Light it up

DJ Tiësto gives the Giant a wake-up call

By on April 13, 2017
Kane 10Erin Kane | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

In TD Bank Sports Center, Lender Court is usually home to the men’s and women’s basketball team in the winter and the acrobatics & tumbling team in the spring.

However, on one spring night, the resemblance of any athletic complex was nearly nonexistent.

A large tarp had covered the expanse of the basketball court and where a hoop would normally be, an enormous stage stood in its place. The lights from the Jumbotron were off, but the room was illuminated in a stream of dense purple light that poured from the stage. A large “QU” decal was the prominent focal point of the stage set, or at least would be until the clock struck 8 p.m.

This year, the night of April 7 would be the crown jewel of Quinnipiac’s Student Programming Board (SPB). Beginning in October, the group began planning for the annual Wake the Giant concert that is arguably one of the most anticipated events of the year. With last year’s artist being Fetty Wap, a well-known name that performed for not as long as many would have liked, the stakes were high for the organization to nail this year’s show.

The decision for the artist is made based on surveys that the students take early in the fall semester regarding what type of music they are most interested in. This year’s result? Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, a wide step away from the rap of 2016’s show.

Abby McCarthy, a sophomore management major and the media relations director for Wake the Giant, played an integral role in SPB’s production of Tiësto’s concert at Quinnipiac, as well as last year’s Fetty Wap show.

tieErin Kane | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

“I would say a different part of the student population was excited,” McCarthy said. “But overall, for both shows, there was still hype about (the concert) and everyone was interested in going and was looking for a ticket.”

This hype might be due in part to the reveal of Tiësto at the men’s ice hockey game against Yale on March 24.

“I think there would have been buzz anyway because Tiësto is such a big name,” McCarthy said. “But I think (revealing it at the Yale game) helped create such an immediate buzz because it was in front of a huge part of the student body at one time.”

Not everyone knew who the DJ was, but when ticket sales opened, the student portal received an overwhelming number of purchases, and floor tickets were gone in no time.

Born Tijs Michiel Verwest, Tiësto hails from the European country of The Netherlands, according to IMDb. At the age of 48, the DJ does not have much prominence in the age of millennials, whose EDM playlists are run by the young talents of The Chainsmokers, Major Lazer and Zedd.

Yet, the Netherlands native’s techno beats and flashy light show energized the crowd from the floor to the bleachers as fist bumbs, sweaty dance moves and forgetting about Monday’s paper saturated the atmosphere.

As someone who didn’t know who Tiësto was and is not the biggest fan of EDM, freshman occupational therapy major Grace Senra was still begging for those floor seats.

Gallop2Julia Gallop | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

“I wanted to be on the floor, but it was still fun in the seats,” Senra said. “I think we had a better view. It was kind of awkward because there weren’t as many people up there to jump around or dance. Everyone was doing that in the pit, but then no one was doing that in the seats.”

Freshman liberal arts undeclared major Christelle Candelario was with Senra during the concert and loved her seats, which were far away from the sweaty and dense mess of the floor.

“I’m someone who likes to look at stuff from an outside perspective,” Candelario said. “It was fun to be there, but not in the center of it.”

Freshman mechanical engineer major Matt Barden had a slightly different experience at Wake the Giant from Senra and Candelario. Not only was he a lover of the music genre, but this was actually his second time seeing the Dutch DJ, and Tiësto did not disappoint.

“I appreciated that he tried to appease the crowd,” Barden said. “He started up with some of his (own) music, and then he went into remixes of songs that more people would know.”

Tiësto began the night with his song “Split (Only U),” which filled Lender Court with a slow and steady beat that set the tone to only go up from there. If it wasn’t already clear that Quinnipiac loved a good rave, Tiësto made it crystal as he moved onto other familiar songs of his such as “On My Way,” “Red Lights” and of course, the song that was inspiration to many Instagram captions, “Wasted.”

However, Tiësto spiced it up a bit with remixes of those classic songs that almost everyone can sing along to. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by The Eurythmics and “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers were remastered to take on a techno vibe that had heads bobbing and arms fist pumping the air all night long.

Gallop1Julia Gallop | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

“A lot of times I don’t like remixes,” Senra said. “But I feel like he did a really good job with them.”

For members of SPB, their experience of the night was from a different lens than the general public’s.

“I think it’s so rewarding,” McCarthy said of watching Tiësto perform. “You put so much work and effort into (Wake the Giant) and you see him on stage performing and then the rest of the student body having such a good time and enjoying themselves. You have such a big smile on your face because you’re so proud of the work you did and your peers on SPB did to make this show a success.”

One of the highlights of the night was when Tiësto was given a Quinnipiac hockey jersey with his name on the back and the number 17 adorning the Bobcat gold. The crowd went wild as the DJ wore the crest of the bobcat clearly on his chest and turned around to show off the stitching on the back to the crowd.

“When he put it on on stage people started freaking out,” McCarthy said. “It was awesome, (such a) good feeling.”

This good feeling led to a great night, filled with a spectacle of a light show and great EDM that left concert goers slightly blinded and hard of hearing in the best “post-concert bliss” there is.

Kane9Erin Kane | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

“The main concert was tailored to the students more, which was a nice touch,” Barden said.

As Tiësto wrapped up his 90-minute performance and dropped that final beat, he threw a peace sign into the crowd, followed by a thumbs up and the words, “Thank you everyone, see you next time.”

Whether Quinnipiac will in fact see the DJ again is unknown, there is no doubt that his time here was anything short of memorable. From floor seats, to SPB, to Sleeping Giant, the sounds of EDM were heard loud and clear in a Wake the Giant night that certainly wasn’t wasted.

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About Samantha Bashaw

Arts and Life Editor
Email: samantha.bashaw@quinnipiac.edu
Twitter: @Sam_Bashaw
LinkedIn: Samantha Bashaw
Year: 2020
Major: Journalism