First Groove at the Grove Features DJs, No Student Bands

Pitzer College’s Grove House hosted Groove at the Grove last Friday, an event that featured artists from Los Angeles as well as the 5C community. The inaugural Groove featured four DJ acts: DROOG and Cloud Charmer & Hay-Z are LA-based performers, while DKTR RFS2KOV (Cormac Leshal PZ ’14 and Ben Thomas PZ ’14) and Riley Lake (Will Mitchell PO ’14) performed the other two sets. 

“The Groove at the Grove is an outlet for students to dance, hear great music, and have a good time,” Grove House caretaker J.J. Oesterle PZ ’14 said. 

The Grove House hosts student activities and functions as a space for students to study and grab a bite to eat.

Mitchell, who kicked off the evening, mixed genres in his set, drawing on hip-hop, Southern rap, electronic, and even classical influences. 

“Musicians now seem like they produce music in a one-dimensional way. Like if you’re a DJ who’s known for playing trap, or house, or one particular genre, they’ll be like, ‘Okay, I only make this type of music.’ I feel like that’s kind of limiting,” Mitchell said.

His musical past includes working on film scores, DJing at house parties, and playing guitar.

Mitchell is both passionate about his own musical preferences and considerate of his audience. 

“Music plays different roles in my life, so I want the music that I make to play different roles in a listener’s life. That’s the goal,” he said. 

His favorite part of performing is the engagement with the audience. 

“I try to make people dance one at a time. I ask, ‘How am I going to keep you interested? How will I keep your attention?’ I love that aspect of it, because it’s fun. But it’s definitely challenging and that’s the coolest thing about it,” Mitchell said.

In previous years, Groove at the Grove has featured bands as well as DJs. However, according to Oesterle, student bands are still developing. 

“Right now it’s hard because there aren’t many student bands forming … we’re still trying to re-form student bands. A lot of the old bands aren’t together because they lost a singer or lost other people,” she said. 

The Grove House is planning many more concerts for the upcoming year. 

“We hope to have more student DJs, more DJs from LA, and more student bands,” Oesterle said.

Despite the lack of student presence at the first Groove at the Grove, Oesterle said that it was a success. 

“It was a good amount of dance music and a good amount of electronic. I think people had a lot of fun,” she said. 

In addition to the music, students enjoyed the ambiance of the event. 

“I liked how it was on the side of the Grove House instead of right in front. I guess you could say it felt more intimate,” Sarah Nelson PZ ’17 said.

Max Field PZ ’14, who is involved with planning Groove at the Grove, was also happy with the kickoff event. 

“I was really excited about the turnout. Our main goal was to create a new, fun environment for everyone to come out and dance, and I think we did just that. The residents absolutely killed it and proved to be perfect openers for the talent that we brought in from LA. We cannot wait to do it again as soon as we can,” Field said.

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