UCR chills out

Jeffrey Chang/HIGHLANDER
Jeffrey Chang/HIGHLANDER

On Thursday, Jan. 29, ASPB hosted the Chill Out from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Bell Tower. The evening began with a slight sprinkle, which fortunately did not develop into rain to ruin the entire event. Faith Valdez, a first-year psychology major and ASPB volunteer said the purpose of The Chill Out “was a nice break from the quarter.” As I walked past the HUB and approached the Bell Tower, I could feel the event underway.

The Chill Out was ongoing and filled with music from a variety of DJs, such as Christian Berishaj, also known as JMSN, who is debuting his new album, and a couple of student DJs, food from lots of vendors as well as an ice rink. As a small band of friends, we searched through the food vendors for something to munch on as we gazed at the rest of the event. Not willing to be left empty-handed, we scanned the rest of the vendors, quickly finding the classic Culinary Chameleon and Moo Moo trucks to Mom’s Mini Donuts, who sold an assortment of beverages and refreshments such as mini glazed donut holes and hot chocolate.

Walking toward the HUB, we could see a long line that reached all the way to Rivera Library. After further inspection, we realized the queue was for the first 200 students who were guaranteed free In-N-Out burgers. However, for those who were not lucky enough to be there in time, other booths served both food and drinks.

Some of the activities included a small ice skating rink accompanied by a snow machine. The rink was really small, with fences around it, almost resembling a pig pen on ice, giving only inches for skaters. Most of the time, only a select few beginners were able to ice skate, struggling along while holding the flimsy fence. Furthermore, the ice skating rink was dark which not only made it difficult to see the ice skaters but also do the actual ice skating.

There was even a photo booth provided for those interested in capturing the moments of the event with their friends and peers. The background displayed the ASPB symbol, although I wished the background was more indicative of the overall winter theme, with a table of big hats, goofy glasses and anything to try to make the night memorable.

The headlining act was JMSN, a smooth R-and-B band. Opening for JMSN were several upcoming DJs from UCR, including MasterKeyes, Sndhu and Bomb Digital, who kept the audience entertained as they explored the multiple booths and activities set up all around the Bell Tower. The music ranged from alternative rock to indie tunes to entertain the songs.

The Chill Out was much anticipated due to the multiple posters located throughout campus and I was most excited to view the performance by JMSN, an artist I was not only familiar with, but also fond of. With hit songs such as “Girl (I Used To Know)” and “The One,” JMSN decided to commence his tour for his brand-new record, “The Blue Album,” right here at UCR. JMSN came onstage and began his show with a few jokes that garnered both cheering and laughs from the audience. Everyone seemed to admire the smooth music, and especially liked “My Way” and “Addicted” to which the crowd excitedly swayed to.

Still, the event had low turnout, which could have been due to lurking midterms. As first-year biology major Fanta Sinayoko exclaimed, “It was a cool event but I wish more of the student body attended.”

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