Kate McCabe / Gavel Media

Diatribe: Post Stokes Set Reflection (Play iSpy Already!)

The Gavel's Diatribe acts as the satirical medium for short rants over topics ranging from complete triviality to utmost importance.

When CAB announced that KYLE would be performing at Stokes Set over Instagram, the comments under the post made me nervous for what to expect. I mean, this was my first Stokes Set, so my expectations were high. My first impression went from “who’s Kyle,” to “oh right, I know that one song!” My initial impression set the tone for how it felt to be at Stokes Set: waiting an awkward two hours for “iSPY.”

Arriving on the scene way too early, I came across a crowd of maybe thirty people. I laughed to my roommate about how embarrassing it felt to even be there in the empty crowd. People stood completely still while DJ Jadaboo desperately attempted to hype up the crowd. Her song mixes had awkward pauses in the middle of every song where she expected the crowd to sing along, but instead it was silent. Finally, KYLE came out to perform—just kidding, it was the second DJ! The second DJ asked if we were ready for KYLE to come out at least seven times, and wow, was I excited until he asked another four times!

As a slightly bigger crowd began to form, the DJ played “Industry Baby” for a second time that evening... but least there were one hundred more people to hear it this time around! The DJ situation was nothing more than an awkward uncoordinated mesh of air horn sound effects and awkward pauses. I felt myself wanting to leave so wholeheartedly during these two DJ sets, but I held through. My seventeen dollars were not going to waste!

By the time KYLE had come out to perform, a pretty substantial crowd had formed, and the energy felt a lot more enjoyable. Admittedly, KYLE was really fun to watch. His crowd interaction was exciting and though the DJ made it awkward between songs, KYLE brought the energy and I was completely there for it. Though his attempts to have the crowd sing along to his songs failed since nobody knew the words, “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” and “iSPY” were both fun to sing along to.

In the end, the mixed reactions about Stokes Set made me wonder what the future of it could be. C-list celebrities are no stranger to playing for unknowing crowds, but the BC community seems to be getting burnt out on one-hit wonder artists. If CAB doesn’t have the budget for more well-known artists, a possible solution could be to feature BC bands, or they could charge more for the tickets to get better artists. That might be easier said than done, as it seems likely that Stokes Set will remain a source of criticism towards CAB for the foreseeable future.

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