Stanford Concert Network (SCN) presented the 2022 Frost Music and Arts Festival on Saturday at Frost Amphitheater. Headlined by Aminé, the concert also featured Victoria Monét, Tkay Maidza and student performer eisenach ’23. The performances garnered an attendance of 4,000 students, faculty and community members, according to SCN representatives.
Symbolizing his cheerfully irreverent music style, Aminé took to the stage decked in an all-green ensemble of a dark sweatsuit and a funky fluorescent beanie.
Born and raised in Portland, Aminé paid homage to his roots through “Woodlawn,” reflecting on how far his prosperous music career has brought him since his humble beginnings in Portland’s Woodlawn neighborhood.
One crowd favorite was “Spice Girl,” a song about pining for a woman with the same qualities as the members of British girl group Spice Girls. Interpolated into Aminé’s lyrics are the signature lines of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”: ”zig-a-zig-ah” and “what I really, really want.” The performance took a surprising turn when the DJ smoothly transitioned into the actual Spice Girls song. Aminé’s performance of “Heebiejeebies,” the infatuation-filled ballad with Kehlani, also had the audience singing their hearts out.
My favorite Aminé songs involve instrumental motifs and heavy bass, and include “RATCHET SATURN GIRL,” a groovy song with an irresistible opportunity for provocative dancing. In “NEO,” Aminé references his college days and how even his alcohol tastes have graduated from Tito’s Handmade Vodka to champagne.
Aminé built rapport with the audience through a simple call-and-response, professing “Stanford, you’re beautiful!” and having the audience respond with a self-assured “I know!” The back-and-forth embodied a quintessential Gen Z boldness.
Opening the event was student performer eisenach — the winner of Stanford’s “Farm Fest Sprung: Battle of the Bands.” eisenach opened with a bouncy setlist, including one of his latest releases “Hello Kitty” and old favorites like “Google Earth,” which recently surpassed a million streams on Spotify. I especially enjoyed the lively guitar accompaniment and chilled out vibes of his performance, which served as a great juxtaposition to the later pop, R&B and hip-hop-filled performances.
Australian singer-songwriter Tkay Maidza performed next, providing a fresh and energetic set. Dressed in red and black plaid, Maidza’s energy was infectious as she danced across the stage, captivating the audience.
Following Maidza’s performance, Victoria Monét and her backup dancers sashayed onto the stage dressed in custom Stanford merch, forming an instant connection with fans. Monét, her dancers and her band performed beautifully, expertly melding dance with song. Along with performing her hit Ariana Grande collaboration “Monopoly” and sexually confident anthem “Jaguar,” she sang a medley of her co-written songs, including Grande’s “7 rings.”
Jodalys Herrera ’23 admired Monét’s effortless moves and energy: “I loved Victoria’s dancing paired with her lovely vocals. Her Stanford-themed outfits were the cherry on top.”
Of course, the evening would be incomplete without Aminé’s 2016 sleeper hit, “Caroline,” which peaked at no. 11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the same year. After Aminé led the audience through an a cappella rendition of the song, the backing track was cranked up and he launched into round two, strategically stopping and beckoning the audience members to fill in.
For me, the highlight of any concert is seeing the energy generated by impulsive interactions between the artist and audience; in this regard, Aminé did not disappoint. Concert-goers shouted the words with impeccable ease, harkening all the way back to the chiller vibes of high school summers for many Stanford students in attendance. I assumed that “Caroline” was the final song, but was thrilled to hear the beat drop for an electrifying performance of “REEL IT IN,” the most streamed song of Aminé’s sophomore album “ONEPOINTFIVE.”
This year’s Frost Festival was the second that Isabel Gallegos ’22 attended. “From their Stanford-themed outfits to the dancing and the band, I loved the way [Victoria Monét] and her group performed! This year it was fun to be closer to the front and surrounded by people dancing and singing,” Gallegos said.
Chris Cross ’22 M.S. ’23 echoed Gallegos’ sentiments: “Frost was amazing — from the incredible artwork to the student DJs. Tkay brought her electric charisma. Monét absolutely slayed. And the crowd energy was insane during Aminé. SCN really outdid themselves with this one.”
Although this was the first Frost Festival I attended, the broad range of artistry and exhilarating music left me eager to attend more in the future.
Editor’s Note: This article is a review and contains subjective thoughts, opinions and critiques.