Collins hosts first collegiate iPod battle
By Mykel Vernon-Sembach
It is not surprising to see Collins Irish Pub packed on a Saturday night, but this past Saturday was quite the show. At Redbull’s Play & Destroy Collegiate iPod Battle, 15 NAU students had the chance to show their DJ skills not by spinning records, but by working under pressure and a big collection of music. JD Whitfield, better known as DJ JD of 101.5 JAMZ summarized the event as, “where normal people get a chance to be DJs.”
The Redbull Play & Destroy does not require prior knowledge of faders and mixers or even turntables, but an iPod, a deep music collection and knowledge of the audience.
“They have to play the best record that they feel will receive the best crowd response,” Whitfield said Saturday night.
Like any DJ performance, Play & Destroy focuses on crowd participation to determine what’s hot and what’s not. The competition was set in bracket formation, putting DJs head to head against one another with only 30 seconds of two songs to determine who moved on to the next level. Each round was given a particular category ,such as “Booty Shakin’ Songs,” “Oldies But Goodies” and “Boy Bands,” that were some curve balls to the typical Top 40s playlist at Collins.
DJs were recruited straight off NAU campus by Redbull representatives, allowing for a rather eclectic group of 15 NAU students to test themselves against other DJs and against the crowd.
“Now it’s their chance to do their thing for the crowd and get the DJ experience,” said Whitfield.
With DJ names such as DJ Danger, Beats by B and DJ Twiggy, the Redbull Play & Destroy was quite a thrilling event with everyone playing the hottest tracks on the radio and some old classics like Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend” that got everyone singing.
There was a healthy dose in competition that night since most of the crowd participation was more for the DJ than for the music they played. However, it was only this past Thursday that Whitfield hosted his first Redbull Play & Destroy in Tempe off of Mill Avenue.
“Once people picked up on how original the event was, it was incredible,” Whitfield said, “This is the last one [Play & Destroy event] in Arizona so far, I’m hoping Flagstaff does not disappoint because there’s a lot riding on tonight.”
Of the 15 DJs, Kenny Anderson — better known as DJ KBK on NAU campus — was a participant in the Play & Destroy event Saturday evening and was able to give a few quotes before beginning his final round.
“I pride myself as a DJ on reading the crowd and really knowing what to play next. I guess it pays off here [Collins],” said Anderson. This theory proved to be pretty successful since DJ KBK won the crowd over in the final round against DJ Billy.
The Redbull Play & Destroy event went well into last call at Collins with a special closing set by headlining act DJ Circle and DJ Cutswell.
“It’s all about people in the end. You roll the dice and see what happens. It’s such a unique event and because it’s purely people-based, that’s what matters,” said Whitfield.
The Redbull Play & Destroy event resulted in yet another successful night at Collins and hopefully a returning Play & Destroy event in the near future.