Sunglasses were on and shirts were off last Sunday at UCSB’s biggest show of the year, brought to us by A.S. Program Board. Although Extravaganza started an hour late, the various arts and activity tents, as well as the student organization-run food tables eased the wait.
The enormous art installation in the middle of Harder Stadium provided amusement as well as shade, and the tents along the bleachers served up some fun with a photo booth and fake tattoo applications. The information tent generously handed out limited edition Extravaganza water bottles for free, a godsend in the persistent heat.
DJ T-Fresh greeted people with catchy club hits as they entered the venue, before AS P.B. Battle of the Bands winner Yancellor Chang came on. Although the crowd was rather meager, they raged pretty hard to Yancellor’s surfer-reggae-rock fusion.
After playing numerous original tunes, Yancellor Chang pumped up the audience with Sublime’s popular song “Badfish” before giving the rest of the hour back to T-Fresh. But this was not the last of T-Fresh, as he played in between sets, successfully hyping up the crowd for each consecutive performance.
The only female on the lineup, Jhené Aiko, was the first main act to grace the stage. She started the show off with her hit song “Bed Peace,” an obvious crowd favorite. Despite a few off-key notes, Aiko won hearts over with her looks, style and charming audience interactions. After inhaling a certain familiar smell in the air, she gave a shout out to all of those getting high on love and life and asked if she could be our drug for the day. I’m sure many answered yes.
Aiko showed off her range in vocalization skills in two ways: hip hop singles featuring famous rappers and reggae-like songs such as “The Vapors.”
She teased the crowd towards the end of the set by dropping heavy hints on which popular song she would sing next. “Isn’t it just the worst,” she asked. “When you have to leave the stage? It’s the worst, UCSB.” Aiko went out with a bang singing “The Worst,” and many joined her in singing along.
After some speculation that Chance the Rapper would not show up, he (thankfully) surprised us. He had canceled shows as far back as Coachella due to a bout of tonsillitis and the flu, and there was talk that he would not be playing at Extravaganza since he called off his performance at the Hangout Music Festival the night before.
Luckily, he seemed to be mostly recovered and ran on stage with the most enthusiasm I have seen out of any artist in the past four years. Although the songs weren’t too crazy and he played most of Acid Rap, Chance himself seemed to be losing his mind, in a good way. He danced nonstop, even when there was no music playing. Later in the set, tonsillitis appeared to get the best of him as it became harder and harder to tell what song was playing. I was lucky enough to identify “Juice” and “Cocoa Butter Kisses” through his mumbling.
Up next was popular indie rock band Local Natives. Most concert-goers sat down to enjoy the chill indie vibes and upbeat music, but more hardcore fans ran to the front of the stage and sang along to every tune. Making sure to include their most popular numbers, “Breakers,” “Wide Eyes” and “Airplanes,” the men of Local Natives had great stage presence and stole the heart of every hipster in the audience.
With a good mixture of old and new songs from their newest album Hummingbird and debut album Gorilla Manor, Local Natives was a refreshing break from the hip hop acts and also let people save some energy for what would be a crazy final performance.
By 6 p.m., it was obvious that Diplo was the most anticipated act of the night. Some of the crowd had dwindled, falling prey to the heat or pre-gaming, but those who remained were determined to end this year’s Extravaganza with a bang. Switching between rap songs and big room house music, Diplo appealed to every type of bro you’d expect to see at UCSB.
His set ranged from songs like Jay-Z’s “Tom Ford” and Sage the Gemini’s “Gas Pedal”, to Martin Garrix’s “Animals” and Calvin Harris’ “Summer” with a lot of Diplo’s side-act, Major Lazer, mixed in.
Toward the end, Diplo invited various girls on stage to “make our school proud.” One particular girl, commonly referred to as “that girl with the long blonde hair and green shorts,” captivated the audience for a good 10 minutes with her twerking skills. Although it was revealed through UCSB Confessions that the “Twerk Queen” was actually an SBCC student, she still made our campus proud.
Unfortunately, the campus’ pride began to fall as more and more girls ran on stage and Diplo began to show annoyance at the lack of twerk talent. The crowd seemed to have stopped dancing altogether to watch the spectacle unfold, and right when I thought Diplo had killed it — and not in a good way — he convinced the audience to get low before dropping his newest collaboration with Dillon Francis — cleverly titled “Get Low.”
Diplo concluded this year’s Extravaganza with a fade-out and a crowd selfie taken on his iPhone.
A version of this story appeared on page 10 of Thursday, May 22, 2014′s print edition of the Daily Nexus.