SPW “Palooza”: Saturday Preview

Alan Dowling

The Student Government Association (SGA) recently released the event lineup for the upcoming Spring Party Weekend and explained Saturday’s festivities simply as the “SPW Palooza.” My first inclination was to investigate whether or not that was actually a word. It’s not, but Urban Dictionary tells me that a “palooza” is essentially a really big party. Regardless, I overlooked the fact that SGA picked a silly name because all of Saturday, we’re going to get to see three exciting artists in succession: upcoming house-mixer Fareoh, NYC club DJ Jesse Marco and SPW regular Giants of Science. Let’s have a look at who will be gracing Persson lawn this weekend.

First up is Fareoh. I’m personally really excited about Fareoh because he is essentially positioning himself as a sort of apprentice to prolific house DJ Kaskade. To a noticeable degree his melodic composition style is reminiscent of Kaskade’s, and Kaskade personally selected Fareoh to open for him on the support tour of his 2012 release “Fire and Ice.” Fareoh is going to be a great opener; likely you’ll be hearing a lot of remixes to pop songs for which you already know the words. That said, he is beginning to produce and write entirely original singles, and I’ll wager that he will try to slide his own material flush in with the bigger name remixes for which he has become famous. He’s definitely a solid choice for the first act.

Jesse Marco follows, and he will be pretty impressive as well. His musical taste is fairly eclectic and his DJ and composition technique were well-developed from an early age. He made his appearance early on the NYC club scene – he was DJing clubs before he was old enough to legally buy drinks from them. He made a name for himself in that scene and then picked up a reputation for being a high-clout private DJ. He spins internationally and is accustomed to the private-gig vibe. Still, since most of his experience comes from the club scene, there’s a lot of potential for an absolutely outstanding set. On the other hand, there’s always the chance that he’ll shrug us off as another private gig, come in, press play for a couple of hours, get paid and go home. How much an artist engages the audience, no matter how big or who that audience is, marks the difference between a talented studio producer and a truly great performer; this is especially true for DJs. Off the club scene, Marco knows this, and I expect a great show. He’s less pop-remix oriented as an artist and leans more substantially into progressive house than Fareoh does. He’ll play remixes, of course, but he also dropped two singles, “Daddy Cool” and “Superstar” in 2012 and 2013 respectively, both of which lived on Beatport for quite a while, so we also have that to look forward to. I also basically consider Marco to be the “main act” of the three, which somewhat makes me wonder why he’s playing second instead of last – scheduling reasons, perhaps.

Finally, back for at least the third year running is Giants of Science. For whoever sticks around after Marco, this four-piece unit will play a lot of ’80s and ’90s songs. I’m fairly ambivalent about them; to a large degree, cover bands are cover bands, especially generic ’70s-’90s ones. Such bands go onstage and from the beginning need to prove why they are better than other generic cover bands. This motivation can produce some excellent performances, but if they don’t, Giants could be pretty mediocre.

All in all, it’ll be a good gig. Fareoh and Marco will drop solid house sets and Giants should be pretty entertaining as always, if nothing else. Come on out on Saturday. Enjoy the beer garden and whatever else you’re going to enjoy, dig some good music and, of course, have an SPW experience that justifies SGA’s usage of the word “Palooza.”