Students treated to mini concert festival during school


Alex Castro

Drake Bell, known for his role in the early 2000s Nickelodeon show Drake and Josh, performs as part of the High School Nation tour. It was his second stop at Akins in the past three years.

Eli Calderon and Jared Cordero

When the 11:05 a.m. bell rang on Nov. 1 students at Akins didn’t go to lunch like usual: they went to a miniature concert festival set up in the parking lot.

It was the second time in the last three years that the High School Nation tour has stopped at Akins, featuring popular artists like Drake Bell.

Students were allowed to enjoy concerts, art activity booths and music instrument stations to encourage them to pursue their artistic interests. e tour is like a mini Warped Tour that focuses exclusively on high school audiences.

Besides the headlining acts, there were also lesser known artists like Caroline Roman that played on a smaller stage. Roman said she joined the tour to increase awareness of her music.

“I’ve never been on tour, and I was in actual school,” she said. “It was hard to balance because I started my junior year and then ew to (Los Angeles) to do some business.”

One of the primary goals of High School Nation is to promote fine arts curriculum in high schools across the country. e tour travels across the country with a mix of established and up and coming artists looking to expand their fan bases with young people.

Akins benefits from the tour stop through donations of equipment the tour provides to the campus fine arts programs. e school received things like microphones and cables, DJ software and equipment, a set of drums, and a piano. Many of the items given to students were provided by sponsors that such as the Truth antismoking campaign,

In-and-Out Burger, Sparkling Ice, Takis, Guitar Center, SkullCandy, and Hollister.

The tour staff also gave out tons of freebies to students like T-shirts, headphones, sparkling water, Takis chips and gift cards to restaurants. Sophomore Alejandro Beltran won a DJ controller set.

Tyson Williams, the Arts and Humanities Academy’s coordinator, said he thinks it is cool that students can go see a concert during the school day.

“It’s a pretty unique opportunity, I saw students sitting at drum kits, and strapping on electric guitars,” he said. “Maybe that’s something that will spark a new hobby or passion”

Williams said he thinks the event had a positive response from students.

“Everything seems real positive. I’ve seen screensavers or backgrounds with pictures from the event already,” he said. “I think it was a big success.”

For many students the highlight was seeing a childhood TV star Drake Bell, who was on the show Drake and Josh on Nickelodeon.

Junior Melanina Breeding said seeing Drake Bell was the main reason she went to check it out.

“Seeing Drake Bell was such a cool experience, since I had grown up watching (him),” she said.

With the students that were starstruck, there were also students that were there for other reasons, such as the crowd experience. Junior Hank Scaief said he was only there for the energy of the crowd.

“I experienced the crowd pit more than Drake Bell himself, the thrill of the concert made it especially fun,” he said. “Without the pit, the concert honestly would of not of been fun for me.”

Beltran said he also enjoyed the energy of the event.

“Bro they were crazy and everybody in the crowd was crazy,” he said.