The Maroon Editorial Board thought about writing a “Good Job, MAB!” column as soon as the Summer Breeze lineup was announced. Perhaps in response to criticism that last year’s slate was too indie, this year’s featured an eclectic mix of mainstream and underground music, with hip-hop, reggae, and experimental rock represented by Nas, Damian Marley, and the Dirty Projectors, respectively. Praise might have been premature at the time of the announcement, but it is clear now that Summer Breeze 2010 well exceeded expectations, however high they were.
Conflicts abound within the Editorial Board as to which performer had the best set, with each of the three members preferring a different act. The Board did agree that Damian Marley’s flag-waver was the night’s top talent, demonstrating physical strength and a dedication to his art unsurpassed by any flag-waver the Board has previously encountered. In the Board’s opinion, the man playing the bongo drums was pretty cool, too. In any event, the Board’s inability to settle on a top act only attests to the lineup’s broad appeal.
No matter who’s on stage, Hutch Courtyard is an inspired location for a concert, and it’s a shame the space doesn’t host events of this sort more often. After sundown, the spotlights illumined the overhanging tree branches and occasionally projected larger-than-life images of Nas and Damian Marley against the Erman Biology Center, impressive visual effects that added to the concert’s atmosphere. Outside the concert area, attendees hung out and enjoyed free snacks on the the quad-side of Hull Gate. Those 21-and-up could explore the “Beer Garden,” a makeshift bar in the grassy space across from Botany Pond which had a strange wonderfulness only matched this year by Scav’s dance party in Rockefeller Chapel.
It was a surreal experience, and what few off-notes brought us back to reality were mostly beyond MAB’s control. In a perfect world, there would be some way to keep out the high school students that invaded during the Dirty Projectors’ set (and then seemed to disappear for Nas and Damian Marley, perhaps to get home before bedtime). It would also be ideal if the weather could just cooperate and actually feel summery, instead of making the name “Summer Breeze” the joke of the night.
Nitpicking aside, this year’s Summer Breeze was a resounding success. Hopefully it will be a template for future concerts—particularly the range of music genres represented—assuring more, equally-amazing Summer Breezes in years to come.
The Maroon Editorial Board includes the Editor-in-Chief and the Viewpoints Editors.