Vandy’s annual springtime bacchanal pulls Drake, Phoenix and more to the on-campus party 

The Prize Is Rites

The Prize Is Rites

Nothing says college life like an on-the quad music festival. And while the Vanderbilt student body overall are utter non-participants at local and national shows the rest of the year, they swarm out of the woodwork for their school's annual Rites of Spring festival — a midtown mini-'Roo that typically hosts an even-handed lineup of hippie-hop and accessible indie faves du jour.

The joy of seeing hacky sackers noodle-dance to Passion Pit's electro-clash coke-party reinvention of Carter Burwell's yodel-laden Raising Arizona soundtrack will be rivaled only by watching pop-collared dorm dwellers shot down by girls in sundresses as they get fah-reeee-kay to the meticulously crafted dance-pop of French Cadillac salesmen Phoenix — whose latest, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, has dominated 2010 with its sleek sheen and disgustingly infectious hooks.

Other notables contributing to the ensuing cultural quagmire include Canadian R&B chart-topper and heir apparent to Jamie Foxx's throne, Drake, relentless festival staple Ben Harper and his Relentless7, hip-hop icon and self-proclaimed "world's greatest entertainer" Doug E. Fresh, painfully safe (or is it "safely painful?") anthemic piano-pop purveyors Cold War Kids, world-beatin' West African triumphers-over-adversity Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, limey jazz-funk fetishists New Mastersounds and sunshine state Southern rock/R&B amalgam J.J. Grey and Mofro.

The weekend festival will also play host to a battle of the bands each day, as well as feature sets from relative newcomers the likes of neo-soul chanteuse Melanie Fiona, blues-rock sextet Lubriphonic, bearded alt-country Brits Alberta Cross, New Orleans natives Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave., Northern Ireland's fresh-faced Franz Ferdinand followers Two Door Cinema Club, and East Tennessee first name/last name Chris Hennessee.

Note to all attendees: The contents of a glow-stick do not suffice for sunscreen. Don't forget to drink lots of water and bring your rape whistle. Have Fun!

Email music@nashvillescene.com.

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