Location: The University of Chicago.
Current Temperature: 81 degrees. Yesterday, it was 85.
Humidity levels: 62%
Oh yeah. It's summer.
So I guess it's a good thing we already celebrated the advent of summer with our annual Summer Breeze concert and carnival! One of the most highly anticipated events of the spring quarter, Summer Breeze is a carnival and a concert of epic proportions that brings together the entire campus and community. Each year, COUP (Council On University Programming, a student-run organization) brings in the best of everything that is summer (carnival rides, ice cream, barbecues, and music artists) and placed it smack dab in the middle of the quads! They also reach out to other RSOs (Registered Student Organizations) who come to set up tables and join in the festivities. This year, the sororities handed out cookies to anyone who walked by, PAWS (the UChicago branch of a larger animal shelter organization) was offering puppy chow, and Intervarsity was offering deep-fried Twinkies and Oreos (with the joking slogan of "Meet Jesus Sooner!"), just to name a few! Many of the a cappella and dance groups on campus also provided aural and visual entertainment in order to get people warmed up for the concert later that evening!
Oh... I almost forgot: INFLATABLES!!!!!!!!! Always wanted to try your hand at a mechanical bull? Step right up! Channeling your inner child and wanting to climb up a huge inflatable slide? You'll find that right next to Pick Hall and in close proximity to the Euro-Jump (which was what I ended up doing. I jumped so high I nearly touched the sky!) Just want to run around and race your best friends? The inflatable race course is right in front of Eckart.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the concert that evening due to a prior commitment, but here's what my friend Stephen Bonnett had to say about it:
"Being quite a bit of a music junkie, I always look forward to our Summer Breeze concert, a multi-act, multi-genre, multi-hour affair that gets our entire campus on its feet just when we really start feeling like we need an energy boost in order to make it through the end of the school year. As impressed as I was by the concert during my first year, (which featured middle school throwback Cake in addition to Talib Kweli, Andrew Bird, and The Cool Kids), this year's show was absolutely superb. For one thing, the quality and variety of acts was truly impressive - after a campus band opened, DJ OCD Automatic got us moving. Then the Dirty Projectors did their indie thing. Then Nas and Damian Marley performed for us the very first show on the tour supporting their joint hip-hop/reggae "Distant Relatives" album. Each act put on an inspired show, but from my several years of concert-going, I have concluded that the artist is only half the picture of a successful concert; the audience is the other half.
And here at UChicago during Summer Breeze, we always come through. The crowd was the other major reason why this year's Summer Breeze more than lived up to my high expectations for it - the packed crowd enthusiastically responded to the music the entire time. I particularly remember the encore to Nas and Damian Marley's over two hour set, when I was dancing no more than twenty feet from Damian Marley as he performed his father's classic "Could You Be Loved", and I was surrounded by frantic dancing on all sides.
To top it off, there was so much left over free food that I carried two huge boxes full of individual snack sizes of wheat thins home to share with my house. Could it have been any better? I don't know how."
And I'd have to agree with Stephen. I couldn't imagine a better Summer Breeze. But I'm sure COUP has some pretty fantastic tricks up their sleeve for next year, so I can't wait!