Pop-rock quartet Walk the Moon will headline Slope Day on May 12, the Slope Day Programming Board announced Thursday. Opening for them will be New Jersey EDM outfit, Cash Cash.
Walk the Moon is a Teen Choice Award nominated pop-rock group from Cincinnati, Ohio. Their latest album, 2014’s Talking Is Hard, notably contained the Number Four Billboard hit song “Shut Up and Dance.”
Their burbling, dance-driving sound will fit nicely on the same bill as Cash Cash, whose highest charting song, the 2013 smash “Take Me Home,” peaked at Number 57 on the Billboard charts. They are especially known for their pulsing remixes for acts such as Icona Pop, Capital Cities, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.
This pop-centric lineup is a serious stylistic shift from recent Slope Day picks, which for the last several years have favored upcoming hip-hop and R&B artists. The sounds of these two radio-pop performers — while neither are the biggest or most circulated names — will lend themselves to the high-volume and dance-happy euphoria that Cornell students’ post-class celebration demands.
May 12 is looking to be a sunburnt afternoon of synth-generous, bubbly pop ballads and stomping electro-house beats. The early announcement this year — although robbing the student body of the traditional lead-up months of rumor-mongering and baseless guesses of Fetty Wap or Kygo or Vampire Weekend and whomever else — gives students something to look forward to as temperatures drop and homework piles up.
“Walk the Moon was an excellent choice for Slope Day based upon price, survey results and availability,” said Slope Day Programming Board President Samantha Batt ’16. “We believe that Cash Cash will complement the band well and appeal to the Cornell students interested in electronic music. We were very excited to announce early to give alumni and guests more time to plan a trip back for the event. We look forward to their performance on the slope!”
Student opinions on the announcement have been decidedly split. Reactions have ranged from apathy and confusion, to unbridled excitement.
“This is literally a dream come true,” Stephanie Carpenter ’16 said. “I am so excited about these two for Slope Day! I love them both.”
Many of those excited have also expressed their satisfaction with the change of pace from the R&B and Hip-Hop performers of the past few Slope Days.
“This is something very different from the past few years,” Dajah Abdiel ’17 said. “I’m excited for a new slope day experience!”
Others, however, have displayed their apprehension with the pop-heavy decision.
“It’s a definite departure from the artists who have been featured my last three years here,” Lauren Poindexter ’16, said “But [it might be] so far left that the lineup lacks broad appeal.”
Many more students have been less analytical in their negative reactions. When queried, a disproportionate number of current Cornellians responded to the names Cash Cash and Walk the Moon with a resounding, “Who?” and still more have met the announcement with a certain degree of snark.
“Who is that?” replied Avery Faucette ’18 when informed of the recent unveiling. “Oh yeah, they play those songs at Aeropostale, where I work.”
Such ambivalence could in large part be due to both artists’ lack of any major notoriety. While past headliners of dubious fame could at least claim success on the horizon or veritable indie credential — Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper or Matt & Kim, respectively — Cash Cash and Walk the Moon are both pop performers whose 15 minutes seem to have waned. However, both acts have a solid stockpile of well-loved anthems that surely will not fail to prompt exuberant fist-pumping, chanting and (horizontally restricted) dancing from even the most skeptical attendees.
As always, though, the overall climate seems almost universally positive in terms of the event, if not the performers themselves.
“I think the fun comes from the people you’re with,” Jason Freedman ’18 said. “And at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter who’s playing so long as everyone’s hyped about Slope Day itself.”
And hyped, come that fabled day in early May, undoubtedly we will be.