The enchanting voice of Orion Sun wafted through the crowd of students gathered at the quarry amphitheater and up over the redwoods. This was “Revival”, organized by students, for students by the Slug Life Production Board (SLPB).
“Revival” took place Oct. 21, featuring pop band Ill Peach and R&B artist Orion Son.
Ill Peach members Jess Corazza (pictured above) and Pat Morrissey previously wrote songs for SZA, Miley Cyrus, and Rico Nasty before forming their own project in 2020. They plan to release a new album on Nov. 3.
Around 1,000 students were in attendance at “Revival”. Ill Peach opened the show and got the crowd amped up and ready to enjoy the dulcet tones of headliner Orion Son.
First-year student Lyric Chavez, a long-time fan of Orion Son, was amazed to see such an impressive performance on campus during her first experience at the Quarry Amphitheatre.
“I’ve listened to [Orion Son] for a couple of years now,” said Chavez. “When I heard she was playing here, for 8 dollars? I had to go and It’s so good. She’s even better live. I love it.”
Events like Revival are part of a concerted effort on the part of SLPB to impact student life at UCSC. Fourth-year SLPB ticket officer Sumukh Saxena noticed a lack of connectivity among students at UCSC that other universities achieve with sports games and large-scale productions.
“[SLPB] wants to change that,” Saxena said. “We want to throw some events on campus to bring our community together and have a place where all of us can gather.”
Many at the event were surprised and excited to see an artist of Orion’s Son’s status performing at UCSC and echoed each other’s hopes for more prominent shows on campus. As a student-run organization, SLPB is limited in its ability to attract big name artists, due in part to its budget.
On Saturday night Orion Sun proved that her greatest strength is versatility. With ease, she floated from R&B to pop to alternative and back to R&B, while sneaking in a bit of rap.
SLPB is funded by the revenue from their events and whatever they can source from administration. Director of SLPB Jai Castro said that the organization hopes to put a referendum on the ballot for a student fee measure to fund concerts on campus.
According to Castro, student fees would allow SLPB to attract more recognizable artists and bigger shows.
“With this we would have more freedom over our artist selection,” Castro said. “It would grant SLPB the ability to cater to their headliner.”
Regardless of the amount of funding they receive, SLPB carries on. The gathered crowd was evidence of community being built on campus. The crowd formed a mass around the stage, swaying in rhythm with the music. When the song demanded, they shined their flashlights in serene camaraderie.
For third-year Izzy Zazueta, the effect SLPB has on campus extends beyond the confines of the quarry.
“SLPB brings life [to this campus],” Zazueta said. “It’s really exciting to be in an environment where other people can appreciate music and we can celebrate that with each other.”
“Revival” is one of two significant SLPB concerts that bookend the academic calendar. The other is the Garden of Eden concert, occurring every spring. “Revival’s” attendance surpassed that of the previous iteration of Garden of Eden.
The growth in attendance has been spurred by SLPB’s growing staff. Sumukh Saxena explains that SLPB will be looking to build on “Revival”. This is made possible, he says, because the number of students within SLPB has grown, allowing the organization to be more productive. Where before the organization required its members to be extremely versatile, they are now able to specialize in specific areas such as event logistics or content creation.
“Revival” is more than just a name for the show. It is a statement of intent for SLPB.
“The idea is that we are reviving the nature of music that lives on campus,” Castro said. “[We’re] making sure students know that we are welcoming them with the power of music.”