Every October, UC Irvine students wait in line for Shocktoberfest wristbands, eagerly anticipating a night of live music, sports and school spirit. This year, however, Anteaters were sorely disappointed by the night ASUCI had planned.
The musical guests this year, Cali Swag (of “Teach Me How to Dougie” fame) and Kevin Rudolf (“Let it Rock”) failed to raise any sort of excitement in the already-sparse crowd that only dwindled in numbers as the night went on.
Action in the Bren Events Center began with the annual Midnight Magic, giving students a chance to see UCI basketball stars without actually having to attend a game. The traditional shooting contest (won by the women’s team) and slam dunk contest (won by senior Darren Moore) kicked off the night with excitement. A dance performance by UCI’s favorite dance crew, Kaba Modern, was also a crowd-pleaser.
Starting off the night’s musical performances was rap group Cali Swag District, famous for their song and accompanying dance routine, “Teach Me How to Dougie.” The 19-year-old Inglewood rappers succeeded at providing the audience with music they could actually dance to. Rappers C-Smoove, Yung, JayAre and M-Bone pulled two girls from the audience onstage to dance and grind with them in the middle of their set.
The set ended with their hit, “Teach Me How to Dougie,” during which they called on the entire ASUCI organizational team to join them onstage to “Dougie” with them. The ASUCI “Dream Team,” along with the men’s and women’s basketball stars, rushed the stage enthusiastically, doing the Dougie and dancing alongside them. Cali Swag’s performance goes to show that hip-hop artists are what students want to see at events like this. While they may not be well known for anything other than their viral hit, they succeeded at keeping the energy level of the audience relatively high throughout their performance.
The night’s headliner, Kevin Rudolf, was the biggest disappointment of the evening. His rap/hip-hop/rock hybrid style failed to thrill the audience and the excitement slowly dropped, even amongst the most inebriated members of the audience. Rudolf, whose last hit single was “Let it Rock” in 2008, was simply unable to keep the crowd’s attention. His cringe-worthy performance was made worse by the fact that Rudolf’s voice was even more lackluster live. Simply put, the audience was just not feeling it.
The pathetically weak turnout for this year’s festivities was painfully obvious, as anyone in the Bren could see how nearly all the bleachers were practically empty, keeping only the floor filled with people. Those sitting in the bleachers seemed bored to death and disappointed by the entire event.
What went wrong with Shocktoberfest? A result of poor planning, it seems. The acts chosen by ASUCI were also not famous enough to garner attention from students and not relevant to the current music scene. Rudolf’s hit song “Let it Rock” was released two years ago, and he has hardly produced anything since then that has had as much airtime as his first hit with Lil Wayne. Before he was even halfway through his set, most of the audience had already started filing out of the Bren.
It’s unfortunate to see that Shocktoberfest, the biggest event UCI has to offer during the school year, was such a failure this time around. Hopefully in coming years, ASUCI will be able to attract some bigger stars to our campus and get students really excited to attend.