Oberlin Blogs

Let's 'Sco

March 21, 2024

Ariel Roberts ’25

One of the most popular performance venues on campus is the ‘Sco, short for the Dionysus Disco. The ‘Sco is home to concerts of both outside artists and student performers, along with various other fun events to populate the campus nightlife. The campus' other similar concert/event venue is the Cat in the Cream, which has more of a cafe vibe while the ‘Sco has more of a bar vibe, ie, the ‘Sco is where you can really live it up (with soda until you are 21, of course!). I’m not much of a party person, and define a Friday night rager as eating brownies and watching a horror movie alone in my dorm, so I’ll admit that the ‘Sco intimidated me for a long time. The ‘Sco is not so much of a gated social scene as it seems, though, and not all of the events are lively concerts. Some of my fondest memories of the space are actually watch-parties; I remember watching the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics on my birthday, and seeing the original Friday the 13th for the first time during one October (which I will admit was more fun than watching it alone in my room). These chill events that don’t necessarily require social interaction helped ease me into the space and make me realize that even an introverted person like me can have fun there.

Meet Me at the Altar at the 'Sco
Photo credit: Ariel Roberts

Recently I went to an actual concert there and ended up having the time of my life. I saw posters around campus advertising that Meet Me at the Altar were going to be performing, and I was super excited! As maybe the #1 Paramore fan in the world, I love female rock bands and had heard lots about this group. A lot of the artists performing at the Cat or ‘Sco are usually smaller ones I haven’t heard of. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it provides the opportunity to find new music, support smaller artists and live music, and the shows are always a good time, I’m sure. When you see a poster around campus for an artist you do recognize, though, it sends a real thrill through you. And so my friend and I got dressed up on a cold Thursday night and headed over to the basement floor of Wilder. It ended up being such a great time; the band was incredible, and my friend and I had an awesome time jumping and dancing to the music. It may seem like at a small school the concerts would be dead or too niche, but it actually allows for an incredibly intimate show with a like-minded crowd. Even though events like this are usually totally out of my league, it made me want to go to more concerts and enjoy the thrill of live music more often.

One student job I always thought was cool is being a ‘Sco booker. You get to learn about the concert production process all while bringing your favorite artists to Oberlin! The latter part is why I (selfishly) have wanted to be a ‘Sco booker. Alas, blogging is more of my expertise, and there are many talented students wanting to work in the music industry who can and do a much better job than me. There’s also the students who put together Solarity every semester. Solarity is our end-of-semester music festival in which the student body gathers in Heisman Field House for a night of concerts and fun. There is always a theme that inspires the decorations and suggested attire (for example, last semester was office-themed, so you were encouraged to come in your most glamorous work attire). This event always features the biggest artist of the year, and the student body gets to vote on the headliner out of some selects (Lizzo was famously a headliner some years back). Because of my aforementioned antisocial nature, I’ve never been before, but maybe I’ll have to go this semester! If you come to Oberlin and are passionate about music, I encourage you to apply to be a ‘Sco or Cat in the Cream booker, or to apply for another related job so you can watch all of the concerts or help put them together!

The ‘Sco truly is a key social hub at Oberlin. The Professor Beers and Soda events for each department are usually held there, and I had some great conversations with other Cinema majors when I went to the Cinema Studies one. I also often forget that I met my current roommate, one of my best friends, at a first-year event held at the ‘Sco. Something about the space encourages you to strike up conversations with strangers, finding unlikely similarities and leading you to making some great friends. I’ve always loved Oberlin for all the classical, jazz, etc. concerts I get to go to, but I think I’m going to have to go to more performances of outside artists and have some fun nights with friends, and perhaps make some new ones!

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