As the sun went down, the stage lights turned on at ACE’s biggest event of the school year, Southern Takeover. The event took place on Nov. 4 with the pre party beginning at 5 p.m. and the concert beginning at 6 p.m. Throughout the course of the concert the mood of the crowd was vibrant and electric as they cheered and screamed along with the performers.
Cassie Turczyn is ACE’s Southern Sound Director and was in charge of planning Southern Takeover this year. She explained that she decided the performer through a variety of methods, including research and asking those around her for recommendations.
“I basically at the beginning of the process I kinda did a little bit of research and I asked a bunch of my friends and students just to see what they’re interested in.” Turczyn said. “I do get final say so I decided to do a different genre than we’ve done in the past, so that’s where I came up with Sage the Gemini, and 3OH!3 actually a lot of people recommended them to me.”
ACE president Skippy Paquette was in charge of planning Southern Takeover last year when he was Southern Sound Director. This year he got to see planning from a new perspective.
“At first when I heard 3OH!3 I was confused because it didn’t register and click who they were exactly, and then I remembered immediately afterwards,” Paquette said.
Turczyn and Paquette both shared their personal favorite parts of the experience and their roles in helping the event come to life.
“I love decorating, so like the balloons and picking all of the novelties and designing the T-shirts and working with our CSI designer, all that kinda stuff, that’s my favorite,” Turczyn said.
“If you asked me last year I would definitely say the planning, but this year more just like the environment and how much fun it is, especially since I’m not doing it this year, it’s not my baby anymor I’ve passed it on,” Paquette said.
The festivities began with the traditional pre-party that ACE hosts leading up to the concert. This year they offered a variety of activities for students including glow sticks, a photo booth, glow in the dark face paint, corn hole and more. The first 400 students to arrive at the event received a free t-shirt and tickets to the food trucks available, which included Tamales Co., BBQ Time and Mrs. B’s Southern Kitchen.
“I’m very glad for the success we’ve had so far, but I’m very excited to get to introduce all the artists, ” Turczyn said.
“It’s just a really cool opportunity that the school gives us where we can have fun but necessarily leave anywhere, and I really think it brings us together,” senior Isabella Falber said.
The concert took place at 7 p.m. beginning with opener, Emily Brimlow. Brimlow is a performer from California who has a very fun and laid back vibe and performed with two others. She entered the stage very excited to perform while holding a ukelele. Her performance also included two saxophones played by those accompanying her. Even though the crowd began the performance relaxing on picnic blankets, most were standing on their feet by the end of the set.
“I think everyone’s energy was amazing, everyone’s so hype which got me hype,” said Brimlow.
Some songs that seemed to be a hit from her performance included “Information Superhighway” and “Over This.” She explained to the audience the meaning behind both songs and it seemed like a great way to help them feel included. “Information Superhighway” was about her “love-hate relationship” with the internet and how one day when she was in a writing session, she heard a man say that he used to call the internet the information superhighway, inspiring the name of the song. The song “Over This” was about things that a person may be frustrated with, encouraging them to replace the word “this” with whatever they were frustrated with, whether that be breakups, homework, heart aches, etc.
“It’s like my diary … like my way of expressing myself and it’s more like I couldn’t live without it,” said Brimlow. “It’s very healing and touring and recording is just like a bonus to that but I definitely could not live without writing.”
She ended the set with a group video that she posted onto her Instagram story and took pictures with students. She also announced that she would be hanging around during the concert selling her merchandise if anyone wanted to come say hi. She was selling her tour shirts that were on sale for $25 and available in two colors.
After a short intermission, the audience was in suspense to see who would play first, Sage the Gemini or 3OH!3. The question was soon answered when the Sage the Gemini’s DJ was introduced and took to the stage. He played a few different mash-ups of songs and got the crowd to say a few chants, including his trademark “You already know me,” where the crowd responds “S-A-G-E.”
Once Sage came out, the crowd screamed with excitement and began climbing on others shoulders to be able to see the stage and take photos. Lots of audience engagement took place during this performance due to the chants the audience was taught along with a surprise from Sage. He had the DJ play music as he climbed off the stage and walked around to meet and spend time with fans, taking his time to reach most areas of the audience. He also had photographers come on stage to take a group picture of him, the DJ and the crowd.
Once Sage finished his set, it came time for 3OH!3 to take to the stage. When students heard the mashup of their songs come over the speakers, they came running to the stage. The band also had chants of their own, shouting “3-OH!” and having the crowd respond with “3.” Students were very excited for their performance because they remembered growing up listening to them. During the performance, students threw glow sticks onto the stage, and the performers would put them on. At one point during the performance, a student threw their cell phone onto the stage asking the band to take a photo or video. The band did so and then threw the phone back to the student.
“My favorite part of the concert was all of the beautiful people having so much fun,” said 3OH!3 band member Nathaniel Motte. “ When we shouted out best friends they were hugging their best friends. That’s why we do this, just trying to rock a party, try to rock a great atmosphere and the Mocs came with it tonight.”
He explained that he loves continuing to perform and write music because he enjoys seeing people connect with it.
“We’re so flattered every time it happens and tonight on a beautiful Saturday night in Florida we couldn’t ask for a better crowd,” Motte said.
He also discussed the way the school reached out to them and why they decided to perform at Southern Takeover.
“I mean it was an easy decision, they reached out to our agent and our manager and he was like ‘Do you guys wanna come down to Florida?’ and we just left Colorado and there was three inches of snow in Colorado so we were like ‘yeah’,” Motte said. “We play a lot of shows at colleges and universities and for us … it’s very conduit to us and how we grew up and it’s just so much fun to reconnect with college kids and y’all know how to have fun more than anybody.”
Students walked in to a surprise from the band the following Monday when they found a note from 3OH!3 that read “FLORIDA SOUTHERN, Thank you so much for having us!” written on the white board, signed with a heart and the band’s name.