Grand Maple Ballroom keeps it cool with Kids and charity

It seems that every event that has ever been held in the Grand Maple Ballroom has either been a dry, academic event or felt far too small for the space. The Cool Kids show on Saturday, Sept. 4 broke both of those conventions. From the time that opener DJ cRAIG mITCHELL came onstage on Saturday, the crowd of students attending the Cool Kids concert in the Grand Maple Ballroom was energetic. The sold-out crowd didn’t entirely fill up the room, but everyone pushed together in an attempt to get as close to the stage as possible, giving the concert the feeling of being packed. A part of UVM’s Week of Welcome, the event was put on by Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) and Student Life. The two groups started planning the concert last April, working together throughout the process, SigEp Vice President of Programming Brennan Keeler said. “SigEp and Student Life had a great partnership doing this,” Keeler said. “I had Jimmy Doan acting as an advisor for the concert and overseeing the entire process making sure that everything went off without a hitch.” “Having Jimmy, who has many concerts and other large events under his belt, made my life so much easier,” he said. In addition to being a good concert that was a fun way to start off the school year, the Cool Kids show was also a charity event. One dollar from each ticket went toward YouthAIDS, the advertisement for the show said. “It was planned as a benefit concert from the very beginning, and Student Life was very excited for that,” Keeler said. “We are donating the money to YouthAIDS because it is SigEp’s national philanthropy.” The concert raised $760 for YouthAIDS. With the money to donate all collected, there was still the show to enjoy. After a bit of lag time between mITCHELL and The Cool Kids — to which the crowd responded with chants of encouragement — rappers Antoine “Mikey Rocks” Reed and Evan “Chuck Inglish” Ingersoll took the stage. Reed and Ingersoll both performed songs off of their 2008 album “The Bake Sale,” such as “Gold and a Pager” and “A Little Bit Cooler,” and debuted a number of new songs. The crowd of mostly UVM students danced as much as the densely packed atmosphere would allow, putting their hands up at appropriate times, such as in response to the lyrics of “Bassment Party:” “So if you ugly keep your hands by your side / But if you not then put them in the sky.” After leaving the stage, The Cool Kids returned, in response to a bit of encouragement from the crowd, to play a short encore. “Setting up a concert is a lot of work,” Keeler said. “However, the night of the show, it is the best feeling seeing everyone in the crowd enjoying the music that you helped bring about.” “My only expectation for the event in the beginning was that we would raise a pretty substantial amount to donate, so going by that everything was met,” he said. “Adding on all of the experience I gained and the people I made happy, I could not have even fathomed we would have had this outcome.”