Aztec Music Group hosts inaugural show of backyard concert series


Gwenyth Hoebing

Julian Salberg’s acoustic performance set a peaceful tone for the night.

by Gwenyth Hoebing , Contributor

On Dec. 3, San Diego State students joined the Aztec Music Group for good drinks, food and even better performances from local artists. The lively event is the first of the Aztec Music Group’s “backyard series.” 

Admission was free for all in attendance. The event’s location on Dorothy Drive made it easily accessible to all SDSU students living on campus and in the college area. 

Merchandise was available at one of the few booths behind the crowd. Drinks provided by one of the event’s sponsors, “Passion Tree Hard Seltzer,” were available for people of legal drinking age, and a food truck was accessible for anyone looking to have a quick bite to eat. 

Other sponsors of the event included the Noah Hytken Memorial Fund and POP Pay. 

The event was promoted through the student organization’s Instagram; however, the word spread to many students through various social media platforms. Criminal justice junior Rachel Torres found out about the event through Snapchat.

Five artists took the stage, all bringing their own unique sound to the talented lineup: Julian Salberg, Quick 55, Twelve Blocks Apart, Levi Thomas and Kocean. 

Julian Salberg was the first to perform. The soothing acoustic elements in his songs created a peaceful start to the night. The sunset subsided behind the stage as the crowd swayed back and forth to his captivating tunes. 

Student band Quick 55 covered a variety of popular hits, including "good 4 u" by Olivia Rodrigo.
Student band Quick 55 covered a variety of popular hits, including “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo. (Gwenyth Hoebing)

Quick 55 was next to the stage, performing covers from various artists. Some featured songs included Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” and Estelle’s “American Boy.” Their debut performance had the crowd singing along in unity, setting the vibrant tone for the rest of the evening.

Quick 55’s drummer Nick Kusior, a freshman studying mechanical engineering at SDSU, recounted the story of how Quick 55 came together. 

“I did expect to find people here, seeing that it’s California, But I didn’t expect to find a group of people I like so much. I met the bass player through lots of weird connections,” Kusior said. 

In regards to his first experience performing in front of his peers, Kusior stated he was a bit nervous, but the experience was absolutely worth it.

“It was a little nerve-racking, ’cause you don’t want to be the guy who messes up; however it was gratifying to show off what you work so hard for and know it’s worth it to be able to entertain people,” Kusior said. It was cool to be able to see everyone’s energy come out.” 

Chula Vista based band Twelve Blocks Apart took to the stage next. Along with performing covers, they performed their catchy single “Lawn Song,” which dropped earlier this year. Their alternative rock songs created an unforgettable energy from the crowd.

Los Angeles-based artist Levi Thomas performed some of his dreamy indie-pop tunes. While performing his single “Saw You at a Party,” the audience used their flashlights to illuminate the stage, creating an ethereal atmosphere. Levi ended his set with a cover of “Dark Red” by Steve Lacy, encouraging the crowd to sing along together. 

A notable attribute of this event was the venue. It’s serene location had a fantastic view of the surrounding valley. Its location gave fans a view of the sunset descending over beautiful San Diego as the event progressed into the night.

Kocean ended the night with a bang, a set that can only be described as vibrant and exciting. The crowd’s spirits towards the local band epitomized the contagious energy their show inspired. Kocean mesmerized the crowd with their catchy surf rock melodies, encouraging fans to crowd surf and mosh. Their incredible set was a memorable way to bring the show to an end. 

This successful event is just one of many more to come for the Aztec Music Group, as they anticipate to be back for a busy second semester. The intimate feel of the night allowed music lovers to come together as one to share this unforgettable experience.