BY REGINA GONZALEZ
When you’re used to walking out the door in a t-shirt and shorts to head to the beach in St.Pete, walking off a plane in the mountains to five degree weather will make you think, “Dorothy we’re not in Tampa anymore.”
That was the case heading to Aspen, Colorado for the 2017 Winter X Games. Flying into Denver and driving three hours up to the Rocky Mountains, the scenic route truly looked straight out of a calendar as snow covered the peaks of mountains and wild deer wandered the sides of the roads. With more than 100,000 people in the area, the games kicked off Thursday Jan. 26 on Buttermilk Mountain. However, what ESPN doesn’t show is how the party really starts after the competitive events.
Aspen welcomed some popular artists to headline post games performances. Bassnectar, The Chainsmokers and G-Eazy were the big names that took the main stage next to the X Games Slopes this year, dropping their latest hits for a packed crowd of bundled up fans.
“I have lived here my entire life and I have never seen so many people come into town for the games,” said junior marketing major and Aspen native Genevieve Lawry. “The post-game concerts used to be free but now I guess with such popular performers and so many more people they started charging an insane amount for tickets.”
Buttermilk Mountain wasn’t the only place these artists were in town to perform at, as many also put on private shows in popular clubs around Aspen all weekend. Deep house legend Kygo came to Colorado solely to perform at nightclub Belly Up in downtown to kick things off Thursday evening. The Chainsmokers hosted their own private show there Friday.
Whoever got to see that performance was lucky because Chainsmokers fans were not too pleased with the mainstream duo when they took the main stage at X Games Saturday night, and had to cut their performance short.
Just as they had performed popular hit “Roses,” the screens went white and the blasting bass came to a stop before Drew Taggart of the Chainsmokers announced that due to people in the front row of the crowd pushing into the barricade that held up the stage, they would not be able to continue unless everyone took a giant step backwards and calmed down a bit.
After a solid fifteen minutes of standing in eight degree weather, the show had still not started back up, many fans decided to leave in disappointment.
“I literally paid $440 for tickets to see half of a show,” junior international business major Sam Simon said. “ I didn’t want to leave but it’s not like Ultra Miami where the weather is bearable to stay out in, they didn’t realize we were getting frost bite waiting for them to come back on.”
Simon’s luck changed for the better though, as did everyone who left the blizzard temperatures to head to Bootsy Bellows club in downtown Aspen where people were casually clubbing and dancing before chart topping DJ G-Eazy strolled in towards the VIP section of the club with his entourage. Accompanied by model Sahara Ray, the 6’3” slender performer danced for a while and tossed back some drinks before taking the microphone and jumping from lounge chairs to on top of the bar, spraying the crowd with champagne and singing some of his smash hits including “Bitch you got me Fucked Up” and “Me Myself and I.”
“It was crazy, I had never expected to see him at a club let alone right above me rapping so loud right above me and nearly bursting an eardrum,” Simon said.
Although the weekend was coming to an end for many, G-Eazy’s was just getting started as he closed the X-Games Sunday afternoon with a final performance at the bottom of the half pipe.
With an exciting weekend of Shaun White, EDM, and plenty of skiing and scenery, trading shorts for a North Face for a few days was well worth it.
Regina Gonzalez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org