Olivia Richman, General Assignment Reporter:
They threw the colorful beach ball back and forth for a few minutes, laughing and joking the whole time.
Only thing is, one of the people playing pass was the Cool Kids member, Evan “Chuck Inglish” Ingersoll, and the other was a member of the cheering audience.
The Cool Kids had come to Southern Connecticut State University as part of the Southern Spring Fest 2011 for the first outdoor concert between Engleman and the Lyman Center.
Sarah Green, an SGA representative, helped put the week-long event together.
“Spring Fest actually consists of three days: Thursday’s Dance Party, Friday’s Comedy Show, and Saturday’s Outdoor Concert,” said Green, a secondary education and English major. “The outdoor concert is the highlight of the weekend, however.”
At the outdoor concert, the first concert they’ve held outdoors, said Green, there were many things to do before the performance began.
“Inside the concert area there is going to be vendors selling moderately priced food such as Italian ice and kettle corn,” said Brittany Magruder, the music and concert representative of the Programs Council at SCSU. “There is going to be free t-shirts, blow ups, carnival games, a pitching booth and many more fun activities for you to do while you are at the concert.”
Amy Berish, a freshman at SCSU, got a free t-shirt and played a few carnival games before the performance began.
“I thought they had a nice array of games to play,” she said.
Ebony Gaines, a sophomore, said she thought otherwise.
“The carnival games were cheesy,” she said with a laugh. “But it was cool.”
Even though the SCSU students, guests and nearby residents were occupied with inflatable entertainment and games, the main event were the two special appearances, which took a lot of effort from the three committees running the event to get together.
“Well, the committee first compiled a list of several musical groups. Through a very long process, we finally narrowed down that list. This year, we decided to try to go with two acts instead of just one to appeal to different members of the SCSU community,” said Green. “We figured by having groups of two different genres, there would be more overall interest. Then it was really a matter of price and availability. Larry from the Lyman Center was really helpful because he has various contacts in the industry. Because we are working on a budget, we have to pick groups that will fit within our price range. We also considered the possibility that Mayday Parade and The Cool Kids were moving up in popularity – so it’s sort of a ‘cross your fingers’ kind of scenario that they’ll get really big before the Spring. These decisions are literally made almost nine months in advance, so it’s tough.”
Damien Gray, the commuter committee representative for Pro Con, said that he had been looking forward to seeing the Cool Kids and Mayday Parade at the outdoor concert.
“We figured that the two acts fit well in our outdoor concert theme,” he said.
The Cool Kids, which consist of Antoine “Sir Michael Rocks” Reed and Ingersoll, were the opening act. The Cool Kids are the self-described “new black version of the Beastie Boys,” who are most known for their singles, “Pennies” and “Black Mags.”
The speakers vibrated with intense bass as the Cool Kids approached the stage.
They got the crowd hyped with an “easy” dance that Ingersoll described as “moving your arms up and down.”
They then walked around stage, spitting lyrical verses and catchy choruses as audience members threw beach balls and stuffed animals toward them, starting a game of pass as the two rappers spit fire.
“They are an awesome group,” said Gaines. “They did an awesome job, kept the crowd involved. I loved it.”
After the show, the Cool Kids were rushed backstage by fans in the audience, Gaines included.
“I got an autographed t-shirt,” she said.
After the Cool Kids left the stage, it was time for Mayday Parade to start their much-anticipated performance.
“I went to the event to see Mayday Parade,” said Berish.
Mayday Parade, a band from Florida, is made up of five members: Jeremy Lenzo, Alex Garcia, Jake Bundrick, Brooks Betts and Derek Sanders. They are known for songs such as, “When I Get Home You’re So Dead” and “Miserable At Best,” and for being named Number one Hardest Working Band by Songkick in 2010.
When Mayday Parade ran onto the stage, the crowd began to cheer at top volume.
They especially got a rise out of the audience when they declared after their first song that they were going to party with the members of the audience after the show.
Mayday Parade was full of energy with a hyped performance.
The drummer, Bundrick, had a smile on his face throughout the whole performance as lead singer, Sanders, ran around on stage, making sure to give every part of the audience a chance to see him in front of them.
“I love (Mayday Parade),” said Berish. “They were amazing. I really enjoy their music. I have seen them once before in concert but this show at Spring Fest was hands down better. They performed with a lot more energy than the last time I saw them. I thought the performance was great; it was very high energy and the sound quality was amazing.”