The Snapchat password was not working, so I knew I needed to use Twitter. More live tweeting, terrific. I hoped Big Show was not going to eat up my phone battery.
I got in early, walking by the lines amassing outside the two entrances at the southern most end of the school. The people’s desire to get in was too clear after such a long wait. My knees wobbled as I saw students trapped within and without the maze of fencing that criss-crossed around campus.
The food vendors were setting themselves up. Students had the option of Korean BBQ, hot dogs, ice cream, burgers and an endless supply of Rock Star energy drinks. I think by the end of the night I had at least six after someone I knew forced one in my hand. I recall leaving it upright on the ground as I ran into the crowd.
I did not buy any food. I had already eaten enough beforehand that the delicious smell of cooked meat and toasted sandwiches did not interest me. At times the smells were enticing, but one was able to hold it back with water or other distractions.
When there was no one inside, the place looked spacious. The quad looked large enough that it could fit more students than it usually does during school hours.
I hung around with some of the Associated Students photographers, one of which I have close relations to. After partaking in some Pizza Rev under the staff tent, I got myself ready to watch the oncoming flood as the clocks struck 4-ish.
There’s a funny feeling you get when you watch other people go through metal detectors when you’re on the inside. It’s the feeling I always get when I get past the TSA at Los Angeles International Airport, and look back at the long line that still needs to get through security. There’s something sinister about it, but it can be welcoming if you see people you recognize. By then, all you want for them is safety for the rest of the night and as much fun as they can have.
One can only wish, of course.
After partaking in having one of the first 1,000 free CREAM sandwiches, I could not help but query about buying food at all these vendors. They’re small businesses, so I get it, but these students have already paid enough to get in. Is there desperation behind each inebriated or high student who winds up craving some sliders before they go watch their beloved performers in front of the Oviatt?
Let’s get this out of the way too: it should be no surprise that an overwhelming number of students pre-gamed prior to Big Show. This was accounted for when police officers had to deal with angry men and women who decided to be defiant with the security measures put into place, in addition to those who succumbed to their highs and felt too sleepy to keep going.
Safety was guaranteed, as was the sun setting behind Sierra Hall. The hours slowly crept by before either Tyga or Carnage appeared. Several DJs performed, one after the other, before a large dark crowd. This darkness was a result of the weak lighting in the direction of the Oviatt. Drop something, but do not expect to turn around to find what you lost still on the ground. Keep those keys handy, dear friends.
Darkness finally overcame the campus, but powerful lights illuminated the central part of the quad. It was brightest that I have ever seen that area, and all I can wonder is, “where are these lights when students have their damn night classes?” I say this as one of them.
While I bumped into friends and my fellow press photographers, I found the event to not have the specialty that it suggested. I had been to Matador Nights and was tempted to write a review then. Circumstances beyond my control prevented me from doing as such, for the miserable yet boring night became lively after 11:30 or so.
I walked by the palm trees on the left side of the Oviatt. It was guarded by one police officer, but the smell of cigarettes and weed permeated its way through the air. It was no concern to me for I was clean, but I was worried about a massive altercation erupting due to inaccessible substances.
Then came the intermission, according to one photographer. Tyga already performed, and droves of people began passing me, heading to the exits, I presumed.
“What’s happening? Is it over already?” I asked aloud. At this conclusion, I had to sit down. As someone who is not a fan of hip-hop or rap, I was beginning to not feel the same enthusiasm as most of my fellow students were. I returned to the staff tent and helped myself to some more pizza and Rock Star.
I got out again, watching the sweaty mass before the Oviatt. Shirtless guys walked by covered in paint and sweat after leaving or approaching the infamous paint walls. My message painted on the wall was long gone by 9 p.m.
I looked on toward the library as Carnage appeared. Multi-colored lights and the giant golden inflatable dragon [why a dragon] gave contrast to the dark quad and the savage crowd before me.
I thought of “all the lonely people” the Beatles referred to in their song “Eleanor Rigby,” long after the sun had set for the sodden crowd to rage the night by. Standing by, waiting for the act to come to its climactic moment…
I had found my special someone, so my boredom was chewed away. But I found the premise of this Big Show misleading. I had imagined Tyga and Carnage would perform together, not at separate parts of the event. This isn’t the dynamic duo, this is the Deathly Hallows parts one and two. I wasn’t having this.
There were rumblings of Kylie Jenner being brought onto the stage, too. Based on one of my fellow editors, she briefly appeared [photographic evidence later indicated she was indeed there]. Tyga had her briefly onstage, but my lack of caring about the Kardashian clan halted any minimal interest I could have had.
Then 9:50 p.m. hit and everyone was gestured to get out. The flood jerked its way by me like a crowd of walkers from “The Walking Dead.” As I waited for more people to gather leave, I looked up into the cloudy sky to watch a low-flying helicopter shine its bright light on the campus. You could not recognize it, at first.
The vendors were vacant and the quad in front of the Oviatt was likely trashed [I’ll check in on Monday]. I looked around, thinking of the money that went into all this…is it still worth it? After hearing Tyga singing the line, “Pass me the hookah,” and watching people rush to the porta potties to evacuate their pre-show intake, I was beginning to not handle this insanity.
After a quick walk across campus, I looked up at the Valley of Performing Arts Center. I looked at it and compared the beauty in its architecture to the craziness I left behind in the heart of the campus. This is our potential, and I will firmly stand by that.
I thought back to Matador Nights and compared it to the monster I left from. What is the “fun” supposed to be, where was it? How is this the best we can be and the best we can have? Our tuition pays enough that we can have alternate ways to indulge ourselves. We should be appeasing ourselves to the pop culture we are surrounded by. As college students, we can be so much more, and Big Show does not show that [please refer back to Micheal Herrera’s “We are not your friends”].
I have my sympathies with those students who ask of different musical guests performing at Big Show. Diversity is essential in any society, and it should be accepted when it comes to music and “having fun.” The flaws in security, the insane rules and the uncomfortable atmosphere of a school “party” is too multi-layered when it comes to security, maturity and accommodation that some refurbishments are necessary.
But don’t mind all of my points, expressed and withheld. Please ask if you want to hold such a discussion.
The rain came and I walked to my room. The night had fatigued me. I thought I would sleep before going to any “attempt-able” after party until hearing some horrible news. The night never ends sometimes and you can only wish for the timely morning light to arrive sooner rather than later.