UMass Spring Concert Lineups of the Decade


The official Cardi B concert announcement from Tinder. (Photo/Tinder)

Over the past decade, UMass Amherst has had different artists come to perform at the Mullins Center, here is a review of the concerts UMass had:

2010: Ludacris, LMFAO, New Found Glory, Electrolightz

Ludacris has been in the hip hop scene for over two decades, and it is no surprise the Programming Council chose him for the 2010 Spring concert. LMFAO was not as known, but was in the process of releasing their first album “Sorry for Party Rocking. New Found Glory is a rock band that has been active since 1997. Electrolightz is best known for the remixes of wildly popular songs, a good choice of an opener to get the party started.

2011: 3OH!3, B.o.B, Pretty Lights

3OH!3 is best known for their hit “Don’t Trust Me,” which went triple platinum in 2011, the same year as their performance at UMass Amherst. B.o.B’s biggest hit, “Nothing on You” with Bruno Mars, peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2010. He is also known for the massive hits “Airplane” and “Magic.” Pretty Lights opened, and they are an electronic band who hit #24 on Billboard in 2013 with the song “A Color Map of the Sun.”

2012: J. Cole, Third Eye Blind and Big K.R.I.T.

For current students at UMass Amherst, it is hard to believe that someone as huge in the music industry as J. Cole was once the headliner for the spring concert. The North Carolina based rapper was coming fresh off his album “Cole World: The Sideline Story.” The most popular song on the album “Work Out” got the crowd moving. Third Eye Blind, a band best known for their smash hit “Semi-Charmed Life,” was more popular in the late 1990s. Big K.R.I.T., a Mississippi born rapper and producer, has been active since 2005 and performed at UMass Amherst shortly after winning “Rookie of the Year” at the BET Hip Hop Awards. 

2013: Big Sean, Cobra Starship, Tyga, Reel Big Fish, and B. Smyth

Big Sean had peaked at number six on the Billboard in 2012 with “As Long as You Love Me” where he featured Justin Bieber on the track. He was also featured on Dance (A$$) and Clique in the same year. Cobra Starship peaked in 2009 with “Good Girls Go Bad” and “You Make Me Feel Good.” Both songs hit the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. Tyga became a distinguished rap artist with his song “Rack City” in 2012, peaking at number seven on the Hot 100. Reel Big Fish is a punk band that opened alongside B. Smyth. 

2014: Run River North, Slightly Stoopid, The Goo Goo Dolls, Wale

UMass appeared to take a break from the hip-hop dominated Spring Concerts of past years when they invited The Goo Goo Dolls and Run River North to perform. The two bands are described as indie-rock and appealed to a different audience than in prior years. The Goo Goo Dolls were popular in the late 1990s, but a large outpouring of fans from UMass still came to see them. Wale was the headliner and his most famous feature is on Wacka Flocka’s 2010 song “No Hands”.

2015: Juicy J, Ludacris, Ke$ha

Juicy J performed hits such as “Dark Horse” (which peaked at the top of the Billboard Hot 100) and “Bandz a Make Her Dance.” Ludacris made a return to UMass five years after performing in 2010. Ke$ha performed her hit dance songs from the early 2010s. She was still two years away from releasing her song “Praying,” and had yet to publicly accuse Dr. Luke of abusing her for many years. If Ke$ha were to perform at UMass now, it would be a lot different than it was even four years ago. 

2016: Fetty Wap, Logic, Tinashe

Fetty Wap was at his most popular when he performed at UMass Amherst in 2016. He performed songs off of his 2015 self-titled album, which peaked at number one in the United States. Logic had yet to release his mixtape “Bobby Tarantino” but had his hit concept album “The Incredible True Story” under his belt. Tinashe’s biggest song to date is “2 On” from 2014 featuring Schoolboy Q, which made the Billboard Hot 100 top 25. 

2017: Lil Dicky, Jon Bellion, 2 Chainz

Lil Dicky, known for his wild antics, was still a year away from having his song “Freaky Friday” become one of the biggest party songs of the year when he performed in 2017. Jon Bellion, a New York-based artist and songwriter, opened the show with songs off his albums “Human Condition” and “The Definition.” He also penned hits such as Eminem and Rihanna’s “Monster.” 2 Chainz was the main event and the massively popular rapper was only a few months away from releasing his studio album “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music.” 

2018: Khalid, Lil Yachty—Cardi B

Lil Yachty had two huge features on the songs “iSpy” and “Broccoli.” The well-known rapper also goes by Lil Boatand has had success with his own singles and albums, including “One Night.” Khalid performed songs off of his 2017 debut album “American Teen.” He was hot off the heels of his win at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards for Best New Artist. 

As a bonus, UMass Amherst students won a free Cardi B concert after winning the Tinder Swipe Off competition. She was in the third trimester of her pregnancy while performing and still put on a great show for the students. 

2019: Future, Gunna, Ty Dolla $ign

After Lil Uzi pulled out of performing, the University Programming Council lined up Lil Baby to perform for the Spring Concert. After Lil Baby did not show up the day of, the school refunded ticket money to students, and there was no Spring Concert. 

Due to this, I will discuss the performers from a concert at the Mullins Center in March. Future performed his mega-hit “Mask Off.” Gunna performed his song “Drip Too Hard,” and much to the crowd’s delight, “Baby Birkin,” which features a line mentioning Amherst. Ty Dolla $ign is best known for his features on songs such as “Psycho” and “Swalla.” 

There are definitely trends to be seen in the Spring Concerts of the 2010s. Out of the 10 years of concerts, only three women performed. Hip hop also was the dominant genre of music of these concerts. This is likely because hip hop is one of the most popular genres of music and only kept growing in popularity since the 2010s. The University Programming Council recently released a survey for the 2020 Spring Concert and it featured mainly hip hop or rap artists, but also alternative bands. The 2010s were a great decade in music, and here’s to kick off another decade of concerts in April of 2020.

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