UC Zoom Diego undergraduate Sasha D. Stansing recounts their very first Zoom God ever.
To comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, Sun God was renamed Zoom God for this year, and featured Spotify and Apple Music as headliners. As an 18-year-old, small-town kid from New England, I never thought I’d get the chance to have a real concert experience, let alone one that starred my two favorite artists. Zoom God Festival was the first concert festival that I have ever been to, and it was unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed in my life.
I ran into some bumps in the beginning. First off, it took an incredibly long time to get into the festival. I’ve heard in years past that Zoom God had fairly long lines, but even after logging in right when the festival opened, I had to wait three more hours before the server finally opened up. Once I got in, I took a spot as close to the presenter’s screen as possible and waited for Apple Music’s opening act.
There weren’t too many people tuned in to Apple Music’s set, probably because they were waiting for Spotify. It’s unfortunate, given how underground Apple Music is, because their performance was anything but niche. While their sound quality could be improved upon, their visuals were absolutely stunning. It was like I was watching a music video offline, except now it was real-time.
Thankfully, the wait between Apple Music’s set and Spotify’s set wasn’t too long. There was a surprise appearance from TikTok, but to be honest, it kind of felt like TikTok was just a bunch of people doing the same dance to the same song over and over again. Everyone seemed to be super hyped about K Camp’s “Lottery (Renegade)” or Doja Cat’s “Say So,” but every now and then, there were people with nice abs, lip-syncing to other songs.
Once Spotify made its entrance though, the entire conference call went crazy. The people tuning in almost exceeded Zoom Pro’s maximum limit of 300 attendees. Spotify played their “Daily Mix 1,” which was apparently “designed to provide familiar, comfortable music within each of the user’s top listening modes.” Since the set offered “nearly endless playback,” Spotify almost went over their allotted time. Not that anyone would have minded; everyone seemed to enjoy what they were hearing anyways.
For the more analytical readers out there, I gave a review and rating for various aspects of Zoom God below:
Considering the amount of people, I was so impressed by how comfy and clean the venue was. I especially loved all the pillows and blankets that were provided — I felt really snug. It helped make the concert feel more intimate, like it was happening in my very own bedroom.
Crowd engagement: ★★★☆☆
The concert was awesome, but the crowds were so pushy. This one person called Mom just barged into me for some reason and started asking me why I wasn’t doing the dishes. Get a grip girl!
Also, I thought the crowds would be rowdier, but everyone just muted their microphones. Is this what people meant by the silent disco that happened last year?
Food review: ★★☆☆☆
The food was meh. It kind of tasted like everything was just microwaved for a few minutes. We didn’t have any hot dog buns, so I had to use a week-old tortilla. It was a weird combo, but it wasn’t that bad! Definitely wouldn’t eat it again though.
Didn’t have any complaints. Locking my door and entering my Zoom password only took about 30 seconds. I was just bummed out that the security doggos that I heard so much about from last year didn’t come back. But, once I saw a good pup hop onto the headliner’s lap, I felt at ease that campus security was still on top of things. And I’ve heard so much about people not being able to sneak stuff into the venue, but I had no problem vaping in the middle of the show. I mean, my smoke alarm went off, but nobody stopped me.
Performance quality: ★☆☆☆☆
The performances were very laggy compared to what people have told me about concerts in general. I just felt really disconnected from all the artists. Even though I was only a few inches away from the artists, I still felt like I couldn’t see them. So much for waiting by the stage from the beginning.
With Zoom God as my very first concert experience ever, I was blown away by how it barely met my expectations. Hopefully, A.S. Concert and Events will be able to top this performance next year.
Art by Alex Liang.
Editor’s Note: The DisreGuardian is a satire issue published annually for The UCSD Guardian’s April Fool’s issue. Arts & Entertainment will continue publishing normal content next week. ( A “Zoom God” is not actually happening, but it might’ve been cool if it did.)