Dancers scrambled towards the front of the stage to hold hands with Sean Jacobs, a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and producer who performs under the pop soul alias CVBZ.
Jacobs, who has only performed at three shows previously, said his performance at Dance Marathon is his biggest show yet. Performing at the 26-hour event is good preparation for festivals he will be playing in the future, including Firefly in June, he said.
Jason Mally, a second-year computer science student, said he normally prefers alternative music, but enjoyed Jacobs’ pop performance and soulful voice.
“(He has) more upbeat songs, and people were vibing with it,” Mally said. “There’s a clear connection here.”
Jacobs’ accompanying guitarist Justin Kroger said the band felt the same enthusiasm and energy from the crowd while playing CVBZ’s original songs “Hollywood” and “Vicadon.” Students jumped up and down under the blue, purple and green lighting of the stage, following the movements of Jacobs and the pulse of the beat.
But the players were most enthusiastic about the Pediatric AIDS Coalition’s mission and CVBZ’s ability to support the cause, Kroger said.
“That adds to the overall experience and the excitement,” Kroger said. “Everybody is here because we are here for an actual positive reason, and it’s very selfless and motivating. It helps us have fun and let go.”