicii’s Tiesto-like aesthetic assault — but each act, including openers Chiddy Bang, contribute to an overarching motif of young, ambitious, creative musicians who bring their own flavor to the show.

Tickets for Juice Jam are available for Syracuse University and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry students, faculty and staff at the Schine Student Center Box Office, or on its website, for $10. Non-SU college students can also purchase tickets for $20 with valid college identification. The concert is scheduled for September 11, 2011.

Underoath ready to make more Syracuse memories

The revered metal act performing at The Westcott Friday wants to concentrate more on musical substance rather than the Christian influence it's known for.

Underoath drummer Daniel Davison can't seem to forget the times peering out behind his drum kit to a blur of sweaty faces inside the glistening, powder baby-blue walls of the defunct Club Tundra in Syracuse.

The lively shows turned the club now known as the Lost Horizon into a state of near-chaos.

“I remember a bunch of the Tundra shows, and when Hellfest used to be up there,” Davison said. “Those are definitely some good memories.”

Davison will revisit some of those Syracuse memories as the two-time Grammy nominated metal giants Underoath return July 22 to the Westcott Theater on their headlining “Illuminatour” with support from Times of Grace and Letlive.

The Tampa-based act’s newest album, Disambiguation, received acclaim for its atmospheric, dark composition with a striking balance between pounding, heavy rhythms and haunting melody. It’s a departure from their previously lighter, chorus-friendly sound, as Davison replaced the last remaining original member of the band, drummer and singer Aaron Gillespie, for the writing and creative process of the new album.

Though historically considered a Christian band, after Gillespie’s departure, Underoath has concentrated more on the substance of the music rather than an overarching faith influence.

Davison said when he started to write Disambiguation, the band urged him to bring his own style instead of adapting to Gillespie’s.

“I said ‘I’m not going to try to step into his shoes, even though I’m taking over his position,’” Davison said. “I’m not going to do anything I wouldn’t normally do. I just wanted to do my thing.”

More of the new material that Davison wrote has crept into the live setlist, and has been greeted with a warm receptio'n from fans.

“With each tour, you get more and more people singing along to the new stuff,” he said. “I like to play the new stuff the best because it’s stuff I helped write, so it’s the most enjoyable for me.”

He will have an opportunity to bring more of his style to Underoath’s new direction when the band begins recording in December at the close of a fall tour.


Davison, who dabbled in directing and filming after leaving his previous band, Norma Jean, also creates the live stage presence for Underoath. He created the film backdrop during the set and all of the stage visuals, when a venue has capacity to handle it. And with The Westcott’s history as a movie theater, Davison should feel right at home in crafting an aesthetic assault.

“It’s abstract and artistic,” Davison said. “As far as the live show as a whole, we try to use lighting and video to create a chaotic overload.”

Underoath’s visual presence and high-energy set make them a band not to miss live, regardless of musical taste.

Joining them at The Westcott is California-based rockers Letlive., mercurially rising in the heavy music scene for a distinctive brand of soul-infused metal enrooted in jazz and blues. Frontman Jason Aalon Butler frequently shifts from a cutting, visceral high-pitched bellow to a soft, soulful tone on their newest album, Fake History, released in 2010 and re-released last April to high marks.

Davison, a Radiohead junkie who admits he rarely listens to much new music, said he’s been inspired by Letlive.

“Just seeing them live and seeing the passion they put into it is refreshing."

Go to the show

Underoathwill be performing at 7 p.m. Friday at The Westcott Theater. Opening acts are Times of Grace and Letlive. Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at Sound Garden in Armory Square.