Review: Stephen Sanchez Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Bethany Macwana, Staff

Feb. 16 – World Café Live, Philadelphia 

“Hold her while you can, cause someday you won’t get the chance.” 

Walking hand in hand with one of my dearest friends, we make our way down to the World Café Live, ready to enter the world of Stephen Sanchez. The World Café Live might very well be one of the coolest live music venues in the city. This space, which runs as an independent, non-profit, music venue was very neat. The main floor was stocked with a full bar with little bar stools around it. This area overlooks the pit, with the stage set up by the front of the room. Above the bar area, there was a balcony that overlooked the whole space. 

My friend and I went to the pit, and we were right in the middle, but all the way in the back. Even though we seemed far from the stage, the venue was not too big, so we felt pretty close. There was a wide range of people in the crowd, from college age students, to older couples there for a Valentine’s date night, to even younger children tagging along with their parents. Even though this was my first time at this venue, it felt comfortable and familiar to me. My friend and I passed the time talking with each other and catching up before the opening act took the stage. It had been a very long time since we had hung out, so it felt nice to fall back into our own rhythm together again.  

Before long, the lights dimmed and the opening act Kings Elliot took the stage. Her songs were melancholic as most of them were based on her personal experience with mental health. I did not even realize that she was going to be the opening act, but I am really glad that she was because I really loved her sound. Clear and crisp, her voice carried throughout the space and filled the room. Even though her songs were more of a serious nature, they were definitely songs that stuck with me and something that I would add to my playlist.  

Soon the atmosphere changed, and I knew it was going to be time to see the headliner of the show: Stephen Sanchez. The lights dimmed once again, and these round lights on the stage began to shine and they were pretty bright, like a dazzling glow. Soon, the main act himself burst onto the stage. I could tell at that moment that Stephen was a born performer. He immediately captivated the audience with his smooth voice, high energy, and lovable personality. I knew then that this was going to be a great show, and it only got better.  

Once he wrapped up the first couple songs, he threw his guitar pick into the crowd, but everyone was too mesmerized by him, no one really noticed. Except me. I bent down, turned my flashlight on, and right by my foot, I saw it! His guitar pick! It was a surreal moment; I really felt like I was the main character. However, truthfully, I felt like I wanted to give it to someone else. Standing next to me and my friend were a teenage couple and since Valentine’s Day had just passed, I figured “love in the air” and gave the pick to the girl, after I was able to give it a kiss and grab a quick picture with it.  

Stephen did a great job engaging with the crowd. He sampled one of his new songs “Only Girl,” and even taught the crowd the chorus so we could all sing along with him. Some other sweet songs he sang were “Hold Her While You Can,” “Lady by the Sea” and the song that blew up on TikTok, “Until I Found You.” His energy went all over the place, from a soft crooning lovey dovey voice, to jumping around the stage with his guitar in hand. In between songs, it was cute to see Stephen hug his bandmates and show his appreciation for them.  

Something that I also enjoyed during the show was towards the end. His band went off-stage, and Stephen played a few songs by himself with just his guitar. It was a nice change of space, without the flashy lights or heavy guitar or drums. Just hearing him have full control of his voice as he serenaded the crowd. During this time, it was sweet to see the couples hold onto each other and sway to his pretty voice.  

Although it was sad to see the show end, it was so magical. The venue had a disco ball, and it was so cool to see an actual disco ball shine and glitter during the last few songs. This was my first being in the presence of an actual disco ball and I am so happy I got to experience it. It really was the icing on the cake. It was the perfect ending to a really fun concert. Even though Stephen Sanchez is just at the starting line of his career, I can tell he is going to stick around for a while and I am excited to see where he goes from here. 

My 10 Least Favorite Songs of 2022

Arts & Entertainment

Chude Uzoka-Anofienem, Staff 

2022 felt like a weird year for music to me. It seemed like every song that I’d hear on the radio, I was thinking to myself, “who the heck is this?”, making me feel as out of touch as the older adults in my life who say, “you’re the only way I hear about new music.” The fact that I’m still listening to radio is probably part of the problem, but basically what happens is a song gets popular on TikTok, and then makes the rounds on Spotify, which gets it to chart on Billboard, and then it starts to receive radio airplay. A month later, your mom’s in the car singing along to a song your favorite TikToker used in their video and now it’s not cool anymore. There were lots of songs this year that I liked (Silk Sonic being my favorite act that delivered this year), but there were lots that I could do without. 

Before I get into the actual list, here are some dishonorable mentions:

Big Energy by Latto

Sweetest Pie by Dua Lipa & Megan Thee Stallion 

pushin P by Gunna & Future ft. Young Thug

Fingers Crossed by Lauren Spencer Smith

Broadway Girls by Lil Durk ft. Morgan Wallen

Bet On Me by Walk off the Earth ft. D Smoke

Music for a Sushi Restaurant by Harry Styles

She Likes It by Russell Dickerson ft. Jake Scott

Made You Look by Meghan Trainor 

#10 Woman by Doja Cat 

Review: Doja Cat album stumbles at first but finishes strong | AP News
via Kemosabe Records

When I first heard this song, I thought, “What’s a ‘wooma’”? Turns out she’s putting on weird Patois, which is about as out-of-place as me “axing you question, no cap!” Doja Cat, born in Los Angeles to a Jewish mom and a South African dad, is trying to sound like she’s from the Caribbean, when the closest island she was born to was Santa Cruz. Now it’s no secret that Doja Cat is trying to sound like Rihanna, as in the song she says, “I could be the CEO, just look at Robyn Fenty.” Doja, it’s okay. We don’t need a replacement for Ri-Ri. Truth be told, I really didn’t miss her.

