Airband rocks the BJ Haan

Emma Bennett—Staff Writer

Dordt University does not reside within a town famous for its off-the-wall concerts – not that there are none. One of the most looked-forward to events of every fall semester is Pork and Bands, featuring local music groups performing covers of well-known songs—or even their own work—for the community’s enjoyment. However, the next closest thing the student body has to such an environment is Airband, which took place Saturday, Dec. 3.

By 7:45 p.m., students packed the BJ Haan chatting excitedly with their friends while enjoying the blasting music and colorful lights. The hosts this year were seniors Aren VanHofwegen and Nate Arvizu, who used their comical introduction video to show the “real” side of campus security. Their jovial interactions on stage built anticipation for each new act.

This year’s Airband featured five acts of all different types and sizes. The first act was named the Sunday School Dropouts. They opened their show with huge cutouts of Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber dancing to the Veggie Tales intro. From there, a group of eight took the stage performing choreographed dances to pop versions of classic tunes one would learn at a Christian camp.

The next performance was the MashedPotatoes, a group of four who leaned into musical theatre with “The Other Side” from the movie “The Greatest Showman.” They organized themselves by having two members act out the scene while the other two mimed playing guitar, drums, and violin. While the group’s performance did not involve any complicated dancing or flashy transitions between multiple songs, they demonstrated their commitment through their costumes and entertaining acting.

The following group of six called Zesty Lemons performed “Determinate” from the Disney Channel Original Movie “Lemonade Mouth.” The choreography the group used remained faithful to the characters in the scene, with some impressive acrobatics for flair. The crowd seemed to enjoy the nostalgia of the act and engaged through clapping and cheering.

The second-to-last act featured Eoghan Holdahl and Cardiff Smith in The Chaotic Mess. They utilized a mashup of different songs, including “The Electric Slide,” “LA Devotee” by Panic at the Disco, “My Name Is” by Eminem, “Drive By” by Train, and a few songs by Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson. The costumes were elaborate for how quick the changes were, and the amount of energy brought on by such a small group remained electric. The dancing proved just as impressive, with Holdahl even doing the splits. The crowd loved it, and they received thunderous applause at the end of their performance.

The final group was a returning one from the previous year: the Sexy Six. They also used acompilation of songs including “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Bye Bye Bye” by NSYNC, “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift, and a couple of songs by the Black-Eyed Peas. Easily recognizable with their color-coordinated jackets and sunglasses, the group owned the stage during their performance, even adding a mini fake money launcher at the end for coolness.

In addition to the acts, there were opportunities for the audience to participate in games and win prizes. The three games of this year’s Airband included Sit Down If, Dizzy Trivia, and Finish the Lyrics. It served to make the crowd feel included in the event, and got the crowd laughing, whooping, and singing to keep the energy high.

After the last game, time came to announce the winners. Third and second place went to Zesty Lemons and Sunday School Dropouts respectively, with the Sexy Six pulling first and receiving 500 dollars as their prize. The event appeared a huge success, and this reporter, for one, can’t wait to see what groups will perform next year.

Photo credit: Quintin Olson

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