BlastOff presents student organizations with summer celebration

Students gather to watch a dance off as Evan Evolution performs during BlastOff Sunday, August 24, 2014 on the Student Green

Lily Martis

Kent State student organizations lured prospective members to get involved Sunday night at BlastOff, an annual celebration and student interest fair that signals the start of the semester. 

Covered in information booths and games from about 200 student organizations, the student green burst with school spirit. The event gave students the opportunity to get reacquainted with the campus and one another as they learned about student organizations and celebrated the final days of summer with hot-air balloon rides and a mechanical bull.

“BlastOff is a fun, interactive event where students get to collaborate and learn more about the university and student activities,” said Marvin Logan, the executive director of Undergraduate Student Government who helped plan BlastOff with the Center for Student Involvement and the Office of Student Success.

Get to Know the Band: Plaid Brixx

Three Columbus-based musicians reformed their old high school band and started the pop-rock Plaid Brixx in early 2013. Lead singer Chris Duggan described the group’s sound as “pop with a razor’s edge of rock and an aftershave of punk.” Duggan said the band enjoys keeping a sense of positivity in all of its songs. Band members include Mark Smith on drums, Cole Bradley on bass and the recent addition of Andrew Willard on keyboard. Plaid Brixx writes its own music and lyrics and enjoys playing off of the positive energy from the audience.

USG used the event to announce this fall’s upcoming musical performances which include Timeflies on Sept. 18 on the student green and Chance the Rapper in the MACC on Oct. 23.

“BlastOff made it easier to know what Kent has to offer and figure out where you belong,” said Taylor Titus, a freshman speech pathology major.

As students crowded the green, music by Plaid Brixx, a pop-rock band from Columbus, Ohio, kept an up-tempo spirit with a mixture of songs from their EP, covers from The Killers, The Black Keys and Katy Perry, as well as debuting five new songs. 

Lead singer Chris Duggan said he was most looking forward to “the nostalgia of feeling like I’m in college again.”

“It’s fun to be around that kind of high energy,” he said.

Plaid Brixx received a positive reaction from the audience as students gathered around the green to listen to their upbeat, rock-n-roll sound. 

“I really enjoyed Plaid Brixx’s performance,” said Rachel Drenchko, a freshman fashion merchandising major. “Their sound was a unique combination of punk rock and electronic pop.”

Later in the night, musicians Evan Evolution and Dominic Parisi conducted a laser light show to techno music. 

With the last of the booths cleared away, the green will have a new look come Monday as students scurry to class for their first day of school.

Contact Lily Martis at [email protected].