Unfortunately, our writers were unable to attend Winter SOULstice this year, due to being among the many waiting outside of the SRC North gymnasium for close to two hours in torrential downpours before doors opened at 8 p.m. — an hour after schedule. The event, originally planned to be held at the HUB Lawn area, was moved to the SRC North two days prior to account for forecasted storm weather. According to ASPB Director of Marketing Avit Patel, this change in venue was partially responsible for the delays of the event.
“Due to the unfortunate weather, our artists had delayed arrivals, and we had to push the sound checks back,” stated Patel. “We really wish we could have still opened the doors on time and provided our attendees shelter from the rain. However, we cannot open doors until sound checks are complete, and, so, we were unable to open the doors on time.” Understandable. However, when coupling the forecast of rain with ASPB’s provided instruction for attendees to not bring umbrellas, the result was a logistical disaster.
Nevertheless, while we — myself and our editor-in-chief Myles Andrews-Duve — were unable to attend, we spoke to many of the attendees — including our photographers — to get a picture of what transpired at this year’s annual Winter SOULstice.
Elhae, who was the first performer to take the stage was not particularly enthusiastic throughout his performance, which was mimicked by the audience’s lack of enthusiasm during his set. As it seemed, many students were not exactly sure how to respond to his music. Or didn’t know it. However, the highlight of his performance was when he played a track by Chance the Rapper, which got students moving quite a bit. The performance itself was ended abruptly by Elhae for reasons unspecified.
According to most who attended his set, the OVO signee’s performance proved to be underwhelming. While energetic, Wood$’s live vocals were not on par — some even suggested he was an entire octave off pitch — perhaps because of sound issues with his headset. While Wood$ did deliver for ardent fans of his music, most students left disappointed by this set.
In what was an awkward moment, once Wood$ began to perform his most popular song, “Drama” which features Drake, he abruptly chose to stop the song only a few bars into the first verse, frustrating much of the crowd.
While students seemed far more familiar with Roy Wood$ than with SOULstice’s headliner, Gallant, the Los Angeles-based vocalist surely delivered what most deemed the best performance of the evening. His vocals were heavy, filling the entire room and his set was incredibly energetic. The highlights of his performance included songs such as “Bourbon,” “Episode” and his most popular song, “Weight in Gold.”
While this Winter SOULstice was bogged down by foul weather and a number of logistical mishaps, it speaks to ASPB’s capacity to adapt to these obstacles by rescheduling the venue and maintaining the artist’s set times. Though this year did not go as planned due to the storm, ASPB still managed to deliver a concert, even if the performances were not up to par.
How was your Winter SOULstice experience? Feel free to share in the comments below.