Cold War Kids, Shwayze to headline W.I.L.D.

| News Editor

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.

  • More informed

    the WILD appeal to SU exec council was conditional on a specific artist because that was the one for which Team 31 appealed– the only reason they appealed was that they believed they could sign an artist for whom many students had actively expressed their support. it had nothing to do with su officers’ own musical preferences, but the belief that with a small additional amount team 31 could bring a better artist than otherwise (i.e. a large marginal gain). obviously, that artist didn’t work out so they didn’t use the money.

  • Jill


    TEAM 31’s budget is over $200,000. If student union didnt oversee how they spent that money THAT WOULD BE ABSURD.

    SU should seek more student input on who they want to come to wild. Do the Execs make the decision? Where does this money come from.

  • a student

    SU gives Team 31 money for WILD that is conditional on bringing bands SU likes? Absurd.

  • Informed

    I know a couple people on the board, and I’ve been talking with them throughout the process. They’re actually planning on spending their entire operating budget (and with the prices of the talent, they will), as well as several thousand dollars of their fundraising account, on this semester’s WILD. Operating money is what SU allocates, based on the total received from the student activities fee, to each student group, and fundraising is achieved through various methods like t-shirt sales (as Team 31 does). What you’re seeing as fiscal irresponsibility by Team 31 is anything but. Additionally, the money that is not used from the operating account is returned to SU, not forwarded to the next academic year for that specific group.

    Also, the appeal that Team 31 got was conditional; it could only be put to certain artists that the SU execs deemed appropriate. None of these artists worked out, so Team 31 was unable to spend this money.

  • student

    Do you know how much money Team31 would save if they booked the show themselves, instead of going through a third party? Honestly, it’s not that hard, and IT’S ALL THEY DO.

  • Kate

    Didn’t Team 31 also get extra funds in an appeal to bring these groups to campus? Why are they then able to save money and put it towards a future event?

  • Not a senior

    I have to agree with Graduation Senior, funds should not be transferred like this. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of other groups having to spend something so that the money didn’t go away at the end of the year….

    Why should seniors be paying for next year?

  • Graduating senior

    ““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. ”

    Does this mean all graduating seniors and students going abroad next semester are getting part of their activities fee refunded?

    I’m not saying that WU students are worse than the regular “bands” that perform, but student groups shouldn’t be able to shift costs from year to year. This means next fall, my activities fee and the fee of my 1,600 peers will be subsidizing better talent. Where’s the SU oversight?