Your Guide to Dillo Day's Main Stage Artists
Pumped for this year’s Dillo but not quite sure who all the artists are? Ready to sing your heart out but don’t have time to study up on every artist’s discography? Here’s a quick guide to who’s performing on the Dillo Main Stage this year and the top three songs to check out to prepare yourself for a fun concert experience.
While the Dillo lineup offers a wide variety of artists for music listeners, the Minnesota rock band Hippo Campus stands out from the headliners. The band consists of Jake Luppen, Nathan Stocker, Zach Sutton, Whistler Alle, and DeCarlo Jackson. They released their first full-length album Landmark in 2017, and quickly followed up with their second studio album in 2018. Bambi is packed with upbeat, conflicting sounds as well as heart-on-the-sleeve writing. The album is perfect for golden hour, but a 1:30 pm slot will have to do. Since 2013, they’ve performed at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, South by Southwest and other festivals. They’re far from festival rookies, which is why they’re sure to bring some sunshine to the projected thunderstorm this Saturday. Here are three of Hippo Campus’ songs you should definitely check out before Dillo Day:
It'd be easy to look at Spotify’s top five songs and go from there, but Hippo Campus has some hidden gems scattered throughout their four EPs. Leading the three tracks on Warm Glow, “Baseball” is just one of them. Right off the bat (lol!), the fluctuating guitar leads the song to frontman Jake Luppen’s smooth vocals. It’s almost like the track is trying to keep up with itself, but in a completely organized way. The choppy lyrics seem nonsensical, singing about a “moonboy looking jungly.” But then the band manages to slip in a line like “My bones are tired of the body that woke me up today,” and they somehow get away with it. The lyrical duality is clever and goes hand in hand with the catchy tune.
2. ”Simple Season”
Off Landmark, this track is pure fun. The chorus paints a picture of a crescent moon peeking through when it’s still light out and coming home with stains on your knees from picking blueberries all day. It’s a Minnesota summer packed into a three and a half minute song. Guitarist Nathan Stocker described it as a song about “friends we made and the friends that made us. Nothing to do and all day to do it. Nowhere to go and all day to get there. Sittin’ around in the simplicity of it all belonging to us.” There isn’t a better song to sway to surrounded by your best college friends on a Saturday afternoon.
The self-titled song is the second single off the album, and it stands so far apart from the rest of the songs on Bambi. It’s named after Luppen’s aunt named Bambi who has a lake house in Wisconsin that the band likes to escape to for writing retreats. However, the song has nothing to do with that. Instead, Luppen confronts the toll that his mental illness has taken on him and his friends, all the while supported by a mellow electronic beat that was created using a drum machine and op-1. The song isn’t as straightforward as other Hippo Campus singles, but its elusiveness carries the message and beat of the track.
Mayfest playlist here.
Fresh off of her 2018 album K.T.S.E. (Keep That Same Energy), Teyana Taylor is a singer, dancer, actress, and model from Harlem. Signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music Label, she’s been in the music business for over a decade, but complications with labels and producers has stalled her success. K.T.S.E. is a long overdue reflection of the struggles she has faced as well as her path to overcoming them. Her music is heavily inspired by soul and R&B, and features pristine “Old Kanye” production and instrumentals. Arguably her best track, “Rose In Harlem” centers around inspiring themes, and flips a sample from “Because I Love You Girl” by Stylistics to embody her come ups and rise to success. Her performances are lively and dance-centric, showing off her skills as a performer. Outside of here singing career, Taylor was featured as the dancer in Kanye West’s music video for his song “Fade”. Out of all the Dillo artists, I am most excited for Teyana Taylor’s Daytime Headlining set, since K.T.S.E. was one of my favorite albums of last year. Shout out to Mayfest for bringing her talents to the Dillo Stage this year! Check out my top three recommendations for her songs below.
1. “Rose in Harlem”
2. “Gonna Love Me”
Check out Mayfest’s Spotify playlist for Teyana Taylor here.
Anna Lunoe is an Australian DJ, producer, and vocalist who has been making waves in the dance music scene since 2012. Her career began as a radio host on Australia’s FBi community radio, but she moved to Los Angeles to continue building her career. She’s done the US festival rounds, dominating the stage at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Ultra, TomorrowWorld and Hard Summer with her vivacious beats and unmistakable passion. Now she’s bringing some of her hits to the Dillo Day mainstage. Whether you’re a huge EDM fan or you’re just getting into the genre, there is no doubt that Anna Lunoe won’t make you want to dance it out on the lakefill. Get ready to groove along to some of her top tracks such as:
3. “I Met You”
Or find her on Spotify to get familiar with her countless other tracks and features.
Performing in the prize position right before the headliner, Daya is a pretty classic pop artist for this year’s Dillo. The twenty years old Grammy Award winner her music stands out as a kind of mindless fun. Her first hit song, “Hide Away” is much in this line, featuring synth beats and an exploration of the frustration about love and relationships. Since that first appearance, she has also released well-known and well-received hits from her self-titled album Daya, such as “Sit Still, Look Pretty”. She was also featured on The Chainsmokers’ song “Don’t Let Me Down,” which won the Best Dance Recording in 2017. Since her second album was released in 2016, Daya has mainly been releasing singles. Her pop aesthetic is sure to add an interesting vibe to Dillo, and here are the three songs of hers you should catch up on before then:
This track, released by Daya in 2017, is a straight bop. Last year this was my song of the summer. A fun “I want” song for an ex filled with regret, “New” has some vibrant vocalizations and a steady beat for dancing. Upbeat, powerful and perfect for a live concert, Daya is basically guaranteed to perform it this weekend.
The darker, moodier opening of this song shows how much Daya has grown as an artist since she first emerged on the scene. The lyrics and mood of the song are darker and more intricate than many of her previous works, and the transition to haunting higher notes as the song continues is compelling and trippy. The song speaks to a sense of danger and helplessness that makes this one of Daya’s most thematically intriguing tracks.
A new release by Daya, “Insomnia” is in the genre of trance-pop, playing with pacing and background lyrics in a danceable number. Another song in Daya’s wheelhouse of singing to ex-lovers, it is a pop anthem that feels perfect for late night club nights (or, those late afternoon Dillo days).
If you’re interested in a more complete Daya playlist, check out Mayfest’s Daya one here.
This first artist announced, and this year’s dillo headliner is A$AP Ferg. His performance at Northwestern’s Dillo Day has been long anticipated since his set got cancelled in 2015 due to the weather.
A$AP Ferg is a member of the A$AP mob—a group of rappers, producers, directors, and designers who share similar styles and interests. The group includes A$AP Rocky, which has led many to believe that he will make a surprise appearance at this year’s Dillo Day. Many people have criticized A$AP Ferg being chosen to headline Dillo, citing that, unlike headliners of many other years, he isn’t “up and coming” and that his album is mostly features. While it is true that in the past Dillo has gotten many artists right before they made it big, that should not discredit the performers who have already had a successful career. Furthermore, while his 2017 album, Still Striving, includes a significant amount of features, his older albums have individual tracks of just A$AP Ferg that will be great in a live performance. There is no doubt that A$AP Ferg will put on a great show for the Northwestern student body, as long as he doesn’t get rained out again.
1. “Plain Jane”
2. “Nasty (Who Dat)”
The Mayfest A$AP Ferg playlist is highly recommended. Get excited for Dillo!