Mash-up artists spin at Sigma Chi

Christina Chaey

When Sigma Chi social chairman Ryan Gallagher booked Chicago mash-up artists The Hood Internet last summer for a fall philanthropy event at his fraternity house, he wasn’t looking for a big-name performer. For all intents and purposes, he was looking for a DJ.

“Initially, we didn’t realize how popular it was going to be,” the Communication junior said. “We thought the basement was going to be adequate enough.”

If the number of confirmed guests on Facebook is any indication, the room – about the size of Willard dining hall – would need to hold more than 300 gyrating undergraduates come Friday night, including students from the Universities of Illinois and Chicago and DePaul University. Since then, the house decided to open up the main floor to accommodate growing student interest and the recent influx of anticipated guests. There will also be a live video feed to the main floor from the basement, where the Hood Internet will be spinning during the night.

The Hood Internet is the duo of STV SLV and ABX, also known as Steve Reidell and Aaron Brink. What initially began as a mutual exchange of each other’s music over the Internet in 2007 has become a national act with more than one million downloads.

“This is the first time we’ve had an act that wasn’t a student performer,” Gallagher said. “We thought they would appeal to a lot of people because they do both indie music and hip-hop meshed together.”

The concert Friday night will be the fraternity house’s first registered event since last spring, and will mark the culmination of Derby Days, Sigma Chi’s annual week-long philanthropy event benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network.

“We’re approaching this, as a house, as a big charity event,” said Derby Days chairman Wade Askew, a former Daily staffer. “It’s not just for us to have a party.”

The concert will follow the success of the fraternity’s bar night at Koi Chinese and Sushi in downtown Evanston last Saturday. More than 700 people attended the event, also a much larger number than the house had originally anticipated, Gallagher said. Long lines of people waiting to get into the venue were spilling into the street by 11:30 p.m., said Askew, a Medill junior.

“It was slightly problematic just because our capacity is only 300,” said Dena Reed, manager of Koi.

While Evanston Police eventually told members of the house to keep large crowds from loitering on the street, no tickets were issued.

“We didn’t really expect that to happen,” Gallagher said. “We didn’t really have a method for crowd control, but we do this time, so it should be a lot better.”

In addition to having roped-off lines and keeping tabs at the door on how many people are in the house at a given time, several members of the house will also make rounds throughout the night to make sure no brothers or guests are allowed upstairs, Gallagher said. The house will also be enforcing an extra strict no-alcohol policy for the event, he added.

“For this party, we’re not going to be lackadaisical about people drinking in the house because it’s not going to happen at all,” Gallagher said.

Although the house is aware of non-NU students who wish to attend the private event, members reserve the right to check WildCARDs at the door. This policy may only be enforced if there is an unusually large crowd, Gallagher said.

“We haven’t talked about this, but in my estimation I would check IDs if we have really big lines outside and are hitting capacity really early on,” he said. “Our first priority is getting NU students into the house.”

The house will be working with the Interfraternity Council and University Police to make sure the night runs smoothly, Askew said. According to IFC policy, members of the council are allowed to check up on any registered event three times a night, said Brendan Flannery, vice president of IFC Risk Management.

“When the members of IFC feel like it’s getting out of control, Sigma Chi knows that we have policies in place to tell them to break it up a little bit,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a shock to them if exec called them up and said it’s a little too big.”

Members of the house are willing to comply with university regulations, especially because it is a philanthropy event, Askew said.

“The house is committed to following every IFC regulation,” Askew said. “If the police come we will comply and work with them in any way possible. We are going to keep it safe.”

Tickets will be available at the door at 10:30 p.m.. Communication junior Rotimi Akinosho of HG Entertainment, formerly known as Hustle Group, will open for The Hood Internet, who will perform at 11:30 p.m.

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