Spark lights up Pavilion

Splor and Travis Scott had nothing in common before Spark in the Park Sept. 1. Afterward, however, both can say they rocked the UIC Pavilion. “It’s going to be interesting because we are kind of the exact opposite of Travis Scott,” Jonathan Dombro, a senior in economics and lead singer of Splor, said hours before taking the stage.

That they were.

Splor, winner of the 2016 Battle of the Bands event hosted by UIC Radio, hit leadoff in Spark 2016’s order and played rock songs that engaged a crowd that came mostly for two rappers. The genuine elation and modesty Splor expressed through song-transition “thank yous” brought cheers from the UIC audience.

While Scott forgot his “thank yous” at Hallmark, his set was as wild as advertised.

The rapper delivered his typical high-energy performance that makes his shows must-see.

Spark in the Park 2016

UIC’s free music festival featured student performers Splor. (Photo: Elizabeth Monge)

“Scott was well worth the wait,” said Shanice Kloss, a junior in economics. “From start to finish he was pumped up.”

“Antidote,” which rose to No. 16 on Billboard’s Hot 100, was belted by nearly every crowd member on the floor, but the most creative part of Scott’s theatre may have been his nod to Chicago.

To the crowd’s pleasure, Scott rapped and danced to Kanye West’s hit, “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1.” Then he performed the late Speaker Knockerz’ “Lonely.” While Speaker Knockerz wasn’t raised in Chicago, his sound resonated all over the city because of the drill components.

It would be remiss not to mention the way Alex Corral of Nexus & Aztro ignited the crowd during his set. Corral, performing by himself, proved why he won UIC’s last DJ Battle by reading the audience’s vibe and spinning to it.

Daya and Young Thug also commanded the Pavilion stage. While Daya gave the community a surprise taste of her new music, Young Thug, also known as Jeffery, played through the hits. His rendition of “Lifestyle” was fire.

At the end, the UIC community walked out the doors having heard diverse sound from all genres.

“Overall, Spark was awesome this year,” Kloss said. “I was a little disappointed when they decided to move it to the Pavilion, but the performances were really good.”

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