As a blissfully calm first week fades out of view, the perfect way to face the quickly accelerating quarter is with a celebration. Indeed, there was much to celebrate at last Saturday’s Farm Day event in White Plaza.
The sensation behind the recently viral TikTok song, “BILLIE EILISH,” addressed himself to the crowd.
“I know there’s probably some of you out there that don’t know Armani White.”
He soon remedied that. During his 45-minute set, Armani White taught us to be his fans, educating us on the lyrics to his songs by asking us to sing, inviting us to scream our names as loud as we can and telling us to say “eff” all the responsibilities we have as Stanford students.
White started strong, his energy high and presence bouncing off the stage as he kicked off his performance with the song that launched him into TikTok stardom, “BILLIE EILISH.” A single truth immediately struck me and remained a theme throughout the performance: it felt like I had known the performers for years, like they invited me to a house party.
“When we come on stage it becomes our house, it becomes our home,” White said.
His set culminated in a blaze of cinematic glory — it felt like watching an epic movie come to an end — by calling on one of his late father’s favorite songs of his, “Thanksgiving,” and by embracing the crowd in handshakes in hugs.
“Look around us, look around us!” White shouted. “Son, you finally got something to be proud of.”
Near the beginning of his electric performance of “Public School,” White noticed a fan — Nick Sligh ’23, a Stanford Daily columnist — in the front row, intensely singing along to the song. The artist picked him out of the crowd, asking his name and shaking his hand. By the end of the show, White was off the stage, embracing Sligh with one arm over his shoulder, swinging back and forth to the music.
“That’s what getting a start and getting into that stardom is all about,” Sligh said. “Keep people engaged, keep people loving your music and your art, you know? Having that relatability, like making sure that the fans know you’re them at the end of the day.”
Indeed, Armani White gave Farm Day something to be proud of. The crowd that took part in his interactive performance will surely remember it for its uniqueness. White skillfully established an atmosphere of intimacy, something I feared would not be possible in such a public space as White Plaza.
Farm Day — a bi-annual Stanford block party — is meant to bolster and celebrate social life on campus. These events were born out of The Stanford Social Project, a team of undergraduates and researchers that works to better understand student needs and test and implement solutions to improve social life on campus.
This fall, Farm Day featured performances organized by the Stanford Concert Network. At White Plaza, students munched on free food, received free “Farm Day” merch, played lawn games and enjoyed a series of performances by student artists and headliner Armani White.
“We want students to experience more. We know you come here to be the best and brightest that we see every day and we wanna make sure that you also are having these times where you get to be young and fun and enjoy each other and enjoy and just be in the moment,” said OSE Assistant Director for Campus Life Trista Scheidler.
Indie-pop student opener Sixeight (stylized as “sixeight”) delivered upbeat takes on classic covers like Kali Uchis’s “telepatía.” The group even concluded with the first-ever rendition of “Half Past Two,” an original song written by Sixeight’s Carmel Limcaoco ’25. The song was a bubbly tune that mirrored adolescent infatuation and relationships.
Despite being a college band, Sixeight is no stranger to opening for well-known, accomplished artists. Just last year, they opened for indie singer Brandon Banks. Lead singers Carmel Limcaoco and Leland Fong ’25 delivered silvery vocals with their charismatic personas. The ensemble featured Seve Reyes ’25 rocking the keys, Avi Udash ’25 playing the guitar and Nathan Sariowan ’24 on bass.
A small crowd gathered before the stage, cheering on the band and dancing to some of the tunes while the rest of the onlookers enjoyed the music from a distance. At times, it was a bit difficult to make out some of the lyrics, as the lead vocal microphone seemed to be drowned out by the rest of the instruments. Still, the group laughed through a few audio feedback transmissions and continued playing.
At the start of the event, student DJs Transit Authority, Full Body Stretch and Jayden demonstrated their mixing skills and shared a variety of genre-hopping beats.
The DJs stood tall on Dinkelspiel’s outdoor stage, semi-silent gods queuing the soundtrack of life. They didn’t interact much with the crowd, but their choices were strategically planned and set the tone of the audience nonetheless. Their tunes — upbeat music to the likes of Burma Boy’s “Last Last” — reverberated throughout campus and invited all to join the festivities. I only wish that they explicitly introduced themselves to the crowd so that we knew what type of music they were there to share.
For Kyla Windley ’22 (a.k.a. Transit Authority) — who taught herself to DJ during 2020’s early waves of COVID-19 quarantine — the road to DJing was paved by a desire to play music for the students that aren’t the target audience of the standard Stanford music scene.
“I feel like going to Stanford, which is a PWI (predominantly white institution), a lot of the music at the parties on campus don’t tend to cater to students of color or at least students like me who like the music I do. So I was really excited to try to fill that gap a bit when I came back to campus after COVID,” said Windley.
Although long intermissions between performers added an air of flexibility to the event, I found myself anxious that the next performance would start while I was in the bathroom. (While Armani White’s performance didn’t start while I was in the bathroom, it did start while I was in Starbucks.)
Editor’s Note: This article is a review and includes subjective thoughts, opinions and critiques.