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Thoughts on THON Music

Being in the Bryce Jordan Center for days at a time is tiring. The one thing keeping everyone on their feet is the music, which has been blasting through the stadium sound system nonstop since THON started on Friday afternoon. Since it’s such an essential part of THON, I wanted to find out what people thought of the music played so far. So I walked around the packed BJC concourse and asked anyone who would talk to me about their thoughts on this year’s THON playlist.

“The music choices have been great so far,” said security volunteer Pat Doyle. “I haven’t heard any songs way too many times, which is a good thing.” While the playlist bumping from the DJ has had great variation, the live performances are a different story. “My only complaint is the live bands. It’s not that they are bad at what they’re doing. It just seems like every live band plays the same ten songs.”

One complaint that I heard a few times concerned slow songs, like the Beatles’ “Hey Jude”, bring played at non-peak hours. “You can’t be playing slow songs like that when dancers are exhausted,” said independent supporter Taylor Marie Denninger. “When the energy feels like it’s dying down, that’s when we need the big, loud pump-up songs.”

The music choice coming from the booth of DJ Larry Moore has included quite a bit of variety, from slow rock ballads to country jams to high-energy electronic dance tracks. “The country music is a little rough, especially since I’m not a fan of the genre,” said Andrew Kowalski, an ATLAS volunteer. “I can see why they play it. There are a lot of country fans here at Penn State. At least it’s quickly followed up by some music I can get behind.”

While the music has had good variation, they are also keeping it clean. “I’m surprised at how many clean songs I’ve heard,” said spectator Joe Roberto. “You’d think with the college crowd, you would hear curses left and right, but they are doing a great job at keeping all the songs FTK.”

One universal constant is the love of the line dance. “The line dance this year is awesome,” said spectator Sarah Kelly. “It’s hard to pick up at first, but after going through it a few times I picked it up pretty easily.” That is something I heard from a few people, especially first-time THONers. For veterans of past THONs, this year’s line dance has been easier to learn. “The line dance is slow enough to learn, but fast enough to be fun,” said Andrew Kowalski.

Overall, the music at THON this year has went above and beyond my expectations. The songs are varied, clean, and most of all, fun. The line dance is a big hit with the fans. With only a few hours left in THON, I can’t wait to hear what’s to come.

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About the Author

Zack Rutstein

Penn State 5th-year Materials Science and Engineering student, Onward State Arts Editor, Musician

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