Arts, Music, On Campus

Cheat Codes Fill the Plex with Bumping EDM Music

Following in the footsteps of last year’s performance by Marshmello, Cheat Codes—this year’s headline act at Plexapalooza—brought tangible energy and excitement to a rowdy crowd that was ready to party. The band, who self-identify under the genre Anthem House, has grown to popularity primarily through a small number of single hits, such as its collaboration with Demi Lovato, “No Promises.”

This year’s Plexapalooza was opened by DJ SVRGE (Sergio Farina, CSOM ’20), who did a good job at amping up the crowd for the concert and for Cheat Codes. SVRGE managed to cram a multitude of various popular songs, from many genres and eras, into the admittedly small allotted time slot. This music provided a great opportunity for the members of the audience to get into the state of mind necessary for the upcoming performance by Cheat Codes, as well as to settle into their preferred spots in the Plex. While not straying very far from the established practice of most Boston College DJs—remixing popular songs—the performer was a welcome addition to the concert.

The trio that makes up Cheat Codes is currently on a world tour, but it played without any of its collaborating acts through the course of the night. This meant that the concert didn’t feature the likes of Lovato or Fetty Wap. As a result, the three DJs had to rely on a combination of remixes, hard bass drops, and most surprisingly, a lot of crowd interaction. Over the course of the night, one of the three members, Trevor Dahl, stepped out from behind his digital, LCD-infiltrated podium to delight the overly imbibed BC audience, which consisted primarily of underclassmen. Dahl crowd-surfed, held students’ hands, and tossed dollar bills into the audience. Whenever Dahl’s presence was imminent, the crowd reacted by flooding into the area. The experience can only be described as feeling like being in a can of sardines.

Cheat Codes’ sound in this live performance varied from their studio recordings. Their recorded music has a distinctively clean sound, one that mixes in mild but pleasing drops in with an upbeat vibe. It’s easy to listen to. When they performed live at Plexapalooza, however, they amped up the stage presence by relying on much harder drops and remixes of popular songs. Throughout the night, in between playing their own material, they played remixes of popular songs, such as “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “Peanut Butter Jelly” by Galantis, and “Mask Off” by Future. Ironically, mixing in hit songs like these made the crowd cheer and jump—much more so than when the trio played its own hits.

The energetic Dahl was sure to introduce the upcoming song to the crowd, before the band played one of its own hits, “Sex,” by screaming it from the stage:

“If you like to have sex make some noise!”

The members of Cheat Codes were there to facilitate fun, which they definitely did. At one point, close to the end of the show (which, unfortunately, ended rather early), Dahl shot dollar bills into the crowd by means of a dollar cannon, to the roaring approval of the fans close enough to catch them. This was a rave, not a concert.

The reputation of Plexapalooza, to no fault of the performing acts, has been tarnished. The early spring semester event has become ubiquitous for an over-crowded scene of underclassmen, who treat the “concert” not like how most of the world would imagine a concert, but as a rave. While mosh pits can be very enjoyable, the crowd behavior, particularly close to the front of the audience, was uncomfortable to all but those who were the drunkest, as it was they who were causing the disaster in the first place. To those who were Plexapalooza veterans at the show, this came as no surprise. Several other students, however, seemed less than thrilled.   

Unless upperclassmen have a particular affinity for the musical act performing at Plexapalooza, it seems they would rather spend their time partying at their off-campus houses, or chilling in their Voute townhouse. It seems strange that the Campus Activities Board would not entertain the idea of a more commonly popular act, that would perhaps entice more of the BC student-body to attend and facilitate a perhaps more enjoyable crowd experience for all who came. With that being said, regardless of the underclassmen who didn’t know how to handle their booze, Cheat Codes played a fun, loud, crowd-involved set that was sure to entertain those who made it through the performance without enduring a concussion.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff

February 4, 2018