Thea Cabrera Montejo
Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Alek Ryan
Thanks to the arduous efforts of A.S. Program Board, The Hub held its second sold out show this year, featuring sensational DJs and producers Convex, Trippy Turtle, and the hugely anticipated Branchez.
The doors opened at 8:30 PM on May 29, and an endless stream of people came rushing in, eager to have a good time. Although The Hub has a capacity of 800 people and is known for being one of the largest venues on the University of California, Santa Barbara campus, it was not large enough to satisfy student demand. The show sold out eight days prior, leading to an abundance of student posts on the event’s Facebook page in desperation for tickets. Suppliers began raising the initial price of $13 to as high as $40 per ticket; the student interest may have been underestimated, but the result created an intense atmosphere of high expectations long before the first beat dropped.
The crowd was captivated by Convex’s performance. The audience was already well-acquainted with Convex, a fourth-year student at UCSB whose real name is Zack Morgan. His passion and unquestionable talent have carried him throughout Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Honululu, and even Las Vegas for the Electric Daisy Carnival. Though his local shows throughout Isla Vista have made him a notorious noisemaker, his opening set hyped up the crowd so much that it was almost impossible not to want to dance along. Due to his prior addiction to drumming, it is no surprise he maneuvered so impressively through an array of songs and sounds. Convex produced smooth transitions and an intense bass line, making him a worthy recipient of an avid audience.
Following the IV native was Trippy Turtle, a man who has intentionally made his identity a mystery. According to multiple professional photographers on the scene, the manager explicitly directed all of them “not to get his face.” Regardless, his sound had an irresistible appeal to the eager crowd. When he opened with his own rendition of Drake’s “How About Now,” everyone started jumping to the beat. His talented way of building suspense with an orchestra of sounds was nothing short of artistic. As the crowd gradually grew larger, Trippy Turtle engaged with a series of nostalgic songs such as “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, “Ignition Remix” by R. Kelly, and “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe, mashed up with the modern intensity of Tinashe, O.T. Genasis, and Ace Hood.
Trippy Turtle’s performance was dynamic and undeniably entertaining. But as his set came to an end, the crowd packed in a bit tighter, the photographers grew to be a bit more focused, and the anticipation for Branchez became almost palpable.
“A lot of people are excited for Branchez,” said Sarah Jeffrey, a first-year psychology major at UCSB. “It’s a lot of good vibes, so when he gets on stage, everyone’s gonna go crazy.”
Branchez, an acclaimed international artist who gained recognition through several self-released tracks, commandeered the stage and went straight to business. Introducing himself with his renowned track “Say Something,” the crowd went crazy. His presence on The Hub’s stage was unapologetic and unwavering, just like the audience members dancing and jumping to his beats. Many people in the crowd were well acquainted with his music, singing along to his hits, such as “High You Are,” “Stay,” and “Heroes.” The playful lights on the stage complimented Branchez’s infectious stage presence. The crowd pulsated, thriving off of his ridiculously sensational beats. As a self-declared “producer tryna write hits,” as written on his Soundcloud biography, Branchez has definitely proven that he is a force to be reckoned with.
When the crowd began to disperse and the night gradually came to an end, it was obvious why there was such a high demand of tickets for this show: this set of performers unquestionably met and exceeded expectations, making the night one to remember.