#9 Super Gremlin by Kodak Black


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via Atlantic Records

I have never, for the life of me, been able to understand the appeal of this guy. His flow is nasal and slurred, his writing is sloppy, and I can never get over his voice. He sounds like a coclique baby crying itself to sleep. ZEZE, the one song from him that I can stomach, was saved by the steel drums and contributions from Travis Scott and Offset. Kodak Black, who gets in trouble with the law about as often as I get gas, had the ninth most popular song of 2022 and it doesn’t really do much to impress me in any way. The chipmunk vocal sample grew on my nerves in record time, the trap beat is completely hackneyed, we get several poop references throughout the song, and he talks about taking fake drugs, which can lead to at best the worst trip of your life and at worst a surprise OD. Apparently, this song is a diss track towards somebody named Jackboy, who’s a member of Kodak Black’s Sniper Gang crew, but the lines are so interspersed with the bragging that I could hardly notice. Kodak Black frames himself here as a troubled antihero who’s on a redemption arc, which is always essential for a flimsy justification for defending him. When it comes to this song and gremlins in general, I’d like a little sunlight.

#8 Boyfriend by Dove Cameron

Boyfriend (Dove Cameron song) - Wikipedia
via Columbia Records

From what I’ve been able to gather, Dove Cameron is kind of like this generation’s Miley Cyrus, but on a much smaller scale. Whereas Miley Cyrus skyrocketed to fame as a child star with Hannah Montana and then went on to have 8 top ten hits as an adult, Cameron was on a show where she played her own twin and then played Maleficent’s daughter in a made-for-TV movie and then……this. In this song, she sees a girl who’s with this jerk of a guy (we have to assume) and thinks she can treat her better, in a sort of gender-swapped version of Shawn Mendes’ “Treat You Better”. It sounds like it was made in some smokey lounge and then they invited an EDM artist to completely ruin the afterparty.

“Never would have left you alone/ For someone else to take you home.”

This just seals the deal. That girl’s all by herself, because her man stepped away from her for a few seconds and Cameron thinks she’s fair game to be taken home by someone else. Let’s all thank Dove Cameron for showing everyone that a bi girl can be just as big a sex pest as a frat guy. 

#7 I Ain’t Worried by OneRepublic

I Ain't Worried - Wikipedia
via Interscope Records

I don’t have much to say here. OneRepublic is a band that I don’t really care too much for. Ryan Tedder’s falsetto is something that I can tolerate from time to time. “Feel It Still” did grow on me, but this song feels like your short window of time is running out and you’re desperate for something to hold people’s attention – which is echoed in the melodic key progression. It feels like it’s trying to diffuse into some tension, but never reaches that point, only remaining in limbo and stagnation.

#6 Bring Back the Time by NKOTB and a bunch of old goobers from yesteryear

Bring Back The Time (Single) | New Kids On The Block -
via Columbia Records

This may have been funny a few years ago, but it’s just sad now. In 2018, these guys released a song called “80s Baby”, which is pretty much the same as this just with different guest stars. This time, the Old Kids On the Porch teamed up with Rick Astley, En Vogue and Salt-N-Pepa for what is the musical equivalent of attending your twenty year high school reunion and then attending your twenty-five year high school reunion while telling the same stories. I’d like to mention that every year, the NKOTB have a cruise, where people who lost their looks a long time ago can spend a week on a boat in hopes that a half-drunk Donnie Wahlberg can sing to them one more time. 

“So Bring Back the Time/You know we still got the magic”

Yeah, keep telling yourself that, whatever helps you sleep at night.

#5 TO THE MOON by JNR Choi and Sam Tompkins

To the Moon (song) - Wikipedia
via Twitter

This song begins with an abbreviated cover of Bruno Mars’ ‘Talking to The Moon’ by UK singer-songwriter Sam Tompkins, whose crooning strips the song of R&B flavor. Since drill uses samples in this vein, and adds huge percussion over it, we have UK drill rapper JNR Choi, who dropped an album last year that hardly got any attention. On this song, he seems to be doing his best Pop Smoke impression and the song goes viral because the catchphrase ‘to the moon’ is common in the crypto scene. I mean, the cover single is literally a screenshot of Elon Musk tweeting it. Capitalizing on current trends would be enough to dislike this, but the drill beat is painfully sterile, and this guy JNR doesn’t acquit himself well at all. It’s a generic love and sex song and naturally it got an American remix, with Fivio Foreign and Gunna delivering more bland garbage. So, let’s be clear here: this song got popular because of a bad cover, an even worse remix and a crypto meme. This is less like Apollo 11 and more like Apollo 1 or 13, completely worthless.

#4 High by The Chainsmokers

High (The Chainsmokers song) - Wikipedia
via Columbia Records

After releasing new singles consistently from 2014 to 2019, The Chainsmokers took a three-year hiatus. Why would DJs who make music for people to dance to might not have put out any music during a pandemic, when lots of clubs were closed down? Who knows. But during the break, they spent a lot of time listening to the Arctic Monkeys. A lot of the songs seems to be reminiscent of that era. The song is about being an enabler to an addict who can’t change. Feel like there are some comparisons to be made to people who still listen to The Chainsmokers, despite the fact that even though they suck, they just can’t help themselves. Remember when they used to get singers like Halsey and Daya? They need to do that again, because—seriously they spent three years doing nothing—they couldn’t take a couple singing lessons. Nah, just overproduce the vocals and mask it with an awful beat and we’re good to go. I could say that people could only love this song when they’re high, but I don’t believe for a second that any drug would make this tolerable.

