Spark in the Park: free concert offers alternative, hip hop, metal

Crowd and stage at Spark in the Park

Spark in the Park, a free private concert, draws UIC music fans every year. Photo: Lawrence Lee

Spark in the Park, a free, private concert for UIC, will rock the house Thursday with a lineup that features headliner twenty one pilots, special guest Wale and TanZen.

The UIC Pavilion opens at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m. A valid UIC i-card is required for admission.

Previous Spark in the Park performers included Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and J. Cole.

“There’s a whole new genre of music coming,” said Asaad Soudagar, a junior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “I’m excited.”

Mynor Villatoro, a freshman in kinesiology, said he likes the mixed line-up. “It’s a good thing, because the different genres of music attract more people,” he said.

Twenty one pilots, a 2015 Lollapalooza headliner, was nominated for “Best Live Band” for this year’s Alternative Press Music Awards. The duo, based in Ohio and formed in 2009, is quickly climbing the charts. The alternative pop/electro/rap band’s newest LP, “Blurryface,” was the No. 1 album after its release in May on Billboard’s top 200 album listings.

“I’m excited for twenty one pilots, they’re a good band,” said Jenna Wohlfert, senior in biological sciences. “It’s a different kind of music than UIC is normally used to.”

Wale, a Washington, D.C. native, was a 2013 Grammy nominee for his single “Lotus Flower Bomb.” His fourth studio album, “The Album About Nothing,” included collaborations with Jerry Seinfeld, Usher, J. Cole and Jeremiah.

UIC Radio’s 2015 Battle of the Bands winner, TanZen, will open Spark with a performance for the metal heads. UIC alumni Ted Sofios and Armin Maksumic, vocalist and lead guitarist, take the stage with fellow band members Demostanis Diakoumakos, bass, and Kelvin Rivera, drums.

Spark in the Park is sponsored by Campus Programs in collaboration with UIC Radio and the UIC Pavilion, which are units within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Follow Campus Programs on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Spark in the Park Facebook for more information, including contests and prizes.

Call 312-413-5070 for disability accommodations.