Daily Collegian Story - Pop culture prevails at Airbands '07

By Katie Maloney - Collegian Staff Writer as Printed in the Daily Collegian on October 10, 2007

Pop culture prevails at Airbands '07

Harry Potter, the Nittany Lion, and several zombies all performed last night at Schwab Auditorium.

Airbands 2007, a pre-homecoming event, was held in the packed auditorium, and included over two hours of lip synching and dance performances by various Penn State organizations. One of the night's emcees was Mike Herr, better known as Mike the Mailman, who at one point even popped his collar.

Members of the groups, which included club sports teams, Lion Ambassadors, fraternities and sororities, voted on the songs that they wanted to perform, said Erin Manwiller (senior-international politics).

Manwiller is a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma, which, along with several members of the Theta Chi fraternity, did a Harry Potter-themed performance. Their Gryffindor-versus-Slytherin dance off included songs like The Clover's "Love Potion #9" and 50 Cent's "Magic Stick."

Theta Chi and Gamma Sigma Sigma came in second place in the competition after the Lion Ambassadors, who won first place wearing suspenders for their Penn State history-themed performance. Third place went to Pi Lambda and Tapestry, who did a "Family Guy" themed performance.

Three Penn State faculty members judged the competition; Susan Kennedy from University Health Services; Roger Williams, the executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association; and psychology professor Andrew Peck.

Judges awarded points to the competitors based on "originality, synchronization, how the audience responds," said Jaime Segal (senior-women's studies), the competition overall chair for Homecoming.

"I was in Airbands when I first joined my sorority, and it think the overall caliber of the performances has gotten better over the years," Segal said.

The show opened with the Nittany Lion in a Brooklyn T-shirt, doing the dance to "Crank Dat," by Soulja Boy.

The lower level of the auditorium, where the performers sat while waiting their turns, was accessible only with a wristband, while the upper level was full of fans.

A crowd favorite at Beaver Stadium was also well-received last night, as members of the Blue and White Society and Circle K club danced to "Zombie Nation," dressed as zombies, followed by Michael Jackson's Thriller.

During a break halfway through the show, the members of the homecoming court were introduced, all wearing khakis with the legs rolled up revealing their high, white socks, in honor of Joe Paterno, one of the emcees said. Some court members also wore dark aviators, but one queen candidate topped off her ensemble with a grinning JoePa mask.