#3 h2hoe by cupcakKe

cupcakKe – H2hoe Lyrics | Genius Lyrics
via cupcakKe


Uhhhh, yeah, I can’t really type the lyrics to this song without having to delete it anyway. Anyway, for those who aren’t familiar with “cupcakKe”, (try not to cut yourself on the edge) her whole gimmick is that she’s a shock rapper. The “throw the GPS, make him come the fastest route” line made me laugh a bit, even if it is super clumsy. Honestly, I’m trying to say something about this song that won’t get me in trouble with my editor. Even though I really hate the cadence of this song, the worst part is that flute/recorder thing in the background. What is that? Overall, this song is just gratuitous for the sake of being gratuitous. It’s not particularly clever and there’s no message here, just her trying to say as many vulgar things as she can in three minutes to make a sixteen-year old’s laugh. If the goal was to expose the double standard of men being allowed to talk about sex whereas women aren’t, that would’ve been ok if Cardi B and Nicki Minaj didn’t already do this and showed the world that no one really cares outside of prudes who look like they avert their eyes whenever their wives take their socks off. I think this song is just as stupid and pointless as the rap songs about sex by men that I’ve made fun of in the past. 

Bandz a Make Her Dance - Wikipedia
via Kemosabe Records; This song by three men is just as derivative as the CupcakKe song.

#2 Rich Flex and Privileged Rappers by Drake & 21 Savage

Her Loss - Wikipedia
via OVO Sound and Republic Records

That’s right, it’s a two-way tie, but they both get the Rick Ross award for Fakest Rapper.

“Ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy

I’m on that Slaughter Gang sh!t, ayy, murder gang sh!t

Ayy, Slaughter Gang sh!t, ayy, murder gang sh!t, ayy”

I have a question for just about every rapper out there. Why do you let Drake get away with this? Is it because he’s so popular? That every time he releases an album every song from it is in the Top 20? Do you want to be nice to him so he might feature you and be left with the sloppy seconds from his Spotify pennies? If that’s not it, then why do you let him pretend he’s such a hard gangster when he’s an actor from Canada who has a career as a rapper because Lil Wayne was high on cough syrup and said he could be on Young Money. I mean, I get it, lots of rappers are full of it. Eazy-E, one of the grandfathers of Gangsta Rap, sold drugs and then became a rapper because he felt it was an easier way to make money. I get some of it’s an act. However, a lot of them came up in rough neighborhoods and they can rap about what happened to their friends or family. Drake grew up in a country that has an average of 145-gun homicides a year. A YEAR! And he’s talking about being “on that Slaughter Gang sh!t” and “chrome on chrome”. Get – and I can’t stress this enough – outta here with that! Then he has the gall to release a song called “Privileged Rappers” and it’s NOT about how easy he had it. In fact, he says this: “I hate a privileged rapper who don’t even know what it take”. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! You’re a privileged rapper, Aubrey! And I know Drake stans will be saying, “but didn’t you see that post from his first show?”

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via Instagram

This made the rounds on social media last October. He got paid $100 as the opener for a show in Toronto. You know who he opened for? ICE CUBE! Tell me who, in their first show, gets to be the opening act for a LEGEND. How does that happen without connections or privilege? Drake has so little self-awareness, he couldn’t tell you where his elbow is. Maybe next year he can write a song about how he hates Canadian rappers who had a friend whose dad was an acting agent which led to them doing over 100 episodes of TV, then had two uncles in the music industry and was able to somehow open for Ice Cube and then almost immediately, start working with Lil Wayne, who was the hottest rapper of the mid-to-late 2000s. It’s a real shame this man bought a $100,000,000 mansion and it didn’t come with a single mirror.

#1 ABCDEFU by Gayle

ABCDEFU - Wikipedia
via Atlantic Records

This song was released in 2021, but it didn’t blow up until February 2022, peaking at #3 on Billboard off the strength of angry teenage girls discovering it and using it in the TikToks to help them get through their funny little teenage breakups. Everything about this song is just horrendous. From the vocal fry singing to the lyrics where she outs herself as materialistic and self-centered. She’s mad that he has a relationship with his family, and I hate that basic guitar they buried in the instrumental so they could pretend this is a “rock” song. Finally, the whole reciting the alphabet gimmick is just childish. If “Numb Little Bug” was baby’s first ennui, then this is baby’s first teenage angst. It also goes without, but the sequence of letters in the title doesn’t spell anything. If you want to spell things, how about O N E – H I T  W O N D E R. Since releasing this song, she’s released five more; none of them charted. Her first EP debuted two months after this song’s peak success, hitting #138 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. The slot above was Bob Seger’s Greatest Hits album. That’s right, her debut album got beat that week by a CD they’ve been selling at truck stops since before she was even born. Last but not least, I’d like to cap it off with this. She says “that sh!t you call art”. There’s an old saying Gayle, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw steaming piles of barely coherent, poorly produced, ultimately unlistenable pieces of excrement.

Review: Suki Waterhouse Concert 

Arts & Entertainment

Bethany Macwana, Staff 

“I follow the neon signs to your heart.” 

The electric buzz in the air immediately surged through me as I walked through the doors of Union Transfer, a concert venue in Spring Garden. Union Transfer is one of the many live music venues in Philadelphia. On January 27, I had the unbelievable chance to see British singer-songwriter Suki Waterhouse perform a sold-out show. 

