Spring Concert is one of Carleton’s finest traditions. An all-day music festival, students gather outside to listen to student DJs and regional and national acts. Good music, tasty food, and sunshine is hard to capture on a webpage, but we’ve put together this compilation of headliners so you can get a sense of the experience.
A nominee for the Best Urban Contemporary Album Grammy Award, Kehlani came to Carleton before releasing her debut full-length album. Kehlani first gained attention on America’s Got Talent, and has since made waves with her mixtapes and performances.
When T-Pain took the Spring Concert stage, he was in the midst of a career rebirth. With early hits like “Buy U a Drank” and “I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper),” T-Pain had more recently garnered attention for his outstanding NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
Run the Jewels and St. Lucia (2014)
Spring Concert 2014 brought some variety to the tradition with not one but two (!) headlining acts. Run the Jewels combines the hip hop powers of El-P and Killer Mike. St. Lucia is the stage name of musician Jean-Philip Grobler.
Smash Mouth (2013)
Playing together for nearly 20 years, Smash Mouth’s popular hits include “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “All Star.” Known for incorporating retro musical styles into their music, Smash Mouth brought great energy to the Carleton stage in 2013.
The Dean’s List (2012)
Of course, the name of the 2012 headliner, The Dean’s List, rang true for Carls. The group’s sound is a little indie, a dash of electric, and a lot of hip-hop. Self-described as “more of a movement than a band,” The Dean’s List plans to debut a clothing line.
Blue Scholars (2011)
Seattle-based Blue Scholars, who played Spring Concert in 2011, have important messages to share. Their lyrics often focus on socioeconomic class struggles, challenging authority, and youth empowerment. The band’s name is a play on the term “blue collar.”
Brother Ali (2010)
Minnesota is proud of local rapper Brother Ali, who performed at Spring Concert in 2010. He is signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment, a Minneapolis-based independent label that has helped put Twin Cities rappers on the map.
Nigerian-American rapper Wale took to Carleton’s Hill of Three Oaks in 2009, after the release of his album Attention Deficit. Regrettably, he did not bring superstar who accompanied him on the album’s first single, “Chillin’ ”: Lady Gaga.
Dr. Dog (2008)
This indie-rock band traveled to Carleton from Pennsylvania to headline the 2008 Spring Concert. Lead vocalists Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken have played together since the eighth grade. They have a slightly 60s sound, appealingly nasal — like Lennon.