After a long week of classes, Boston College students were in desperate need of a break. With midterms soon approaching, they headed out to Stokes Set for a night of music before buckling down in the library for the rest of the week. The evening was cool and comfortable when Nico & Vinz, the artists behind the 2013 summer anthem “Am I Wrong,” took the stage in front of a skeptical crowd. Too most of the Stokes Set attendees, “Am I Wrong” was the main reason they got a ticket for the second annual concert, which took place on Stokes Lawn on Saturday.
“I’m just here to hear them sing that one song that was really popular a few years ago,” Kate Klein, LSOE ’20, said.
This seemed to be the majority opinion of the crowd at the show. But the energetic duo put together a surprisingly strong performance. They started off the show with “In Your Arms,” an upbeat and optimistic song that had the whole crowd on its feet. The lyrics resonated with the freshman-heavy audience, especially lines such as “Life is a journey where you stumble and fall / But I’m okay,” and “They tried to break me down / But I’m still on my feet.” This fast-paced and happy song was the perfect way to start the concert—it hyped the originally dubious crowd up from the very beginning.
After that, Nico & Vinz played “Hold it Together,” a slower and more emotional song that calmed the crowd down after their energetic entrance. This was quickly followed by their 2014, dance hit song “When the Day Comes.” The entire audience was singing and jumping for the duration of the song—its repeating lyrics made it easy to sing along to and its fast rhythm was perfect for jumping and dancing. The song itself is encouraging, with inspiring lyrics such as “Even when the sky comes falling down / I’ll be ready when the sky comes falling down.” The positivity radiated from their performance into the audience.
When the concert first started, Nico told the crowd, “I want to see you all dancing and smiling by the end of tonight.” He didn’t have to wait until the show was over—it was happening already.
Mid-concert, Nico & Vinz performed one of the absolute highlights of the night, “I Wanna Know.” This 2016 EDM hit was originally recorded with Swedish DJ Alesso. Much of the audience had no idea that Nico & Vinz were featured on the song, and were overcome with excitement as the first few notes of the pop hit blared out of the speakers. Following this super-energetic few minutes, they performed another song that they had been featured on: “Lift Me Up,” appearing on David Guetta’s Listen. Although this song was not as popular as “I Wanna Know,” the audience recognized and appreciated the quality of the song. Guetta is known worldwide for producing high-quality EDM music, and has even won Grammy awards for his work.
The penultimate song of the evening was a cleaned-up version of “That’s How You Know.” In 2015, the song charted on Billboard’s US Mainstream Top 40, peaking at number 35. A large majority of the crowd was somewhat familiar with the feel-good, singalong piece. Although changing the lyrics to “That’s how you know you [messed] up” sounded awkward and out of place considering the entire audience was singing back the original words, “That’s How You Know” was the perfect song to set the mood for “Am I Wrong.”
The audience impatiently chanted “Am I Wrong! Am I Wrong!” until they heard the recognizable and catchy first few notes of the popular song to close the show. When it came to performing the hit from a few years back, Nico & Vinz definitely delivered. Their voices sounded just like the recorded version, and in concert they even accompanied it with some coordinated dance moves. The audience was totally engaged. As the powerhouse duo sang “Am I Wrong,” the crowd sang it back to them word-for-word. In the end, for most of the concertgoers, hearing this song live was enough to make the entire night completely worth it.
At the end of the show, the audience seemed to be in a pleasantly surprised consensus. Hillenbrand described Nico & Vinz as “personal, nice, and positive.” Students seemed to appreciate the down-to-earth duo’s optimism, which spread all around Stokes Lawn the second they took the stage.
Aside from the setlist and the performance itself, Stokes Set had other activities for students to enjoy. The atmosphere pre-concert was delightful; the weather was comfortable and the sky was completely clear. Students enjoyed the apple cider and delicious donuts being served—a perfect snack for the second day of fall. Big light tunnels were assembled near the entrance, complete with BC flags atop. As one can imagine, light tunnels are a prime place for college students to take a quick Snapchat selfie with friends.
Unsurprisingly, there soon was a line to take a picture in the tunnel. These simple and seemingly small additions to the night made a big difference in terms of the atmosphere on the Stokes Lawn. They created a happy, light ambience—one that seemed to welcome fall, the new school year, and all the ups and downs that come with it.
Featured Image By Celine Lim / Heights Staff