Suki’s voice sounded comforting, yet innovative. Her melodies and harmonies became amplified by the edge found in the rock-pop element she brings to the table. Seeing her was really just a stroke of good timing. I was on the phone with my sister talking about the idea of doing more things in the city, and I told her about the concert. She jumped to action and found out some tickets were still left for the show. I grabbed my wallet and, probably in the span of 5 minutes, two tickets were secured. This happened about three days before the show, so the excitement within me was very high. This being my first show of 2023, I was super excited. 

Having my sister come down for the weekend to hang out with me and to see the show was really sweet. It had been a while since I have seen her or have spent time with her, so going to a concert together was a neat experience. 

The walls of Union Transfer have seen a lot before becoming the beloved music venue that it is today. In the past, this space was utilized as a luggage storehouse for a baggage company. The current space has been renovated since. The exterior looked like just about any other regular building you would find, but the interior took the cake. I loved the high ceilings with the exposed beams and the chandeliers that created the ambiance of close gatherings and good times. There was a bar towards the back and even loft areas on the top catwalk, so people could stand and watch the show from a bird’s eye perspective. 

Me, on the other hand, I enjoyed the vibrancy of being in the pit alongside the pool of people surged to the front, mere feet away from the stage. In this tighter space, I felt like I connected better to the music and the true experience of seeing and hearing live performances. Being alongside so many people reminded me of the reach that music has. The general audience of the crowd were mostly people that looked like me, young college students, but there were some people that seemed older too. It reminded me that even if we all look so different, we were there together for one reason, and that is the beauty that is found in music. 

The opening act, Blondshell, started the night on the right foot, welcoming the crowd and leading us into a lull with her sweet voice. I especially liked her song “Olympus.” Definitely give it a listen. Blondshell’s set was the perfect length, long enough to get you in the mood and also preparing yourself for the true show, the headliner. Once Blondshell wrapped up their set, the anticipation within me was heightened. My sister and I were able to get close to the front, but we were on the left side of the pit, so we saw everything from a side angle. Paired with the fact that I am a little on the shorter side, it was not the most ideal spot, but since we were still so close to the front, I would not want to move anywhere else. 

The moment that Suki came onto stage, my heart nearly leapt out of my chest. Up until this moment, I did not really know what to expect, but she truly captivated the audience with her grace, powerful voice, and sweetness. Suki’s charming nature was evident as she participated in someone’s BeReal and took photos on the stage in between songs. She was so happy to just be there and that made the whole night even sweeter. I loved hearing her perform one of my favorite songs “Melrose Meltdown”, and even other great ones like, “Nostalgia” and the namesake of the tour “Coolest Place in the World.” 

The absolute most incredible moment during the show was when she looked at me. Okay, this can be debatable, but I promise you, Suki Waterhouse, and yours truly locked eyes during the performance, and she did not break eye contact either! Our gazes held one another for a good 10 seconds, at least, while she sang. At this moment, I could have just melted. Seeing an artist that I grew so fond of and for her to see me, in a sea of people, I do not think there could be anything more fantastic than that. 

The night ended with Suki performing her song that blew up on TikTok a while back, “Good Looking,” and before I knew it, the multicolor lights dimmed, and the chandelier lights came back on. The past two hours that I was there felt like it happened in a blur, but I felt this serendipitous state of mind. I felt like I was just on cloud nine, and I felt so happy. My sister left to grab her coat from coat check, and I even got a chance to meet the opening act’s lead singer Sabrina! 

The night ended from there, but the memories will stay with me forever. I am going to my grave, fully believing that in those brief 10 seconds, Suki Waterhouse serenaded me during her amazing performance in Philly. 

Campus Couture – Top 10 Oscars Red Carpet Looks of All Time

Arts & Entertainment

Keri Marable, Staff

Welcome to Campus Couture, a segment of La Salle TV’s Backstage Pass brought to the Collegian, talking about all things fashion at La Salle. For Campus Couture’s first fashion coverage in the Collegian, Campus Couture’s team of editors has selected the Top 10 Oscars red carpet looks of all time.

Zendaya – Valentino 2021

At the top of our list, we have Zendaya wearing a vibrant lemon-yellow Valentino Haute Couture gown that went viral on social media. The actress, who presented the Oscar for Best Original Score, stunned in an outfit inspired by Cher that she paired with  183 carats Bulgari diamonds. Valentino said on Instagram that the chiffon dress was custom designed by their Creative Director, and it took artisans 300 hours to produce. The Italian label also revealed that the gown has its own name: Force de beauté, or force of beauty.

Cher – Bob Mackie 1974

Looking at the inspiration for that Valentino dress worn by Zendaya, Cher had show-stopping looks at every Academy Award show she attended. The 1974 Oscars was when Cher was promoting her self-titled album and had recently separated from Bono. Once again, wearing Bob Mackie, her staple designer, she wore a floral sarong-style dress skirt with a wrap-tie bralette and matching floral corsages around the neck and pinned up into her hair. Her stylist also brought the color palette of the dress into her beautiful look through her lilac eyeshadow, and plum-shaded blush.

Lady Gaga – Alexander McQueen 2019

Taking it forward to 2019, we have another iconic singer in another iconic look. Lady Gaga wore Alexander Mcqueen at the 2019 Oscars, where she won an award for Best Original Song after her duet, “Shallow,” in the movie “A Star is Born,” topped the charts that year. Lady Gaga’s stylist reported that they were going for a timeless look, taking inspiration from the silhouette of Marilyn Monroe’s dress in the movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” as well as adding a diamond necklace last worn by Audrey Hepburn in promotional photos for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The yellow diamond stone of the necklace is called the Tiffany diamond and is one of the most famous pieces the company has ever created. 

