By Julia Duggan
Senior Staff Writer
CUB hosted a virtual spring concert featuring two groups, opening with Josie Dunne and closing with Two Friends. The event was live streamed using the platform Looped on March 24. These performers brought heartwarming and exciting music to share with the students. After the performance, students were treated to a Q&A session with Two Friends.
Dunne is a singer and songwriter who is known for mixing Soul and Pop music. Two Friends are an EDM group (Electronic Dance Music) that focus on mixing music as well as writing their own.
“Holding a concert during both the fall and spring semesters has been a tradition at TCNJ that CUB always takes advantage of,” said Patrick Riordan, a junior marketing and communications double major, who currently serves on CUB’s Live Executive Board focusing on Comedy, Concert, Lecture, and Second Event. “This has always been a fantastic experience for both us and the student body to have a great time and de-stress from our coursework and responsibilities. During these unprecedented times, we did our best not to let this virtual semester limit our opportunity to host a spring concert, as we provided a unique virtual experience for all,” he said.
Dunne opened the concert by playing all of her songs on bass in her room. Early in her performance, she explained the significance of why she had a party silhouette behind her on the walls. What the viewers were seeing was the show “Soul Train” playing behind her. She had a loop of scenes when the actors would be dancing and featuring various moves and styles from the 1970s. It made the room she was performing in seem more active and enhance her music.
“It is perfect for an ‘old school’ vibe,” Dunne said in her explanation for her background. Her song “Old School” is what she opened her performance with, hence why she picked the background for nostalgia.
Dunne performed all of her music just with her bass even though most of the songs typically feature more instruments. Her music can best be described as a combination of soul and pop. It gave her music a peaceful and nostalgia theme to the first half of the concert.
Before transitioning to Two Friends, Dunne revealed that she recently collaborated with the group on a song. She hinted that it would be featured in their performance and explained that the song was created during the pandemic.
“It was kind of weird because we did the whole thing over Zoom,” Dunne explained. “We wrote and rewrote it over Zoom, we cut the vocals over Zoom, and did everything over the internet. This was the first song I ever worked on that was entirely made without being in the room together. It was really weird, but it worked out. I love that song and I can’t wait for you to see Two Friends.”
Two Friends is an EDM group, and they brought energy to their performance. This kind of music resembles what people might hear at clubs. There is a lot of song sampling and mixing as well as high intensity. Two Friends appeared to be performing outside on a patio, and palm trees could be seen in the background. Throughout the performance they were jumping and dancing as well as mixing music. Two Friends passed a microphone back and forth for each other to shout out commands to the viewers and amplify an effect they were creating.
“Make some noise in the chat if you are ready to do it big with us! I need all of you to get up on the couch, get up on the bed, something,” Matt Halper, one of the members of Two Friends, said at the opening of the performance.
Another common phrase that could be heard throughout the performance was the command to put some “Cs” in the chat. C stood for clap, so the idea was that putting some Cs in the chat mimicked the live performance command to clap your hands. Two friends sampled and mixed all kinds of music in their performance, and announced their original songs that they made.
During the Q&A session, Two Friends explained where the name “Big Bootie Remixes” came from. In the performance, they played a sampling from several of their mixes, but currently they have 18 different remixes, and they are putting the final touches on “Big Bootie Remix Volume 19.”
“I wish it was like a better story,” Halper began. “It’s kind of like a little lame so another word for a mashup, or sometimes like a remix, is a bootleg and basically bootleg just seems like a kind of just like a(n) unofficial remix of a song. Some people would shorten it to booty.”
Two Friends explained that they began mixing for fun in high school, and then discovered the genre of EDM music and immediately started trying to do it professionally. The two members explained that they continued perfecting their craft in college and that while it was tough to balance college and performing professionally, they appreciate that they were able to practice being full-time musicians. When asked what advice they would offer to college students, they did not hesitate to say to start sooner.
“Use your time in college,” Eli Sones, the other member of Two Friends, said. “You will have a lot less pressure if you can get a little bit of a head start in college, rather than banking on just being able to do it after this.”
Halper and Sones continued by explaining that, in college, a person can really only balance two things at a time. While learning how to be professionals, they sometimes had to miss hanging out with friends, social events and an occasional class. However, the experience they got from learning how to balance everything while in college prepared them for the professional world, and they would highly recommend it to anyone.
The students expressed how much they enjoyed the spring concert using the chat feature.
“I loved that Two Friends were really interactive with the crowd despite the event being virtual,” said Leigha Stuiso, a junior journalism and professional writing major. “They kept referencing our school and to keep talking in the chat, which was nice.”