Young the Giant, In the Valley Below and others to play UB Spring Fest

SA brings rock to Spring Fest in effort to cover multiple genres


Young the Giant, In the Valley Below, Banks, Bear Hands and Royal Tongues are performing at this year’s Spring Fest on May 2, the Student Association announced Wednesday night.

The Windish Agency, the booking agency for In the Valley Below, broke the news early, announcing on its website that In the Valley Below would perform along with three other acts at SUNY at Buffalo, The Spectrum reported Wednesday morning.

The alternative rock lineup is part of an effort by SA to diversify the genres of the groups that perform at UB, which was a response to a fall student survey.

The Royal Tongues, a local band that recently released their first EP, Patterns and Shapes, will be opening the alt-rock-focused fest.

“I don’t know a lot about alternative music, so I relied on [the SA Entertainment Director] Erin Lachaal and the booking agents for who to bring in,” said SA President James Ingram. “We had rap in the fall, and another thing that was highly rated in our polls was a rock show. We wanted to try to cover all our bases throughout the year, so rock seemed like the next logical choice.”

This year’s Spring Fest is less than the cost of last year’s country-themed fest, where the SA spent about $190,000 on talent for The Band Perry, Gloriana and Citizen Cope.

The budget for this year’s Spring Fest was about $195,000, according to Ingram. Because talent for the show cost about $161,000, the remainder of that money went to producing the EDM concert on April 17 featuring the Bingo Players and 3LAU, which he said cost just under $90,000 in total.

“I know the alternative music scene is big in Buffalo so this seems like the appropriate genre for this fest,” said Marlee Rothschild, a junior legal studies major.

In the Valley Below – known most recently for their song “Peaches” – is a duo made up of vocalist Angela Gail and guitarist Jeffrey Jacob. The two met in Los Angeles where they both played in an experimental rock band. Their chemistry was undeniable, so they took on In the Valley Below as a separate project.

Their sound is a combination of their differing backgrounds. While Jacobs is a southern boy who pulls his inspiration from the likes of Phil Collins, Gail found her inspiration while on a boat in the West Indies. This creates a folk-country-classic-rock vibe mixed with heavy Memphis riffs.

Young the Giant, who were The Jakes until 2009, is a rock band that’s been on the come up for the last few years. Their single “My Body” was released in 2011 and went on to peak at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 100. They played at the MTV awards the same year.

The group’s latest album, Mind Over Matter, was released in 2014.

Young the Giant has played with the likes of Steel Train and Incubus. The band’s sound is similar to that of the Cure and Muse with a cool, collected vibe. They embody alternative rock – softer, yet just as powerful as punk.

“I really only know Young the Giant, but I’ll listen to some of the other artists before the show,” said Christina Swaitowy, a junior legal studies major. “I’m not going to pretend I know all the music, but I’m still excited for the show.”

Banks is a singer songwriter with a dark R&B sound, reminiscent of The Weeknd. Her music is emotionally driven and her voice has been compared to Aaliyah because of its rhapsodic qualities. She released her album, Goddess, in late 2014, where she peaked at No. 12 on U.S. charts.

Bear Hands is a post-punk and indie rock band that’s been around for nearly ten years. The group was signed in 2010, when they released their single “What A Drag.” Their 2014 single “Giants” made top 10 on the Alternative Songs chart.

“It’s been a long winter, and I think people will just be excited to come out and enjoy the show,” said Jake Gobioff, a sophomore communication major. “I’m happy to go to anything, as long as it isn’t country.”

Spring Fest will be free for undergrads with a valid UB ID because the mandatory student activity fee – $94.75 each semester – funds the fest. General admission will be $40; those tickets will go onsale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 1 through Ticketmaster or at the Alumni Arena box office. 

Update: A previous version of this article made it seem as though tickets were available in the SA office. The Spectrum regrets this error. 

Tori Roseman is a senior arts editor and can be contacted at