Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

COIN lead vocalist Chase Lawrence sings at Slope Day on May 10, 2023.

May 12, 2023

Slope Day 2023: I Love That

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The annual celebration of the end of classes on Libe Slope brought a spectrum of different emotions. Even the weather, which was balanced between heat and wind, reflected this spectrum.

The opening of the concert, a cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Let’s Groove” performed by student pop\R&B\neo-soul band After Six, was a bright entrance to their set of four songs. There’s always something special and unifying about concerts where everyone knows the lyrics and everybody sings along together. The set gave a good taste of After Six’s style: changes in beat and rhythm, additions to existing songs and funky dances. 

The pop duo Coco & Clair Clair, known for viral Tik-Tok tracks “Pretty” andCherub,” brought some spice to the concert by engaging with the audience and throwing quirky phrases. As Coco said in one of their interviews, they like to have a phrase or word for a certain period of time. For Slope Day the phrase was “I love that.” It seemed that Cornellians loved them too. The duo dedicated the last song of their set to one of the Cornellians.

As time passed by, the heat started going up. I want to give a shout out to the Slope Day organizers who thought in advance about refreshing the crowd with water guns and water bottles. However, I want to address the concern that throwing bottles at the audience was not the best solution, since those bottles landed at a high speed near or on the person. I was lucky to experience this refreshment delivery firsthand. 

DJ duo Snakehips performed a mashup of their songs that gave a nostalgic and sometimes dubstep vibe (greetings, 2010’s). The famous “All My Friends,” which was played at the end of the set, brought many of us to our childhood memories. But I was missing some motion on the stage, since both of the artists were merely standing during the act. Moreover, I was expecting at least some live vocals, but all we got was a prepared song mashup, which was a little too outdated. 

The headlining artist this year was COIN, a pop-rock band from Tennessee. Chase Lawrence, the leading vocalist, is a master of transmitting his vibrant energy and character to the audience. He didn’t merely walk the stage; he took a camera from a cameraman to record the performance himself, jumped on the drumset while playing guitar and expressively danced while playing piano. He lives through every song, every word. Since COIN’s performance was quite long, in order to dilute the intensity of the music from one vocalist, they made a great move by letting Joe Memmel, their guitarist with a great sense of humor, sing one of the singles. Along with very alive, professional and dynamic performances from each member of the band. The huge ladybug and colorful graphics in the background contributed to the atmosphere, while the bodies of the crowd were pierced by the beats of the drummer.

Before coming to the event, I had no clue who the performing artists were. I’ve never encountered them on streaming platforms, nor on YouTube. Hence, I wanted to figure out whether I was in the minority. From what I gathered, the student opinion was split in two, between those who didn’t care about the artists’ selection and came just to have fun and those who in one voice claimed that, for Cornell’s budget, it is absolutely realistic to invite much more famous, widely-listened-to performers. Though I do agree with the second group that Cornell is absolutely capable of inviting artists with big names, I would also say that it’s not only about the level of fame that a certain artist has. Snakehips might have more popularity and recognition, but their crowd ended up being dead compared to that of COIN during their respective performances. 

Overall, Slope Day went great since all of the performing bands made the crowd move a lot. And it is clear that the SDPB took care of providing students with food, drinks, security and medical aid. In terms of artist selection, the artists don’t necessarily have to be from the top of the charts, but they definitely have to be in resonance with the current trends and preferences. This consideration would bring Slope Day to another level.

Nika Makoviak is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].