[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center”]F&M’s own Velasquez stole show while performing at Chameleon Club[/pullquote1]
This past Friday, Aaron Velasquez ’14 (known in the music world as Flamingosis) opened for artist RJD2 at Lancaster’s Chameleon Club. Velasquez began beat boxing in middle school, later going on to produce his own electronic beats. I was immediately impressed by his beat boxing abilities and drawn to his warm personality after joining The Poor Richards, which he has also been a part of since his first year at F&M. When he told me of his upcoming performance at the Chameleon Club, I knew I could not miss it.
On the night of the show, I got a ride with some friends, and followed them through a door in front of which stood three security guards and above which a “Chameleon” sign hung. We stood single file, first, to have our tickets scanned, and then to have our IDs checked. When it was my turn, I gave my driver’s license to a large man, and watched as he scrutinized the apparently extraordinarily informative plastic rectangle. It became evident he was doing some sort of calculation in his head, but after a few moments, he gave the ID back and put band around my wrist that read, “Enjoy responsibly.”
The beauty of the situation was not bar access, which my wristband permitted, but the ability to get up close to the stage. Not having to stand on the second and third floors meant that I could get great photos (of which I took 227, to be exact).
I took a few shots of the setup of the stage. Velasquez’s computer, which I recognized by the stickers on the front, sat on a table, open and ready to go. Shining onto the stage were lights of different colors. A disco ball hung from the ceiling. People hung onto the railings above with anticipation and excitement.
When Velasquez walked out we swarmed him. The significance of the moment made me pause. His father, his cousin, his friends, his classmates, and his fraternity brothers all gathered there as one supportive society. We were one community, exuding pride, as our friend, classmate, and brother, took the stage and started to beat box.
For the next 30 minutes, Velasquez had all the audience members eating straight from his hands. The bass vibrated through our shoes. The lights, seemingly synced with the music, changed from color to color, from flashing to stillness. We yelled out in support.
I am consistently blown away by Velasquez’s ability to make transcendent music, to win over the hearts of audiences big and small, and to remain so humble and mellow through it all. He does not need anyone to speak on behalf of his amazing talent. He has a soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/flamingosis) and performs live frequently — those who are curious can check him out for themselves. Seeing him perform this past Friday, though, moved me in a different way than usual. Looking at him, I could tell he was not just putting on a show for us. For Velasquez, making music is about much more than that. “I find peace when I make [music],” he says, “It just gives me a feeling inside that I can’t really find anywhere else.”
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