On Saturday night, Jan. 24, Brandeis hosted GrooveBoston’s Cohesion tour in Levin Ballroom. Tickets were $5 at the SCC ticket office, and as one student said, “the event was definitely only worth $5.”
Prior to the event, I got a chance to meet with the guys from GrooveBoston—Ed, Chris and Bobby D.—and was very impressed. According to them, they all love EDM and had the idea of starting a tour that doesn’t hinge on one very expensive artist. Their vision was to bring amazing club experiences to different venues—colleges, stadiums, actual clubs—by using great DJs, customized sets including light shows and fog machines and building their musical set based on the personality of the crowd they are entertaining.
Speaking to these guys was great because their passion really showed through. They all had a lot to say and were very knowledgeable about their areas of expertise, and obviously put a lot of work into every show they run. Ed, the production director, talked about how he and his team custom made the set for the show that night, with Brandeis students specifically in mind. They placed fog machines, lasers, streamer guns and speakers in strategic places. He explained that they do this for every set, and bring their specific pieces to each set no matter how far away the show is. They even shipped their equipment all the way to Texas for one of their shows. If that’s not passion, I don’t know what is.
Bobby D. is the director, and arguably the most energetic of the bunch. He was very inspirational and full of ideas and really made me excited about what they were trying to achieve—which is surprising because I am not a fan of EDM. He had a lot of things to say regarding his ideas about music and what makes a club experience so great. He was also very excited about how music that already exists can be made special for a very specific event and very specific group of people. He explained that he was a DJ and not a producer, because he knows how to bring a dance club on a musical journey with his skills, but can’t produce a good remix like Avicii or Daft Punk. Meeting these guys, I had high hopes for this event because they really wanted to create a great experience for us Brandeisians, but Saturday night was mostly a flop.
I arrived an hour late to the event, and it was still very empty. We quickly checked in, went through a metal detector and were then ushered to the coat room. Student Events had transformed the space below the Study Abroad office into a very well-organized coat room, which was actually great, and I’d love to see that again at future events.
However, the atmosphere of Levin was extremely awkward. Some students were dressed for the club, with sequins and crop tops galore, while others were decked out in sweatshirts and snow boots because of the storm. The room wasn’t filled up enough, yet the dance floor was very squished and frankly dangerous. Not many people were dancing, and those who were didn’t control their bodies enough so there was a constant risk of being hit by flying limbs. The music was all right but didn’t pump up the crowd enough. The night never really built to a crescendo and people mostly slowly trickled off to find other parties on campus to go to.
Overall, I had high hopes for this event, but it unfortunately did not live up to its potential. Whether it was due to the snow, unenthusiastic Brandeis students, or bad DJs I don’t know, but I’m disappointed that the guys from GrooveBoston didn’t achieve what they worked so hard to attain.