Aminé amazes at Frost Festival 2022
Stanford Concert Network (SCN) presented the 2022 Frost Music and Arts Festival at the Frost Amphitheater on Saturday. Headlining Aminé, the concert also featured Victoria Monét, Tkay Maidza and a student performer eisenach ’23. The performances drew 4,000 students, faculty and community members, according to SCN officials.
Symbolizing his playfully irreverent musical style, Aminé took to the stage wearing an all-green ensemble consisting of a dark tracksuit and a funky neon beanie.
Born and raised in Portland, Aminé has paid homage to his roots through “Woodlawn,” reflecting how far his successful music career has taken him from humble beginnings in Portland’s Woodlawn neighborhood.
A crowd favorite was “Spice Girl”, a song about longing for a woman with the same qualities as members of British girl group Spice Girls. Interpolated into Aminé’s lyrics are the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” signature lines: “zig-a-zig-ah” and “what I really, really want”. The performance took a surprising turn when the DJ smoothly transitioned to the actual Spice Girls song. Aminé’s performance of “Heebiejeebies,” the craze-filled ballad starring Kehlani, also had the audience singing heartily.
My favorite Aminé songs involve instrumental patterns 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 tastes in alcohol changed from Tito’s craft vodka to champagne.
Aminé established a rapport with the audience through a simple call-and-response, professing “Stanford, you’re beautiful!” and have the audience respond with an “I know!” The back and forth embodied quintessential Gen Z boldness.
Opening the event was a student artist eisenach – the winner of Stanford’s “Farm Fest Sprung: Battle of the Bands”. eisenach kicked off with a vibrant setlist, including one of his latest releases “Hello Kitty” and old favorites like “Google Earth,” which recently surpassed one million streams on Spotify. I particularly enjoyed the lively guitar backing and relaxing vibes of his performance, which served as a juxtaposition to later pop, R&B and hip-hop performances.
Australian singer-songwriter Tkay Maidza performed next, delivering a fresh and energetic set. Dressed in a red and black plaid, Maidza’s energy was contagious as she danced across the stage, captivating the audience.
Following Maidza’s performance, Victoria Monét and her backup dancers took to the stage wearing custom Stanford merchandise, creating an instant connection with fans. Monét, his dancers and his group performed wonderfully, skilfully mixing dance and song. Along with performing her Ariana Grande hit collaboration “Monopoly” and her 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 movements and energy: “I loved Victoria’s dancing paired with her beautiful voice. Her Stanford-themed outfits were the icing on the cake.
Of course, the evening would be incomplete without Aminé’s 2016 sleeper hit “Caroline,” which peaked at no. 11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 the same year. After Aminé led the audience through an a cappella rendition of the song, the backing track kicked off and he launched into round two, strategically stopping and inviting audience members to fill in.
For me, the highlight of any concert is seeing the energy generated by the impulsive interactions between artist and audience; in this regard, Aminé did not disappoint. Onlookers shouted the words out with impeccable ease, throwing back to the chillier vibes of high school summers for many Stanford students in attendance. I assumed “Caroline” was the last song, but I was thrilled to hear the beat drop for an electrifying performance of “REEL IT IN”, the most streamed song from Aminé’s second album “ONEPOINTFIVE”.
This year’s Frost Festival was the second Isabel Gallegos ’22 attended. “From their Stanford-themed outfits to the dance and band, I loved how [Victoria Monét] and his band played! This year it was fun to be closer to the front and surrounded by people dancing and singing,” Gallegos said.
Chris Cross ’22 MS ’23 echoed Gallegos’ sentiments: “Frost was amazing – amazing artwork to student DJs. Tkay brought his electric charisma. Monét completely killed off. And the crowd energy was insane during Aminé. SCN really outdid themselves with this one.
Although this is the first Frost Festival I have attended, the wide range of artists and uplifting music has made me want to attend more in the future.
Editor’s Note: This article is a review and contains thoughts, opinions, and subjective criticism.