Icona Pop, Earl Sweatshirt to perform at A&O Blowout


(Brian VanderBrug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Rapper Earl Sweatshirt, real name Thebe Kgositsile, performs at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in April 2013 in Indio, California.

Emily Chin, Social Media Editor

Icona Pop and Earl Sweatshirt will co-headline A&O Blowout, A&O Productions announced Monday.  

“One thing about Northwestern is we have a diverse student interest group, especially in regards to music,” said McCormick senior Danny Brennan, co-chair of A&O. “We try to touch on all the different popular genres.”

Icona Pop, a Swedish electropop duo, is known for its hit single “I Love It,” featuring Charli XCX. The duo, Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt, formed in 2009 and gained fame with its 2010 single “Manners.”

Earl Sweatshirt is an American rapper who became well-known after releasing his mixtape “Earl.” He has released two albums, “Doris” in 2013 and “I Don’t Like S—, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt” in 2015, which peaked at No. 5 and No. 12 on U.S. Billboard’s Top 200 Albums. The rapper has been associated with music collective Odd Future.

“A major part of going to a show is you go because you connect with that artist, and the fact that Earl is the same age as many of us, or around our age range, definitely helps that out,” said Max Goldberg, A&O director of productions. “Kids our age really love Earl, so that’s definitely part of the reason we thought he’d be a good fit for a college show.”

A&O tried to base its decision on a poll it sent to students earlier this year. The poll included a list of artists put together by A&O’s concert committee, which includes the most musically inclined students in the group, the Communication senior said.

Both of the headliners performed well on the poll, he said.

“On the poll a lot of people have been wanting something other than just rap, and a lot of people have expressed interest in female artists,” said Communication senior Caroline Fearon, A&O co-chair of marketing and media. “So that’s something that we really tried to do for the student body this year.”

Aside from the headliners, A&O leaders are also excited to hold Blowout at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago this year. The concert has always been at Welsh-Ryan Arena in the past.

They decided to move the concert this year because the Aragon Ballroom can fit 4,000 people on the floor, compared to 400 at Welsh-Ryan. In addition, students have had to stand in the bleachers in the past.

“Living in Chicago we have a great music scene with a lot of great venues, including the Aragon, which is a venue that’s very specific for music and has a really rich history of awesome shows, so we decided it would be awesome to tap into those opportunities,” Brennan said.

A&O Blowout will take place Oct. 23 at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Tickets will be available for $10 at the Norris Box Office starting Tuesday.

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