Audrey Hepburn – Givenchy 1975

Let’s look at the one and only, Audrey Hepburn, who Lady Gaga’s necklace paid homage to. In most of her iconic fashion moments both on- and off-screen, Audrey was wearing Givenchy. She and Hubert de Givenchy met in their mid-20s. Their friendship and professional partnership spanned over 40 years. He designed her first Oscars dress, the black satin gown she wears in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and a pink jersey dress for her wedding day. She once said that Givenchy’s creations always gave her a sense of security and confidence, and her work went more easily knowing that she looked “absolutely right.” This Givenchy dress with intricate beading and a modest cutout at the 1975 Oscars is at the top of our list.

Lupita Nyong’o – Prada 2014

On the topic of Tiffany’s- topping many magazine and news outlets’ Best Dressed lists, Lupita Nyong’o stunned the fashion world with her custom tiffany-blue silk Prada look at the 2014 Oscars, which she later described as a “Nairobi blue” in honor of where she grew up in Kenya. This look was everywhere in the news and on social media, and for good reason. Lupita looks like an effortless and ethereal Cinderella in this light and airy pleated gown with a deep v-neck top and low-cut sides. She paired the dress with Fred Leighton jewels, satin Prada platform sandals, and a matching Prada clutch with baguette crystal detail, framed in gold to go along with the award she won for Best Supporting Actress that night. 

Elizabeth Taylor – Edith Head 1953

In another fairytale look, Elizabeth Taylor attended the Oscars in 1953 wearing a dress fit for a princess. The actress chose an elaborate light pink ruffled corset dress for the event, which is thought to be designed by Edith Head. This dress was appraised in 2011 at an event in Minneapolis, MN, on the show “Antique Roadshow” of the PBS channel. 

Grace Kelly – Givenchy 1955

Fellow queen of the silver screen and real-life Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly wore an Edith Head original when she won Best Actress for “The Country Girl” at the 1955 Oscars. Grace Kelly’s custom gown cost $4,000 to make in 1955. At that time,  it was the most expensive Oscar dress ever. According to Elle Magazine, Designer Edith Head described the hue as “blue champagne.” While A-list stars of today consider outfit repeating a faux-pas, Grace wore her Oscar dress for three different occasions: for a Life Magazine cover, for the premiere of “The Country Girl” movie, and finally for the Oscars. It went on to become one of the most memorable gowns in Academy Awards history. 

Sandra Oh – Elie Saab 2020

Next on our list, Sandra Oh walked the 2020 Oscars red carpet wearing a champagne-colored Elie Saab gown. The dress had a plunging neckline and a dramatic open back. The long dress featured thousands of sequins and the gown’s sleeves had large, sculptural, floral-esque bunches of tulle and lace from shoulder to elbow. The 3-D elements of the sleeves were mirrored all along the bottom of the gown’s skirt, making Sandra look like royalty. She paired the gown with a gold velvet bow belt, jeweled hoop earrings, a silver ring on one hand, and several thick chain bracelets on the other. Fashion bloggers listing it on their worst dresses of that year criticized the gown for being “too much,” but with a strong and bright personality like Sandra’s, she easily pulls it off. 

Halle Berry – Elie Saab 2002

Another Elie Saab gown making Campus Couture’s Top 10 List is the one Halle Berry wore when she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002 for her role in “Monster’s Ball.” This dress was so popular it even has its own Wikipedia page! A poll in The Daily Telegraph ranked this dress as the eighth greatest red-carpet gown of all time. Cosmopolitan also cited it as one of the best and most well-known Oscar dresses in history. Variety Magazine’s Complete Book of Oscar Fashion mentioned how it had “fashion critics raving for days.” Designer Elie Saab spoke with Australian Vogue about becoming a household name after Halle Berry wore this dress, saying “Halle Berry made the name Elie Saab more popular. She managed to really put the name Elie Saab on the international market. Halle Berry was the first woman of color to win an Oscar. It was elegant and daring and chic. I think this moment was a very exceptional moment for cinema.”

Charlize Theron – Gucci by Tom Ford 2004

Finally, we have Charlize Theron wearing Gucci at the 2004 Oscars, where she took home the award for “Best Actress” for her role in the movie “Monster.” Charlize wore a spaghetti-strapped, fitted, glittery gown from the Italian fashion house of Gucci. Tom Ford designed the dress when he was still the Creative Director of Gucci, but now he is well known for his own brand under his name. This dress, with its daring front slit and flowing train, made fashion history and is included in many best Oscar dress lists.

And that is Campus Couture’s top 10 Oscars red carpet looks! If you’d like to hear more about all things entertainment, be sure to follow Backstage Pass on Instagram @backstagepassLTV and stay tuned to find out the next time you can get your backstage pass to fashion on campus with Campus Couture!

“Don’t Worry Darling” & Other Film/TV News

Arts & Entertainment

Sophia Conte, Staff

From the concert stage to the movie set, Harry Styles stars in Don’t Worry Darling and the question on my mind is can Harry Styles act? Do fans even care? Well, if you saw Don’t Worry Darling this weekend, you probably have some of those answers. The film is directed by Olivia Wilde and stars Styles, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine and Gemma Chan. With a budget of $35 million, and a press tour mired by rumors of drama between director Olivia Wilde and star Florence Pugh along with wild speculation over photos of Styles potentially spitting on co-star Chris Pine from the Venice Film Festival. Between bad press and average pre-release ratings, the film did well in its first weekend, grossing $19.2 million from Friday to Sunday. Facing Don’t Worry Darling this past weekend was The Woman King which was on its second weekend in theaters, and the re-released highest grossing film in history, James Cameron’s Avatar

Warner Bros. Pictures

Another film playing in theaters this past weekend was horror movie Barbarian, directed by Zach Cregger. The film stars Georgina Campbell and IT actor Bill Skarsgård. Barbarian is in its third week since its release, on Sept. 9th. Moving towards the gruesome is Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, released on Sept. 21st . Directed and written by Ryan Murphy, who is also famous for his creation of Glee and American Horror Story, the Dahmer series stars an AHS actor, Evan Peters. Eating while watching this series is not recommended. 

