Cold War Kids, Shwayze to headline W.I.L.D.
It’s time to get wild. This spring’s Walk In Lay Down (W.I.L.D.) concert lineup, featuring the Cold War Kids and Shwayze, was announced last week at the Washington University DJ Battle hosted by Team 31, the student group responsible for the biannual concert.
The Cold War Kids are a four-person American indie rock band hailing from southern California. They have released two albums and are currently producing a third.
Shwayze, formerly known as Aaron Smith, is a rapper from California who has released two albums and has collaborated with other rappers including Chris Young and Cisco Adler.
Normally, Team 31 only brings performers from outside the Washington University community to perform on the main stage at W.I.L.D. This year, however, Team 31’s executive board decided to give the opening spot at W.I.L.D. to the winner of last week’s DJ battle, a contest won by sophomore Jeremy Klein.
According to sophomore Zack Whitacre, co-chair of Team 31, the DJ battle is a new concept intended to incorporate student talent into the W.I.L.D. lineup.
“We know that there are several very good DJs on campus who are just as good as those that we can bring from off campus,” he said. “We wanted to showcase student talent at W.I.L.D.”
Normally, Battle of the Bands is held the day of W.I.L.D. and the winner gets to play W.I.L.D. This year, both the DJ and band battle winners will play W.I.L.D.
The decision to add a new student participant to the show does not come as a result of budgetary constraints, but rather from a desire to save money to put toward next year’s W.I.L.D.
“It is nice to be able to put Wash. U. talent on display and also be able to save some money and put it toward fall W.I.L.D.” Whitacre said.
Klein is looking forward to playing W.I.L.D. and anticipates an enthusiastic crowd.
“I have a lot of friends that support me every time I DJ and come out and dance their faces off,” Klein said. “I hope they can spark that in the crowd.”
Typically, fall W.I.L.D. has a rap artist and spring W.I.L.D. is rock-based, but Team 31 decided to combine the two this semester.
“[Team 31] discussed whether it should be a rock-based show in the spring,” Whitacre said. “It should really just be the best artists you can get at the best possible price.”
Team 31 co-chair and sophomore Laura April shared similar sentiments about mixing the genres at W.I.L.D.
“We’re both really excited because they’re different genres,” she said. “We think it’s a really diverse lineup. We’re really happy about that—hopefully it will bring a lot of different people out.”
Students had mixed reactions to the W.I.L.D. announcement.
“Shwayze is a good choice even though [he is] not as well known, but that shouldn’t be a problem because not many people knew Passion Pit last semester, but almost everyone enjoyed them,” freshman Mofit Marsh said.
Sophomore Jasmine Glasper felt similarly about the artists’ popularity.
“I know Shwayze, and it seems OK,” she said. “Team 31 could have done worse with the picks, but I liked the music during the fall, and W.I.L.D. is a good place to hang out with friends.”
Team 31’s spring W.I.LD. lineup was a letdown for other students.
“I’m a little disappointed,” senior Melissa Legge said. “I wish it was someone as fun as The Cool Kids or George Clinton.”
Some students felt that although the chosen artists are good performers, Team 31 could have gotten more prominent acts.
“I know Shwayze and Cold War Kids are going to be exciting,” freshman Claudia Gambrah said. “Fall W.I.L.D. was my first one here at Wash. U., and it was a good experience. I’m indifferent about the picks, but they definitely could have done better with other artists.”
Many students go to W.I.L.D. for the experience of attending a concert with their peers.
“I’m going to have a good time,” senior Colleen Davis said. “If it were a band I detested, I’d be more disappointed. Even though I like the Cold War Kids, I’m going for the experience.”
April believes that students unfamiliar with the artists will become fans.
Sophomore Catie Gainor is looking forward to hearing the Cold War Kids and to a relaxed atmosphere.
“I like Cold War Kids, but I feel like it’s going to be more relaxed than other W.I.L.D.s because the Cold War Kids are more chilled out,” she said. “I prefer that kind of atmosphere at big outdoor events. It gets crazy when it’s that [crowded and] insane. It’s a lot more fun when I’m not afraid of getting trampled. I’m excited.”
The 16 members of Team 31’s executive board contracted the artists last week after a lengthy selection process.
Initially working with a producer and Entertainment St. Louis, a talent agent, Team 31 submitted a list of 50 to 60 artists that they were interested in booking. The agent then informed the team as to which entertainers were available. Finally, the executive board came to a decision about whom to book.
According to Whitacre, planning for fall W.I.L.D. will commence the Friday following spring W.I.L.D.
Spring W.I.L.D. will take place on April 30, the last day of classes in Arts & Sciences.