The world’s largest paint party made a splash in the community when a tour stop was scheduled for Youngstown’s Covelli Centre prior to the start of the fall semester. The sold-out show brought the experience of being at a rave to the city of Youngstown.
Life in Color marries the messy fun of paint with Electronic Dance Music, or EDM. EDM is a style of music in which a DJ uses the beats of music to mentally guide the crowd’s excitement up and down. They build up a beat, adding different layers to the song until it reaches the drop, where the song comes to a crest and then the DJ proceeds to break the song back down.
The crew for Life in Color set up a stage in the back lot of the Centre and had tents where ticket-goers could purchase neon glow-in-the-dark paint in blue, lime green and pink. As soon as the gates to the show were opened at 7 p.m., hundreds of students made their way to the stand and the paint started flying.The Centre hosted Life in Color at a stop on its World Tour on August 30 in an outdoor space behind the main building. Tickets were originally $40, but were offered to Youngstown State University students at a discounted rate of $20 through Penguin Productions.
The back lot of the Centre continued to fill as time passed. The host for Life In Color made his first appearance around 7:30 p.m., soaked the crowd with neon pink paint from a fire hose and began an hour countdown on the board for when the real paint was going to fly.
Later in the night, paint was blasted from fire hoses from onstage and from paint cannons set up in front of the crowd. There were acrobats, confetti and inflatables.
Erin Driscoll, the director of student activities, said that she was excited over the success of the event.
“Penguin Productions was extremely pleased with the outcome of Life in Color,” Driscoll said. “The sold-out crowd included over 1,500 YSU students. It was awesome to see the energy and enthusiasm of so many YSU students enjoying the paint, lights, music and entertainment together throughout the night. We’re thankful we had this opportunity to partner with Covelli to bring this one-of-a-kind production to the Youngstown community and to YSU students.”
The crowd consisted of new and experienced “rave bunnies and ravers” alike. For many students at YSU, this was their first time experiencing a rave-like atmosphere.
Greta Frost, a political science major at YSU, said that the paint party was a hit.
“It lived up to my expectations. The music was exciting and the paint was fun … [especially] the paint sprayer,” Frost said. “It felt like I got sprayed with Nickelodeon slime like I saw on TV when I was in middle school. It was really cool. I would go again if LIC came back to Youngstown!”
The feedback from the show was a highly positive one and many students wish to see the Life in Color tour make another stop in the Youngstown area. The Life in Color tour picks its tour stops by how many people they assume will attend. Popular spots include college campuses, where young students are willing to pay a small price for a paint party.
Sarah Ragan, an early childhood and special education major, said that she believes Life in Color came to Youngstown because of the city’s growing presence.
“I think they came to Youngstown because the Covelli Center is really taking off,” Ragan said. “The color run came there and did really good, so I just think Youngstown is getting more recognition now.”
Ali Macioge, an applied mathematics major, said that Life in Color brought a unique aspect of engagement to the crowd unlike other shows she has seen.
“My favorite part of Life in Color was how the performers interacted with the audience by spraying paint on us,” Macioge said. “Unlike a normal concert, I felt like I was actually part of the show. I think they came to Youngstown because it is a big college town and the concert is directed for college students. Life in Color was a one-of-a-kind experience and definitely worthwhile.”
Jon Burns, a biology and pre-med major at YSU, said that Life in Color was a great experience that he wasn’t quite expecting, but would be happy to welcome back.
“The paint blasts were my favorite part. I was up in the front and I got blasted several times,” Burns said. “I honestly did not expect it to be as good as it was. But it was amazing. It surpassed what I expected. It was a great, fun time with the music and the paint. I hope it comes back to Youngstown again.”