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Disney fans got a glimpse of The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey. Unfortunately, some people were, let’s face it, racist concerning their issues about the casting of Halle Bailey who will play the first black Ariel. Most comments and discourse came from the popular social media app, TikTok, where people voiced how the casting choice was not “biologically accurate” for the fantastical, made-up creature, that we call a mermaid. Also generating controversy over diverse casting, is Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power show which is placed inside The Lord of the Rings universe. Overall with 25 million people watching the first two episodes upon its release, the series is doing well even though it places women and people of color in the forefront of its narrative.

Movies that got me through this year: A retrospective

Arts & Entertainment

Anthony Pantalone, Staff

In the spirit of the school year ending, it felt appropriate to look backwards instead of getting on my soapbox and talking about any new movies. These thoughts simply reflect the impact these films had on me within the last two semesters. Without further ado, let’s jump into it.

1. The “Before” trilogy

Back in the fall, I set out to show my roommates Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy for the first time. There is simply nothing like the experience of watching these movies for the first time, and the shared experience of watching them with another person is incredible. “Before Sunrise” is romantic escapism. “Before Sunset”  is a perfect fairytale. “Before Midnight” is the reality of life. All three movies in the trilogy when watched together feel simultaneously entrancing, euphoric and devastating. No movie can quite examine and comment on experiences of love, hope, regret, heartbreak and aging using the progression of time like these films do. 

2. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” / “The Worst Person in the World”

I had written about these two movies already, but they deserve some type of mention again. I saw “The Worst Person in the World” in February and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” in April, and both have stayed with me long after watching them. It’s an incredible feeling to watch a film and instantaneously know that you are watching something made with so much talent and love. I’ve sung their praises so much in prior reviews, so there isn’t much more to add.

3. “Spider-Man: No Way Home”

All autumn, we counted down the days to “No Way Home.” Rumors had been swirling for months about Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. The excitement of my friends was palpable even though the movie’s release date coincided with finals week. For me personally, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was the perfect catharsis after a week of exams and a semester of anxiety. Much of my childhood was spent watching the Sam Raimi “Spider-Man” movies with my sister, and getting to see these characters on the big screen again with her sitting next to me was amazing. The reason that Spider-Man resonates with so many people is that everyone can see themselves in Peter Parker. A normal person with a good heart who simply wishes to do better than before and help others. Therefore, a movie that essentially functions as a massive celebration of Spider-Man is bound to hold a special place in the hearts of so many, including myself.

Marvel Studios

4. “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

I had been intending to watch Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” for the past few years but never got around to it. In early January, I finally dedicated an entire evening to watching this movie, and I was lucky to have such foresight. I couldn’t do anything afterwards. My eyes stared at the TV for at least ten minutes as I simply tried to process what I watched and how I felt. It is everything that a romantic slow burn should be with meditative pacing that eventually quietly explodes. It’s a movie that isn’t loud at all but somehow still produces the profound effect of a loud, in-your-face movie on the viewer. During the final scene and shot, my chest even felt tight, and my breathing became noticeable. Either Sciamma is a true master of her craft, or I was experiencing a minor heart attack.

Lillies Films

5. “Dune”

In October, on a whim with friends I saw “Dune” on opening night in IMAX and have thus decided not to watch it again. Not because I didn’t like the movie. No, no, I adored it. Just, there is no way I would be able to ever come near that particular viewing experience of this Frank Herbert adaptation ever again. “Dune” is the type of film that someone needs to watch on the biggest screen they can find. It cleaned up at the Oscars in the technical categories and for good reason. My only complaint would be that my theater was also 4D, so sand kept getting in my slushie.

Review: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Arts & Entertainment

Anthony Pantalone, Staff

Writing about “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is not easy. I write this openly and honestly when I say that words make it difficult to describe this film. Words make it difficult to even describe the experience of watching it in a theater. I laughed a lot. I cried a lot. I audibly said “What?” a lot. Therefore, the only word that comes to mind when thinking about the latest cinematic effort by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert is ‘triumph.’ Between its acting, directing, editing and, most of all, its screenplay, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” represents a creative triumph on all fronts. In the same way that the Daniels wrote this screenplay as a response to the worsening postmodern state of the world after 2016, its hopefulness and meta-modernism take a stand against nihilism. The important thing to know about this movie though is that nothing can prepare you for the experience of watching it. Whereas I would usually provide a brief plot summary, it genuinely would benefit the viewer to know less going in. I can’t recommend it enough. If there is one movie you watch this year, it should be “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

A24 Studios

Utilizing the Potential of your Cast

One thing this film does extremely well is utilize its cast to the utmost potential of each actor’s star caliber. Michelle Yeoh (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” “Shang-Chi”) leads the film as Evelyn Wang—a role that is both a physical and emotional powerhouse. With an extensive background in Hong Kong kung fu movies, this role allows Yeoh to show off her physical strengths in fight choreography while also producing the dramatic and comedic performance of a lifetime. Alongside Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan especially shines as her husband Waymond Wang. Quan returns to acting in an emotional tour de force performance after famed childhood roles in both “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Quan noted he never actually would have returned to working in front of a camera if not for the cultural milestone of “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018 for Asian actors in prominent leading roles. His performance has easily been my favorite of 2022 so far and likely one of my favorite performances of the past few years. Stephanie Hsu also delivers a great performance that is versatile and threatening while also incredibly heart-breaking. Finally, it’s important to note Jamie Lee Curtis (“A Fish Called Wanda” “Freaky Friday”) who truly embraces her talents as a comedic actor in this film.

