Go to content, skip over navigation


More Pages

Go to content, skip over visible header bar
Home News Features Arts & Entertainment Sports OpinionAbout Contact Advertise

Note about Unsupported Devices:

You seem to be browsing on a screen size, browser, or device that this website cannot support. Some things might look and act a little weird.

WBOR’s Boiler Room brings a taste of alternative nightlife to Ivies weekend

May 3, 2024

Joy Wang
HEATING UP Students crowd a DJ during WBOR's Boiler Room. The event was the first of its kind at Bowdoin and served as an informal kickoff to Ivies weekend, featuring four DJs, each of which brought a new sound to the space.

Last Thursday, Jack Magee’s Pub bursted with flashing lights, dancing students and the pulsating sound of live DJ sets. Dubbed the Boiler Room, WBOR modeled the event after the original Boiler Room, which started with a single live stream in “London’s underground” and now features DJs playing electronic dance music on camera in packed nightclubs around the world. An informal kickoff to Ivies weekend festivities, students embraced a taste of alternative nightlife as the Pub transformed into a vibrant electronic music hub.

WBOR general management member and Boiler Room emcee Jickinson Louis ’26 said that WBOR had hoped to host an event unlike other College events. Inspired by popular videos of artists like Fred Again and Charli XCX in the London Boiler Room, and because they call student broadcasters “DJs,” WBOR decided to highlight live DJing. With a $2,000 financial incentive from Student Activities to host an event at the Pub, Bowdoin’s first Boiler Room came to life.

“The boiler room event … may set a precedent that one, events at the pub are actually cool,” Louis said. “Two, maybe we can have some sort of events more on [Thursdays].”

With the goals of energizing a large crowd and featuring different music throughout the night, WBOR found DJs from different class years with varying musical styles. The Boiler Room featured four student DJs: Lorca Pena Nissenblatt ’27, Eric Traub ’26, Amira Oguntoyinbo ’24 and Loftin Propst ’24. Each student took their place at a table in the center of the dance floor with their DJ equipment and had 30 minutes to perform personally curated mixes for the crowd.

For many of the performers, DJing is a skill they picked up recently from friends or through Youtube tutorials. Nissenblatt, who went first, orchestrated her set fully from her iPad mini.

“It was very nerve-wracking to be up there with a crowd because I could definitely tell at what points the music was good for the vibe and what times it wasn’t,” Nissenblatt said. “I think performing is scary in general, but to do it when people are expecting to listen to music that’ll make them dance or stuff like that—there’s a different level.”

Nissenblatt views DJing as an art form, and she hopes to continue honing her skills while exploring more genres of music and developing a personal style. She admired the variation in music and style displayed by her fellow performers.

“I think [the Boiler Room] makes people more appreciative of the artistic side of listening to music and a group setting where there’s that communal involvement, and building up energy and then releasing energy,” Nissenblatt said.

Nissenblatt was followed by Traub, who described his style as “electronic and personalized” and said he gravitates toward playing upbeat, dance pop songs. Traub even created a producer tag as a unique musical trademark—a high-pitched recording of him saying “Are you sure about this Eric?” Traub also began his set with a brief recording of President Safa Zaki’s Convocation speech, transitioning it into high-energy dance music.

Traub sees College House parties as low-stakes spaces to continue DJing in the future. Propst echoed an interest in DJing music at parties rather than the usual playlists that are often played. “It’s fun to have the DJ stuff be center stage because then people are bought in and are excited to have somebody who’s intentionally creating a vibe,” Propst said. “I think making music more of an intentional part of a party is really, really cool.”

Propst, who performed last, said he prepared for the Boiler Room by curating four separate playlists with different feels—classic pop, chill music, “heavier bouncy” music and one in-between playlist—based on what he felt that crowd was most engaged with in the moment. He opted for the last one, which was similar to the style of many of the London Boiler Room sets he watched. As a piano player, Propst noted that a big part of DJing is ensuring the keys of both songs sound good together and the songs blend into one another.

Propst thought that the high energy and excitement students brought to the event made it a success. Although he was nervous, he felt comforted by the words of a roommate.

“You gotta kind of just chill out because it’s not like everybody’s there to judge you and see how good of a performance you’re [giving],” Propst said his roommate told him. “Everybody’s there to have a really good time. And, you know, you just happen to be the one that’s playing music.”

Both Nissenblatt and Louis also praised Oguntoyinbo for her unique sound.

“Shoutout DJ Amira. I felt like her set specifically was really artistic in a way that there was some sort of meaning behind it,” Louis said. “It was this cohesive set that just really made sense. And it was really beautiful to hear.”

Students bounced up and down from 9:30 p.m. to near midnight, engulfing the DJ table in a mass of excitement, meeting each DJ with shouts of support and enthusiasm. Louis believed WBOR’s Boiler Room to be one of their most successful events all year. They hope to maintain this momentum on May 10, when WBOR will bring Boston-based rock band Juice to the Pub as one final concert before the end of the school year.

Amira Oguntoyinbo ’24 is a member of The Bowdoin Orient.


Before submitting a comment, please review our comment policy. Some key points from the policy:

  • No hate speech, profanity, disrespectful or threatening comments.
  • No personal attacks on reporters.
  • Comments must be under 200 words.
  • You are strongly encouraged to use a real name or identifier ("Class of '92").
  • Any comments made with an email address that does not belong to you will get removed.

Leave a Reply

Any comments that do not follow the policy will not be published.

0/200 words