Rave culture comes to Davis
On Friday, May 13, thousands of students waited on the Quad in anticipation for the annual Lawntopia concert hosted by Entertainment Council (EC). Individuals listened and danced to opener DJ Sydewaze and headliner Mako, an EDM duo consisting of Alex Seaver and Logan Light (Seaver, however, was the only one present at Lawntopia). Mako has performed at multiple raves and music festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Coachella and Lollapalooza.
EDM duo Sydewaze, which consists of UC Davis students Brandon Bolender and Nick Casas, opened Lawntopia. They played popular EDM Mako was welcomed by the audience with a flurry of applause and cheering. He played many remixed versions of upbeat and well-known EDM songs such as Galantis’ “Runaway,” Zedd’s “Clarity” and Alesso’s “Cool.”
From my perspective, Mako mostly stood there and did not DJ or have many original remixes. Despite this, he was able to energize the crowd, and appealed to those who were not huge fans of EDM music by playing remixed pop songs such as MAGIC!’s “Rude.”
Aside from failing to DJ, Mako also did not smoothly transition from one song to another. When one song finished, another would abruptly begin, ruining the flow of his set. This interrupted the crowd’s dancing and cheering, causing more waiting time and standing in anticipation for the next song.
Mako’s visuals for Lawntopia were bland and limited, and he featured variations of the same graphic for the majority of the evening. It was disappointing that a mildly popular and well-known EDM artist did not have stronger visuals to stimulate the audience.
Lawntopia reminded me of a rave as it smelled like a mixture of weed, alcohol and cigarettes. Individuals also pushed their way to the front, making it overcrowded and difficult to see at times. However, there was a lively atmosphere and I saw many students having an enjoyable time by singing and dancing with their peers.
I liked that Mako played popular EDM and pop songs to encourage dancing and singing in the crowd. I noticed that with every drop, the crowd became livelier.
After playing well-known songs, Mako ended the night with two originals: “Into the Sunset” and “Smoke Filled Room.” These songs were on the slower side and therefore fun to sing along to.
I enjoyed Mako’s “Smoke Filled Room” the most, with its catchy lyrics and beat. Although Mako’s two original songs did not have a bass drop, the audience intently listened.
Despite Mako not having the best transitions or visuals, I thought that Lawntopia was a good stress reliever from midterms. I enjoyed the event’s carefree and lively ambience.
Overall, the rave culture Mako and Sydewaze brought to Lawntopia were memorable in that they were a change of pace from Davis’ usual atmosphere.
Written by: Jennifer Duong – firstname.lastname@example.org