A24 Studios

Everything on a Bagel: Insane Absurdism Works

The Daniels overcome issues at the heart of many movies that revel in absurdism or use weird sci-fi concepts like a multiverse by anchoring a strong emotional core to all this insanity. There is a bagel that has quite literally all of existence on it. There is a racoon named “Racacoonie” who controls a chef like the rat in “Ratatouille.” There are scenes where all human beings have hot dogs for fingers. There is also a scene where two rocks talk only through subtitles. But the emotional core of the movie is so well written and weaved throughout every aspect of the story that this scene ended up making me cry. This film goes to crazy places, yet it always stays grounded in the humanity of its characters. The main existential struggles and family trauma of the protagonist always remain at the root of the story’s events despite the absurdism.

Blending Genre

Everything Everywhere All at Once” is especially skillful at blending genres in a way that is not usually executed well in other films. It’s science fiction. It’s a dark comedy. At moments, its fight choreography makes it feel like a kung fu film. At times, it is an emotionally crushing drama. On a basic level, it’s a slice of life movie about doing your taxes. The Daniels in one scene even attempt to pay homage to the moody tension-filled atmosphere of Wong Kar-wai’s romantic masterpiece “In the Mood for Love.” The pure creativity of its screenplay is on display throughout the use of different genres, yet this blend of genre never feels disjointed or works to confuse the audience. Instead, the film embraces a metamodern tapestry of genres to tell a grand narrative about existential anguish, the effects of trauma, and healing.

Review: “C’mon C’mon”

Arts & Entertainment

Anthony Pantalone, Staff 

Everyone wants to feel seen. Everyone wants to feel understood. I don’t think it would be an over-exaggeration to say that a great struggle of life is finding others who truly understand you and truly understanding them in return. Thoughts. Nuanced emotions. Experiences. It’s impossible to fully know anyone and their individualized perception of the world. Every person is left to simply try their absolute best to understand the people in their lives. I like to think that the filmography of Mike Mills intends to at least address and explore this universal struggle and the stresses that result from the “gray spaces” in all human connections. Mills’ writing of characters is always uniquely full of both love and empathy in comparison to many other filmmakers though.

“C’mon C’mon”

“C’mon C’mon” is Mike Mills’ newest film offering for audiences coming off his prior successes — 2016’s “20th Century Women” and 2010’s “Beginners” — and follows a radio journalist, portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker,” “The Master,”) who must care for his nephew Jesse during a family emergency. Phoenix’s character Johnny in his profession as a journalist interviews children across the country regarding their hopes for the future and outlook on life. Johnny is forced to process and mend his own strenuous relationships with his sister and gain perspective on parenthood. Spanning from Los Angeles to New York to New Orleans, Johnny looks after his nephew Jesse while continuing his career and understanding more and more how special his own nephew’s perspective of the world is. Acting as a parent can be incredibly challenging, but the protagonist very emphatically cares about his nephew and is able to forge a strong meaningful bond.

A24 Studios

Mills as a visual filmmaker

With a previous background in graphic art and design, Mills is an auteur that understands the importance of film as a visual medium. His films are always framed well and simply just look good. When speaking to music legend and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, this writer-director talked about how the basis for what “C’mon C’mon” would look like came from this idea of a parent and child walking in space. Many scenes in the movie include this type of shot—whether Johnny and Jesse are walking on a beach in Santa Monica, a busy urban street in New York City, or under a Southern Live Oak tree in Louisiana. Cinematography has played a major role in Mills’ prior films, and “C’mon C’mon” is no exception. Black and white cinematography was used to draw out more sense of the scene and authenticity of the relationships onscreen without the distraction of color for viewers — a feat that Mills achieves with flying colors.

Writing personal connections

A major aspect of Mills’ directorial features has been his incredibly personal connection to each work. “C’mon C’mon” is about this filmmaker’s relationship to his son. “20th Century Women” is primarily based on his mother and his struggle to truly know and understand her in their relationship as mother and son. “Beginners” was written about Mills’ father and his own struggle to know and understand his dad through their relationship as parent and child. Writing about real people, personally, feels somewhat gross and exploitative, but the manner by which Mills always does so is with compassion and love. He does not try to sculpt an image of this person from his life and present them to the audience as he experienced them. Mills instead deftly offers that each individual person is more complex to a degree that is not humanly comprehendible. Each movie is about the struggle and experience of trying to know that person and the profound effect it has had on Mills.

Hosts get into altercation at La Salle TV Awards | Foolegian

Foolegian, Satire

Thin Willy, Celestial Entity

On March 27, 2022, during the live television broadcast of the 30th annual La Salle TV Awards (LTVAs), host of LTV’s game show “Q&A” and LTV producer Gregory Shannon, the then-nominee and eventual winner of the LTV Award for Best Producer, walked onstage and slapped “SportsLine” Producer Isaiah Clark across the face as he presented the LTV Award for Best COM 408 Documentary Feature. Just before, Clark was seen stuffing his face full of mini-M&M’s, Shannon’s favorite snack, at the snack table. Shannon, who has had an on-going addiction to mini-M&M’s during the months following the awards, was initially seen laughing at the joke, rose from the audience, walked onto the stage and slapped Clark in the face. Shannon then returned to his seat and twice shouted, “Keep my mini-M&M’s out your mouth!”

