UT Students—A Few, At Least—Break From Studying To Party Poolside (Slideshow)

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If a party is thrown and nobody notices, is it actually a party?

Such existential thought consumed me as I sat outside at Gregory Gym’s Aquatic Complex yesterday afternoon.

UT’s RecSports Division put on its annual Splash Bash this week, but only 40 or so people tore themselves from studying so they could sunbathe poolside and soak up blaring dubstep.

It’s not as though Splash Bash wasn’t fun or well-intentioned, just perhaps ill-timed. After all, most students are busy wrapping up projects and tests before finals next week, but for those who perhaps unwittingly attended the party, they were treated to an…interesting time.

Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” is a classic in my opinion, but even I cringed that one time I heard it at Luby’s. Location, location, location.

So when the student duo and University Co-op’s Texas Revue 2011 winners Eric and Olivia busted out a soulful rendition of Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” on a beautiful and sunny May afternoon, it felt uncomfortable. When they went into “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, it really did feel like the sun wanted to disappear. It wasn’t bad, per se, just really, really awkward given the setting.

In fact, Eric and Olivia are quite righteous, as you can see in their clip from the Texas Revue, but Olivia’s sultry voice is more apt for a smoky bar and a whiskey & coke. Which is why I suggest catching them Friday night when they will be playing at the Spider House Café.

DJ Dub Zero performed in between the three student bands’ sets, and while his music would definitely work at a fraternity party, the wompy bass had a pair of Jason Statham stunt doubles glaring at the DJ booth for most of the afternoon.

But it’s certainly easy to see why RecSports would want to celebrate its facilities, especially in such beautiful weather. For the alumni who haven’t toured Gregory in a few decades, they would be shocked at how luxurious it has become.

The indoor amenities (climbing walls, sleek racquetball courts, a myriad of exercise equipment, and yes, even A/C) pale in comparison to the outdoor scenescape, with its wading-pool chaise lounges, palm trees, and spacious pools. It honestly looks like a resort in Playa Del Carmen, and it’s obvious why the TV show “Friday Night Lights” used it as the setting for a recruiting visit: beautiful people hanging out in a beautiful oasis.

Splash Bash is hard to describe, because not a whole lot actually occurred. There were people there, but they were sunning; there was music there, but it wasn’t fitting. It was good, except it didn’t really happen.

But to DJ Dub Zero: you can play at my fraternity any time you feel like it. And to Eric and Olivia, I would gladly buy y’all a few whiskey & cokes, so long as it’s in a low-lit drinking hole on a Friday night.



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