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“Sometimes it feels like events at Stony Brook are forced, but this did not feel that way at all,” rising senior Clare Dana said. “The Bash felt like the most student-led event I’ve been to; it felt like the people who put it together really cared about it and I think that’s what made it so successful.” 

Perhaps one of Stony Brook’s most highly anticipated events of the spring semester, Brookfest finally made its return. Rapper Young M.A and R&B artist Capella Grey performed to a sold-out crowd before headliner Gunna took the stage for the first Brookfest in two years.

On March 10, I experienced the four-hour, sold-out, sixth annual Love Rocks NYC! show in the grandeur of New York City’s Beacon Theatre. Yet my perspective was far different from the rest of the audience. I studied the musicians, yes, but from their backs. As I hunched from my post as drum tech, securely hidden behind the kit and the congas, my eyes darted from the musicians I was working for to the faces of nearly 3,000 radiant music fans.

t was a Wednesday afternoon in September. I sat in my anthropology class fidgeting in my chair and incessantly checking the time on my phone. I’d soon be slipping out the lecture hall to catch a train from Long Island to Manhattan. I thought back to the feeling of excitement that washed over me as I ordered the tickets for Black Pumas back in June. My anticipation for this show was unmatched, as it had already once been postponed, due to — you guessed it — COVID-19.

How do you translate the energy and feeling of a live show — the crowd singing along, watching the lines around a concert venue with excitement — into a virtual production with an audience stuck at home? How does new music, intended to shake a room, get converted into a virtual experience? For Brockhampton, achieving that feat means utilizing the tools in their playbook that make for a great live show, and adapting them.