Video footage of the altercation quickly went viral, rapidly accumulating tens of views across multiple platforms and prompting widespread commentary, discussion and debate. It has also inspired several parodies, remixes, memes and jokes.

During the same ceremony, Shannon went on to win the LTV Award for Best Producer for his portrayal of La Salle graduate Jack Rohr in the series “Q&A.” In his acceptance speech, Shannon apologized to the studio and colleagues, but not Clark.

Following public backlash, Shannon issued a formal apology on Instagram and Facebook posts. Shannon referred to his own behavior as “not 100 percent” and “not pushin’ P.” Shannon went on to directly address  Clark: “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Clark. I was out of line; I was off the gloop and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness. Except for in Brooklyn… And Central Jersey, especially Central Jersey.”

Some sugar-addicts have spoken out about how the incident has made them feel worried about the possibility of more confrontations and may be more careful about the snacks they eat at college television award shows. “La Salle TV News” claims this fear stemmed from the unresponsiveness of the umbrella group behind the LTVAs, the Young Broadcasters Academy, just after the incident and felt that the owners of the studio where they might perform may act in a similar manner.

On March 28, 2022, the day after the incident, Young Broadcasters announced that it launched a formal review of the incident. The studio’s board of producers disclosed plans for a full meeting to explore further action and consequences in accordance with their Bylaws, Standards of Funny Men and Philly Law scheduled to take place on the Wednesday following the incident. Jonathan Colella, the Young Broadcasters Co-President, issued a subsequent letter to studio members, noting that he thought the incident was extremely funny and he wants to see Clark be slapped again, but since Clark is also co-president he is being forced to figure out some sort of punishment for Shannon.

Review: “The Worst Person in the World”

Arts & Entertainment

Anthony Pantalone, Staff

Joachim Trier’s 2021 feature “The Worst Person in the World” explores the endless purgatory of a person’s 20s and the uncertainty and crushing anxiety that coincide with the freedom of adulthood. Set in Oslo, Norway, the film follows Julie — portrayed masterfully by Renate Reinsve (“Welcome to Norway,” “Oslow”) — as she waits for her life to start. After dropping out of medical school and switching various career paths, Julie is unsure of what lies ahead. She bounces between career paths in psychology, photography and commentary writing. She finds herself in a relationship with a man in his 40s. At the beginning of the movie, she does not know what preferred shape her life will ever take. The next two hours detail the experiences of the protagonist as she grapples with various relationships, doubts about the future and the pervasive feeling of being stuck.

         Nominated for Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay at this year’s  Academy Awards, the film has already received widespread critical acclaim. While set to face stiff competition from Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car” in the International category, “The Worst Person in the World” may hold a realistic chance of winning Best Original Screenplay. The Cannes Film Festival in summer 2021 even nominated the film for the highly coveted Palme d’Or before awarding it to Julia Ducournau’s “Titane.” Reinsve obtained the Best Actress award at this film competition though — an achievement appropriate for her entrancing performance.

Oslo Pictures

The nomination for Best Screenplay is an inspired choice by the Academy, because the script from Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier easily serves as the film’s strongest quality. Split into a prologue, twelve chapters and an epilogue, each section varies in length and details pivotal moments for the main character traversing her 20s. This story-telling device feels ingenious as it progresses the story forward easily while effectively showing how each character grows over time. The prologue finds the main character pivot from various career paths as she faces indecisions. Each chapter then focuses on a specific period in this young woman’s life and slowly creeps towards a crescendo in the final chapters and epilogue that reveal deeper insights about life and love. As a coming-of-age film, a theater goer already knows the main character will learn an important lesson and undergo a transformation, but Joachim Trier somewhat subverts genre norms with this movie. The screenplay takes the audience on an imaginative route to the film’s finale by making you feel like you are reading chapters in a book about this young person’s struggles. Certain sequences utilize animation and hallucinations, and one scene even shows the main character stopping the world around her. This particular sequence was my personal favorite scene andshows Julie flip a light switch and freeze almost every single person around her in place for an entire day. She then runs through the quiet, sun-soaked streets of Oslo in a moment of jubilation and glee. The rest of the day is spent on a date with a potential love interest with whom she had shared a night years earlier. The scene feels utterly euphoric and overcomes the anguish and regret of youth. When one feels stuck in a career, living situation or relationship, they often somewhat desire to diverge on a different unknown path. There is an underlying desire to try out a new relationship, quit their job or even fundamentally change their life. In reality, a person cannot stop time to find what they actually want before settling down and making a life for themselves. The protagonist does though. Her own freedom from the constraints of mundane life and the opinions of other people reflect the strong desire of many young people to freeze everything and break away from their current life trajectory.

Oslo Pictures

As someone who recently turned 21 and now faces the rest of my 20s laid out before me, the film strikes a terrifyingly relatable chord. It’s difficult to figure out what I should be doing — what to reasonably yearn for within a career or a fulfilling existence. I don’t think I ever truly will know. I also think that no one ever truly does either. This film at least makes me feel less alone in this search. It presents the idea that some fulfillment can be simply found in the journey and not just by reaching a desired destination, career or relationship. It’s a soothing reminder that humans always have the ability to find some semblance of stability throughout the chaos of youthful instability. Julie continuously does not feel secure and stable even though she continuously grows older. Her resistance to getting her life together causes this protagonist to continuously make misguided decisions and view herself as “the worst person in the world.” The inherent doubt and indecision that comes with being an adult must make every young person “the worst in the world” to some degree.