An illuminated crowd of Emory students gathered on McDonough field Friday night, where they fist-pumped to the live tunes of Swedish DJ duo Cazzette for the annual Homecoming Ball.
As opening act to the bow-tie-wearing Sebastian Furrer and beanie sporting Alexander BjÃ¶rklund DJ pair, College freshman Toby Lee – under the stage name Fluxus – thrilled the audience with his calm yet energetic performance.
It wasn’t until around 10 p.m. that the crowd started to form. A cluster of students smashed up against the front of the stage as the sweat from the audience glistened in the LED lights.
College freshman Leo Ragazzo, a self-proclaimed fan of electronic music, said he enjoyed the night even though he was particularly surprised that Cazzette did not perform some of its most popular hits such as the “Save the World” remix.
“It started off a little slow, but once he got into his groove it was great,” Ragazzo said, adding that he especially enjoyed the rap songs that the duo performed.
Even though College sophomore Claire Carter is not very immersed in the electronic music scene, she said she saw that the attendees were engaged in the music.
She added that she was especially impressed with the turnout, considering that it was the same night as the Counterpoint festival – an annual Atlanta music festival.
Although spectators differed in their opinions about the turnout at the event, College senior and Student Programming Council (SPC) Band Party Chair Chloe Saeks said at least 300 people attended the event.
Along with Saeks, Chris Akavi, College senior and SPC Band Party chair said he received positive feedback about the event.
“I mean, the pictures that we have are just ridiculous,” Akavi said. “Looking at them this morning I am just thinking, ‘Oh my god, how did we pull that off?'”
Akavi said that what he sees as a high student turnout resulted from combination of great weather and a recent growth in the population of electronic dance music.
On the other hand, Carter said she thinks SPC should open the doors to future concerts later to increase student attendance.
Still, College junior Ben Sollenberger said he felt that the choice of this year’s Homecoming Ball artist was not up to the standard of previous years’ events and simply thought the night was “decent.”
“It was kind of a low-profile [performer],” Sollenberger said. “Maybe if they tried to get a more high-profile name then maybe the hype would have been better.”
Ragazzo said that he feels SPC could have promoted the music of Cazzette more before the event, perhaps by previewing some of the duo’s hits at Wonderful Wednesday.
According to Akavi, the event is the most difficult to plan and organize of all SPC’s Homecoming events because of the large amount of little details that must run smoothly.
Saeks said she believes the event topped Alesso at Dooley’s Ball last year.
“The event went better than we ever could have expected … Watching from the stage, seeing everyone, was really amazing,” Saeks said. “I think the crowd spoke for itself.”
Akavi through extensive research that began in May, SPC members wanted to bring the “next big thing” to campus.
Cazzette, he said, was an ideal choice because the duo has opened for Avicii and performed at several major electronic music festivals during the spring and summer.
“With Cazzette, we saw that they had rising popularity among college students,” Akavi wrote in an email to the Wheel. “We felt that Cazzette would be perfect for the Homecoming ball as they have a unique sound and are young, energetic performers on the rise.”
After the show, Cazzette tweeted: “Best show on this whole tour.. You guys are amazing!!”
“It’s so hard to describe – the feeling looking out on the stage,” Akavi said. “Knowing you had a part in creating that is an amazing feeling.”
Saeks expressed a similar adrenaline from the show.
“It was such a rush,” Saeks added. “I have goosebumps thinking about it.”
– By Karishma Mehrotra