Muirstock rocks the house

    Six musical performances, hundreds of UCSD students, free food and huge inflatable devices transformed the normally pristine John Muir College campus into a grand gala of rock music April 19.

    Colin Young-Wolff
    Guardian

    The activities were all part of the second annual Muirstock festival, a free event staged by the Muir College Council.

    By noon Friday, students were already flying through the giant inflatable devices stationed just south of Sierra Summit. Crowds around the devices did not ease until late evening. A free barbeque was also popular with attendees.

    However, it was the music that was the focus of the festival. Music blared from the two stages placed in the Muir quad from 4:30 p.m. until the festival’s close at 9:30 p.m.

    Colin Young-Wolff
    Guardian

    Reggae openers The Rhythm Doctors played, giving way to headlining rockers Convoy. Other acts included UCSD-native emo-popsters Straight No Chaser, ska-masters Skapegoat and punk groups Larger Than Life and Sugarcult.

    MCC had hoped to sign Less Than Jake and Guster to the festival, but both were too expensive for the council’s budget.

    “”When planning a concert, you’ll never get your first choice and you’ll probably never get your second choice,”” said Muirstock Co-Chair and A.S. Programmer-elect Gabe Grossman. “”Convoy was our fourth choice.””

    The chosen bands seemed popular with the crowd, which steadily grew for each performance.

    “”The crowd was great,”” said Straight No Chaser drummer Brandon Sullivan. “”It was also a lot bigger than for last year’s [Muirstock].””

    Straight No Chaser played the second set of the festival.

    Although Convoy headlined the festival and seemed to impress the crowd with its set, which included a cover of The Who’s “”Baba O’Reilly”” — commonly known as “”Teenage Wasteland”” — Sugarcult seemed to be the crowd favorite.

    “”When we were searching for bands, Sugarcult was a smaller band [than Convoy],”” Grossman said. “”But in the past month with the four tracks on the Van Wilder soundtrack and better radio play, they’ve really come up.””

    Indeed, Sugarcult lead singer Tim Pagnotta put on quite a show, calling his mother from a lost cell phone and yelling to Muir students who remained in the dorms, “”Get out here, there is a concert in your f—ing backyard.””

    “”Everybody loved Sugarcult,”” Grossman said. “”They were the most high-energy performance of the night. There were more people asking, ‘Hey, who is this?’ than I’ve ever had at any concert.””

    Pagnotta said he was equally impressed with the organizers of Muirstock.

    “”We honestly didn’t expect [Muirstock] to be this fun,”” said the La Jolla-born Pagnotta. “”This show was planned very well, and kids came out. Compared to other college shows, this one was one of the best.””

    Pagnotta had one complaint about the show: He was very unhappy with the stringent security surrounding the concertgoers.

    “”If anything was sucky about tonight, it was the security guards,”” he said.

    The security contingent, which included hired guards, campus police and San Diego police, prevented common concert practices such as “”moshing.””

    Despite two mooning incidents during Convoy’s performance and a false fire alarm half an hour after the show, the security net was nearly flawless.

    The remarkable show of police came even after Vice Chancellor Joseph Watson banned a planned beer garden, which was supported by Muir college’s administration.

    The ban prompted Muir College Dean Chips Dreilinger to cry, “”Where’s the beer garden?”” while onstage to thank MCC for dedicating this year’s Muirstock to him.

    Dreilinger, known to his students simply as “”Chips,”” is retiring at the end of the quarter after 23 years as dean of Muir college.

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