Hurricane, schmurricane. An overcast sky, intermittent rain and the looming threat of Hurricane Irene could not keep students away from the LaHaye parking lot for the annual Block Party this past weekend.
Saturday’s block party was like none other. It was missing good weather, a lead singer from a headlining band and all the usual elements necessary for such a highly anticipated back to school event. However, the event was far from lacking. As music blasted from the speakers above the stage, hundreds of students mulled around the parking lot enjoying Dominos pizza, free kettle corn and drinks.
Like usual, the mechanical bull was one of the most popular attractions. Set up under a white tent to shield the crowd of spectators from the rain, the mechanical bull threw the brave students who dared ride it into the air all night.
Students were also entertained by the Peacemakers, who performed throughout the night, and the Ferris wheel. Fusion the Salon had a table set up where students could get feathers and braids put in their hair, and block party attendees could also speak to representatives from the Flames Club, 90.9 the Light, the Comic Book Club and other various organizations.
Others stayed inside the LaHaye center, where inflatable carnival games, such as wrecking ball and a basketball toss, had been set up across the basketball courts.
Lynchburg resident Brooke Van Name came to the rainy event to meet up with some friends and hear the bands perform.
“I’ve heard so much about Dave Barnes, but I’ve never actually heard any of his songs,” Van Name said. “I’m having a great time despite the rain and the wind.”
Fedora-clad, Andy Davis took the stage first, followed by Dave Barnes, who crooned romantic songs such as “God Gave Me You” and the more worshipful “What I Need.”
Most bands would never dream of performing without their lead singer. However, as a result of their lead singer losing his voice, the remaining members of MuteMath decided to do an instrumental set. As soon as they began, the large crowd gathered around the stage quickly forgot about the need for a lead singer. The musicians’ high energy captivated the audience, which clapped along and filled in the missing lyrics to songs such as “Typical” and “The Nerve.”
Junior Callie Cagwin said that while she was initially disappointed to hear that MuteMath would be performing without its lead vocalist, she left extremely pleased.
“It was still really entertaining. They’re really good performers and it was cool that they got the audience to sing along,” Cagwin said.
The evening ended with fireworks against a slowly clearing sky as students parted ways, another Block Party behind them and school year ahead.