DJ Dillon Francis Flexes In The Plex

A week on the Heights that began with a spectacular, freedom-wielding snowstorm was bookended Saturday with an equally entertaining spectacle: Plexapalooza. The annual winter concert, held in the Flynn Recreation Complex, featured  internationally renowned DJ Dillon Francis this time around. The show has been headlined in the past by other electronic artists including the Bingo Players, DJ Enferno, and the Super Mash Bros. This was its first year hosted by the Campus Activities Board.

Francis, a Los Angeles native, got his big break after American producer Diplo signed Francis to his label Mad Decent. Since his collaboration with Diplo, Francis has risen to fame in the entertainment industry. Since 2010, Francis has embarked on multiple tours across the world, released his debut album Swashbuckler under Play Me Records, and collaborated with the likes of DJ Snake, Skrillex, and Martin Garrix. Francis is quickly becoming one of the premier names in electronic music.

“Last year, we had an unknown artist and that really hurt us, but this year we brought a world-class DJ who is capable of putting on an amazing show,” said George Fabrikarakis, assistant director of concerts and A&S ’15, in an earlier report. “We’ve worked really hard to blow last year’s show out of the water.”

The hundreds of ecstatic fans who braved the frigid January cold last Saturday can attest to this claim.

Alex Zhuang, A&S ’17, kicked off the evening with an hour-long house set that only gained momentum as the crowds flooded in. By the time Zhuang had wrapped up his performance, the crowd has significantly transformed. What was at one point just a few pockets of people gazing numbly at their smartphones quickly transformed into a familiar mob of energetic concertgoers. The once spacious Plex soon became too dense to move comfortably (Those less fortunate were pushed up toward the stage and found themselves braced against a mass of humanity). By the time Zhuang left the stage, the crowd was more than pumped up for Dillon Francis. That discernible concert buzz was felt through the once barren recreation center.

As for Dillon Francis himself, his work behind the decks did nothing short of electrify the masses before him. Francis’ set was an eclectic blend of rap, house and moombahton music (for those who don’t frequent the club scene, moombahton is a new fusion genre of house reggaeton) that had everyone bouncing. At the peak of the night, Francis played his biggest hit, “Get Low”, much to the satisfaction of his fans in attendance. This scene was much the same for the remaining hour or so of his set, only changing the tempo to include a few crowd-pleasers such as “CoCo,” “Move It,” and a remix of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” Francis made the clever move of playing songs the crowd knew, but often added his own twist to the tracks that may have otherwise been a little too familiar to practiced ears.

Finally, as the lights faded back on and the droves of sweat-soaked college students started to head for the doors and back into the frigid night, Dillon took a moment to praise Boston College for putting on quite a show. He even brandished a flag with Baldwin the Eagle on it, much to the delight of the crowd. The exact words fell on numb and battered ears, but the sentiment rang true and genuine. Based on the emphatic cheers from the crowd as he bid his weary, though still enthused, college audience farewell, it was clear to see he really did blow last year’s show out of the water.

Featured Image by Marissa Venuto / Heights Staff