Pub Nite can be pretty predictable when it comes to music. In the later part of the night, after the lights are turned off, music always shifts towards hits that are more dance-worthy, and of course, the night isn’t over until “American Pie” by Don McLean is played, followed by Semisonic’s “Closing Time.” “American Pie” and “Closing Time” have been part of the Pub Nite tradition for years. Nonetheless, there still remains an observable variety in the music from night to night. This is simply because different students DJ Pub Nite each week.
“I always try to play good songs,” said Dina Ginzburg ’18, who has DJ-ed Pub Nite twice. “And usually not recently popular songs, because I feel like you hear those at every single party… Mostly just songs that you can sing along to and that people really love. I think that ‘Hey Ya’ is just a classic — like who doesn’t love that song?”
But it doesn’t always work out perfectly. Sometimes the crowd becomes visibly displeased with the DJ’s selection of music, booing the music
“When that happens, you just have to be ready to switch to a different song,” explained Ginzburg. “You always have to have a playlist that’s longer than three hours. It’s really stressful if it’s not, and you start running out of songs.”
Unfortunately, when it comes to Pub Nite, playing “good music” is not a foolproof way to ensure that everyone has fun and stays.
“Last time, I know I was playing good music, but people left because it just wasn’t their night,” recounted Ginzburg. “I guess it was in the middle of a work week, but I feel like Pub Nite is always depressing at the end, unless it’s a special night, the atmosphere is right, and people want to stay the whole time.”
Seniors, who were around to experience the “old” Pub Nite before the school’s alcohol policy changed, claim that it was not always like this. Pub Nite used to be highly attended, for one thing, and a lot of people stayed until “Closing Time” finished, even helping the senior class officers clean up afterwards.
“After Pub Nite, they would just play Killers songs,” said Doriana Thornton ’16. “There’d be like 10 people, and we would just dance around and clean.” This post-Pub Nite cleaning doesn’t seem to take place anymore, especially since many students leave before American Pie or Closing Time are over, as pointed out by Ginzburg.
“People feel less of a sense of ownership over Pub Nite [now],” explained Tiffany Kim ’17. “I don’t know why the communal cleaning up went away… I guess the lack of support for senior class officers translates into them having less energy to worry about creating things like that post-Pub Nite atmosphere. It’s really not their fault.”
“It’s becoming more of an uphill battle to do things [as students],” commented another senior, who wishes to remain anonymous. “And I think the senior class officers were just so invested in [Pub Nite] and so excited about it that you couldn’t not be excited about it.”
Subtle shifts in the way music is handled have also contributed to the change in atmosphere. While the same structure of music was used previously — with more danceable songs playing towards the end of the night — music was quieter during the first couple of hours.
“Pub Nite … used to be about being able to talk to each other for the first couple of hours, like before the music changes,” Kim recalled. “It used to be not as loud so people could talk.”
The seniors illuminate just how Pub Nite has changed over the years. This change is often attributed to the change in alcohol policy and, as described above, is reflected even in the way music is handled and received at Pub Nite.
“Donate to Pub Nite!” said Kim. “Don’t let it die.”