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Rain and cold menaced all weekend, but the climate didn't ruin the 25th anniversary Fling. Perhaps Friday morning's pelting snow was not the ideal way to herald the "Mother of All Flings." This year's Spring Fling, the 25th anniversary of the annual festival, encountered adverse conditions all around. Not only did February-like weather and gusty winds usher in the weekend tradition, but predictions that the event would not live up to past years' Flings were common. Many complained that the bands for the annual Fling concert, despite headlining hip-hop crowd-charmers A Tribe Called Quest, did not live up to past lineups, which have included acts like the Violent Femmes, the Pharcyde, Parliament-Funkadelic and Sonic Youth. But in the end, it was hard to find students who didn't have fun over the highly publicized and anticipated weekend. If anything, the mishaps -- from the 40-degree weather Friday to Tribe member Q-Tip's open fly during the concert -- made the weekend laughable. The crowd in the Quadrangle Friday was much sparser than in previous years, as the rain and cold kept most of the vendors and rides from opening. Bands played on two stages as scheduled, though, and when it warmed up a bit Saturday, the usual Fling crowd made an appearance. But jackets and winter hats made a somewhat strange replacement for the more traditional shorts and sunglasses. After the blustery Friday, the Social Planning and Events Committee organizers moved the evening concert from Hill Field to Irvine Auditorium. "I don't think Irvine was up for it," noted College freshman Alison Watkins, the assistant chair for security at this year's Fling. Watkins pointed to "bad acoustics" and "echoing" for many of the show's problems. But some concertgoers thought A Tribe Called Quest "didn't seem happy to be there," College freshman Brook Martinez said. Q-Tip continually stopped his act due to microphone problems, and according to Watkins, seemed "temperamental." "He was taking a nap during sound check," Watkins said. "They weren't as into it as they might've been." Q-Tip's cousin, who joined the group to celebrate his 21st birthday, was confused about which university he was performing for. "He kept calling us Penn State, and that really didn't help," Watkins said. Tribe's other rapper, Phife, was able to work "Pennsylvania Quakers" into a rhyme at one point in the show, though, bringing cheers from those who caught the line. Some students said the Penn audience wasn't familiar enough with Tribe's music to excite the group. "I don't think they really enjoyed playing for us," College freshman Julie Kessler said. "They really like a lot of participation, and we couldn't give it to them." The Toasters, a ska outfit who opened the concert, won huge crowd approval, despite the many students who seemed even less familiar with the group than with Tribe. "They were awesome because they had so much energy, and the music was so danceable," Martinez said. As for the weekend's other events -- from the immensely overcrowded block parties to the two-day extravaganza in the Quadrangle -- few spirits were permanently dampened by the drizzle. "Everything was so hyped up that it was bound to leave me disappointed," Martinez said. "But I had fun. And the drunk people probably didn't mind [the weather] because they probably didn't notice."

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