Lack of student engagement at AES Concert Series


On Feb. 3, Webster’s Audio Engineering Society (AES), hosted a concert series with musical guests, including Tryptamind, Slaazo Kidd and Beekman. At the event, musical genres varied widely.

The first guest was student DJ, Tryptamind, who mixed works of his and others’ live. 

During the performance, the crowd moved lightly: only a few tapping their feet or nodding their heads. Dancing was kept to a minimum, and if done at all, it was from a sitting position. Tryptamind opted to keep their identity unnamed and came on stage in a mask.

“It’s not all live,” Tryptamind said. “I produce the music at home and fade it live. It made me feel better to see some people vibing; that’s how most shows go. Some people aren’t into that kind of music.”

Slaazo Kidd, also known as student Kam Culberson followed the techno performance. During his string of original songs, the animation major attempted to liven up the crowd. 

“Everyone stand up!” Culberson said, “This is a concert; I’m just here to get lit, you guys. Are you?”

Members of the crowd stood up, but most stayed in their chairs. A few students danced without inhibition, unsuccessfully telling the audience to join. 

“I think it’s a mix of the room, but not only that, it’s advertised as music in general, which brings people of different crowds,” said Rasheid Tutu, AES’ sponsor chair. 

Kelly Beekman performing live in the University Center. The band played songs from their 2021 album, Primary Colors, and later announced their second record, Paper Hearts – now released.

The band Beekman closed out the show. Lead singer Kelly Beekman, a music major, led the group. At the show, the band announced a second album to come soon and advertised gigs at Blueberry Hill and Pop’s. 

Though unprepared to express their excitement through dance, students were supportive of their artistic peers. They treated performances more like a recital, with nods of approval instead of shouts that might be heard at other techno, rap or rock shows. After each performance, the audience erupted in applause. 

Not unlike other student clubs, some members of AES believe it needs greater financial support from the university to increase engagement.

“There’s no offer of free anything, so these artists aren’t really discovered. It’s really AES’ thing, who are like a small amount of people who are really doing their best,” student K.P. Benton said.

More concert series events are expected. AES announces events on their social media at @websterAES. All are free to attend AES events.

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Lauren Brennecke
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