Written by Fajar binti Benjamin and Wen Qi
Photo Credits: Sunway Echo Media and Sunway University College Council
Each year, Freshies Night – a party for freshman to let their hair down and get it on for the night – is one of the most hotly anticipated events. Freshies Night ‘19 was no exception. Organized, as always, by the formidable pairing of Sunway University Student Council (SUSC) and Sunway College Council (SCC), this year’s theme was simply “Let The Show Begin!”.
Over 1000 tickets to this event were sold, so it came as no surprise that a crowd was forming at the entrance as early as 6.30pm! (Who says Malaysians are always late?). At 6.45pm, the doors of Jeffrey Cheah Hall were thrown wide open and a punkish instrumental blared from the band “Go, Diva” to welcome the guests and liven up the mood. Let the show begin indeed!
The hall was dimly glowing from the strobe lights flashing from the stage and the fairy lights strung up along its walls. As the band played on, there was a photobooth near the entrance for anyone who wanted to remember this wonderful night. There was also a refreshment stand that served finger foods such as spring rolls and chocolate puffs. Last but not least, there was a merchandise booth selling colourful finger lights, reflective wristbands and temporary tattoos.
7.00 pm came along and the party began with an exciting countdown (“Are you ready for the night of your lives? 3, 2, 1, LET THE SHOW BEGIN!”). The band “New Vibes Club” kicked in with an amped up performance of popular crowd pleasers such as Lover Boy (Phum Viphurit), Better Now (Post Malone) and Kiwi (Harry Styles). The crowd was an eclectic mix of students: nerdy kids in T-shirts looking like they just left class, mixed with dressed up party-goers in shiny dresses and booty shorts (and that went for both genders!).
Following that first performance, the crowd was greeted by the charismatic emcees, Renee and Lukman who announced the house rules. Lukman joked, “The only rule for tonight? Have fun!” before Renee quickly corrected him (“No crowd surfing, no fighting, no climbing on stage…”). They proceeded to give lip service to the many sponsors of the night and explained the best dressed competition before introducing us to the next band (“Just like you guys, The Freshies!”),
The songs they covered were mood songs. Crush Culture (Conan Gray), Figures (Jessie Reyez) and I Don’t Wanna Be You Anymore (Billie Eilish) got the crowd vibing as the lead singer crooned romantically. They ended their set with a real crowd pleaser, Baby (you know who it’s by) and everyone sang along, reliving the nostalgia of the good ol’ days. With the crowd still hot, “2COVR” delighted us with their mashup of Love Story (T-Swizzle!) and Forget You (Cee Lo Green).
After that, the emcees brought Mr. Alvin from Student Life, up onstage to award the lucky draw winners their local vacation packages. When that was over, talented beatboxers “Andrew and Marcus” sent everyone bobbing to their voices and mouth beats. Completely unaided by a backing track, they started with Right Round, which morphed into several different familiar songs and ended with Attention (Charlie Puth). We were left wondering – how on earth does one make two noises with their mouth at once?
The emcees then coached us through an exercise in screaming, with both halves of the hall trying to outscream each other (Renee’s side totally won btw). Then the lights dimmed, a space was cleared in the middle of the hall and the next performance began.
Dancers from Sunway Dance Club leaped into action, energetically throwing their entire bodies into motion as a loud Kpop song sent vibrations thumping up our spines. The songs morphed but the energy never dissipated as different types of dancers leaped into the fray. At one point, there was even a spot of breakdancing happening! The downside of moving the stage to the centre of the room was that most people couldn’t actually see them, as even the live feed on the big screen only showed their backs.
Following that display of explosive talent, the next band of the night, “The Realist” started their set with Pumped Up Kicks (Foster The People) followed by I’m So Tired (Lauv and Troy Sivan) and High Hopes (Kodaline – not P!ATD). Their performance was very genuine and positive and the crowd sang along happily. Next was another dance performance by “Infires” as they played straight into the ‘raunchy school delinquents’ concept.
To counterbalance the loud energy of the dancing, the next singer, Sunway’s very own “Penny Lestrange” started singing with only an acoustic guitar backing her haunting vocals. Her two songs were I Don’t Wanna Be You Anymore (Billie Eilish) and Crazy (Gnarls Barkley). The astonished crowd probably only had one thought running through their minds: Goddamn, she can sing.
The next band was the local band “Ty:Del” who not only covered Day One (Matthew West) but also performed to us their very first single No Turning Back, which came out on Spotify that very night.
It was then time to announce the finalists for the Best Dressed Competition. Chosen by the Freshies Committee through Instagram, five (allegedly) fashionable souls were brought up on stage to give a catwalk. The finalists all made valiant attempts and a winner was chosen by the audience through cheers.
We were then graced by a very familiar face (at least familiar for those of us who’ve attended International Understanding Days back in highschool). Yes, you’ve guessed it – “HelloLuqman”. Completely in character, he started his set with the most gedik sounding mic check ever before he made use of looping pedals. We watched in awe as he built his song loop upon loop, trying to guess which song he was going to break into when he hit a familiar chord, the opening chord to Thank You, Next. Surprisingly, it was the first (and only!) Ariana Grande track of the night – but of course everyone knew every word.
His next songs were Best Part (Daniel Caeser) and Location (Khalid), before he brought out a special surprise – Penny Lestrange came back on stage to duet with him on Shallows (from A Star is Born). The Sunway’s Got Talent contestants from last week may have some competition as to who is the best Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper of Sunway!
The energy was turned back up as group “FIVE” started dancing. They broke out into a steamy and energetic routine, strutting and seductively rolling their bodies – completely owning the stage.
Let us tell you, the Freshies Committee definitely saved the best for last. The final band, “Wicked Livers” came on stage as their charismatic lead singer screamed “WE SING ROCK N ROLL BABY!”. They rocked out on stage to classic rock tracks Are You Gonna Be My Girl (Jets), Set Me Free and the most notable of their songs, Welcome To The Jungle (Guns n Roses).
Finally, surprise guest DJ Whodashi took over the stage and blasted remix after remix, hyping up the crowd and amping up the tempo before letting the beat drop again. The crowd separated into circles of students, jumping and dancing around with their friends. He kept the music going up until the event was officially over and every last student had danced to their heart’s content.
Freshies Night was a fun welcoming celebration, showcasing Sunway’s open minded and inclusive atmosphere. Students of all ages, races, and personalities had a great time together and overall, the night ended on a successful note.