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Rosey, starless Music Under the Stars concert

Roni Jean and Sleep Lagoon performed at the Associated Students’ Music Under the Stars concert
Roses frame Sleep Lagoon’s drummer as they perform during the Associated Students’ Music Under the Stars concert. Taken by Ariana Powell on Sept. 21

Chico State’s rose garden acted as a backdrop for the two bands who performed under the night sky at the Associated Students’ Music Under the Stars concert on Thursday.

The mini, black stage with a halo of yellow-bulbed string lights stood out against the nearby brick buildings and well-trimmed, yellow-spotted grass. Roni Jean and Sleep Lagoon performed on this unnatural stage for the multitude of students lounging on AS gray blankets on Glenn Lawn.

The saltiness of the popcorn and sweet sinew-yness of the cotton candy permeated the air and blended with the blue and yellow haze of the setting sun, creating a fully sensual experience that only deepened once singer and keyboardist Roni Jean and company — guitarist Luis Gonzalez-Campos, drummer Arthur LaLanne and bassist Aron Linker — began performing.

Roni Jean sings and plays the keyboard on-stage during the Associated Students’ Music Under the Stars concert. Taken by Ariana Powell on Sept. 21.

Before the music commenced — later than it was meant to — AS member, Kealy Morrissey, got up and welcomed everyone and did a future AS events plug-in — prompting a series of disapproving murmurs through the food lines.

Roni Jean, a haunted indie rock-dream pop-shoegaze band, opened with an acoustic-sounding guitar riff leading into vocals that filled the space like a siren song, captivating and paralyzing, in the best way.

As the sun slowly went down, the changing lights around the stage blended with fake smoke to create a dreamy, spine-tingling haze, the perfect prelude to spooky month.

As the band’s single, “Disassociating,” flooded the lawn it truly caused a disassociation with one’s self into the entire experience. The smoke, lights and roses all blended into the entwined robust instrumentals and eerie, soft vocals.

Roni Jean and company continue to perform as the sun sets during the Associated Students’ Music Under the Stars concert. Taken by Ariana Powell on Sept. 21.

The calm atmosphere faded into the dark as the sun disappeared behind the horizon. People continued to filter in through the check-in areas. AS members asked newcomers for a QR code or their names.

Once checked-in, each person received a red paw stamp that permitted them walking tacos made in mini bags of nacho cheese-flavored Doritos and filled with cheese, lettuce and meat.

There were also multiple types of mocktails in purple and pink ready to flow from the spouts.

Students line-up for some cotton candy during the Associated Students’ Music Under the Stars concert. Taken by Ariana Powell on Sept. 21.

Attendees could also join separate lines to get a small bag of fresh popcorn or hazy pink cotton candy.

During and between the two bands people could play giant Connect 4, giant Jenga, frisbee, cornhole and ladder ball further back on Glenn Lawn, an area that remained barren of humanity, except for a few.

A University Police Department cruiser parked near Trinity Hall during the Associated Students’ Music Under the Stars concert. Taken by Ariana Powell on Sept. 21.

Just as Roni Jean’s music became appropriately dark and dissonant, the Gauntlet area not only played host to performers and listeners but also to three University Police Department cruisers.

During the event, Anna Paladini, AS’s assistant director of marketing and design, said a man on roller skates carrying a mallet-type stick — thought to have been used to stop himself while skating — was smoking weed on campus.

When AS members attempted to ask him to leave — stating he could not smoke on campus — Paladini said he “deliberately” told them no. It was then Paladini called UPD, who arrived shortly.

The AS wanted to make sure students at the event were safe, according to Paladini.

UPD said the “mallet-type stick” was not an illegal weapon and the man had left campus before they arrived. Officers also stated there was no threat to those at the event, but they still remained in the area for nearly the remainder of the event.

However, this appeared to go unnoticed as those at the event continued vibing with Roni Jean’s music. As the band’s set energetically finished off, some track music filled the air as the lines for food lengthened.

The cool air swirled around the area, moving the roses with them as even more students gathered on the lawn.

Sleep Lagoon’s musicians stand frozen as the first trach begins to play at the Associated Students’ Music Under the Stars concert. Taken by Ariana Powell on Sept. 21

After around a 15 to 20-minute break, Sleep Lagoon, a sleepy rock band, took the stage.

A spooky track, following Roni Jean’s suit, started playing as the musicians stood frozen and solemn with dark circles lining their eyes.

After a minute or two the lead singer, Parker Lipscomb, began rapping along with the track and rapidly moving around the stage singing in the faces of the other still-frozen musicians.

While they did not fill Glenn Lawn quite like Roni Jean and company did, their punk elements proved a crowd favorite as they cheered when they ascended the stage.

Their shocking and funny opener, however, was misleading; as soon as the track ended their songs proved to be chill and low-key, with only trace amounts of the previous energy.

Sleep Lagoon’s set was like a sound wave, with ups and downs. Just as the mood would start getting energetic and fast-paced, they would slow down, as if teasing their audience. Which seemed to work.

The congregated group at the bottom of the stage start getting slightly rowdier as Sleep lagoon performs at the Associated Students’ Music Under the Stars concert. Taken by Ariana Powell on Sept. 21.

As their mix of originals and covers flowed, a group of dancers and head-bobbers gathered at the foot of the stage.

The band’s chemistry with each other and the audience intermingled with the light-reflecting fake smoke. Soon enough more and more people joined the interconnected fray.

Around halfway through the set, singer Sierra Buck joined Sleep Lagoon on stage for a couple of soulful songs.

The audience became particularly excited during Sleep Lagoon’s cover of Surf Curse’s “Freaks.” 

As the band began to close out the event and announced they only had a few songs to go, the audience began chanting for more, however, of course, the night had to end.

After their last song, guitarist Cameron Medina yelled “Hey you! Cue the track!”

As the track began the musicians slowly put their instruments down and gathered at the front of the small stage. They ominously stood there as the track slowly crescendoed, staring at the group below them.

It seemed as if they were going to do something daring or funny like their opener, but alas, no such actions took place. The musicians simply took some selfies with the audience and began breaking down the set-up.

While the event’s close might’ve been disappointing, people could be heard walking away from Glenn Lawn singing and humming some of Sleep Lagoon’s originals and covers.

The night was something to remember, the only thing missing, however, were the stars, who hid away under the campus’ light pollution; aside from that, I can’t wait for the next Music Under the Stars concert.

Ariana Powell can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Ariana Powell
Ariana Powell, Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Powell is in her fourth year at Chico State as a media arts (criticism) and journalism (news) double-major. Now in her fourth semester on The Orion and having assumed the editor-in-chief position, she is prepared to continue helping upcoming journalists and endeavors to continue building her repertoire of multimedia and writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, watching and analyzing films, reading and spending time with her loved ones.

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