High School Nation Visits Viking Nation

Oscar Flores and Jasmine Fernandez

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  • Singing along in the crowd at Downey’s first ever “Coachella” hosted by High School Nation, Jayleen Torres, 12, is with her friends having a blast front and center on Mar. 31. “The experience was fun, outrageous, and once in a lifetime,” Torres said. “Meeting the Plain White T’s was one of my favorite parts and just being able to have fun with my friends.”

  • On stage performing with her band, Crimson Apple, bassist Carthi Benson plays for the students of Downey High School at High School Nation’s 2019 Tour on Mar. 31. The Benson sisters grew up in Hawaii and moved to the big city of Los Angeles where they now write, play, and rehearse their music.

  • Singing on the stage at High School Nation’s 2019 Tour on Mar. 31, Kerri Menders has been touring with them for a few weeks and is also on the Netflix show, “Alexa & Katie”.

  • All the way from Argentina, one of the singers from MYA, Agus Bernasconi, performs for the students of Downey High School on Mar. 31.

  • Playing bass for the Plain White T’s, Mike Dyer jumps in the air, rocking out to the beat on the stage at Downey High School’s field.

  • During High School Nation’s 2019 Tour, drummer of Crimson Apple, Faith Benson, points to the camera while jamming to the rhythm of the music on Mar. 31.

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As a part of their country-wide tour across the U.S, High School Nation stopped by Downey High School for a concert during fifth period on March 29.  The concert was a surprise to the majority of the staff, with administration being notified two days prior to the event and the student body a day before the concert.

 

Labeled as a “Coachella for schools”, the concert featured numerous artists, with headliners consisting of The Plain White T’s and Crimson Apple, while other bands played on a smaller stage near the back of the Allen Layne Stadium field.

 

Retro Color, a small-town band that originated in Temecula, brought with them their pop-rock sensibilities to the school’s concert.  Debuting their new album, “You’ll be Okay”, brothers Ethan and Jeremy Kregel discuss how they joined the tour and their overall experience.

 

“Our manager actually hooked us up with the tour; that was the first time we heard of it and we’ve been following it on IG [Instagram] ever since then,” the Kregel brothers stated. “This is our first time doing it [a tour] and it’s probably one of the best things we’ve ever done and one of the biggest steps we’ve taken.”

The concert not only gave small-town performers a platform to showcase their music, but also created a space in which DHS students could relax and refrain from their responsibilities.  A majority of the funding and support came from the brands attached to the tour such as Hollister, Hubert’s Lemonade, and Guitar Center.

 

Throughout the show, students were given free food, drinks, and items such as tote bags as a small memento of the day. Other activities were available for them, with Guitar Center exhibiting keyboards and opening them up for use, and Wienerschnitzel offering a ping pong table and photobooth as their main attraction.

 

Students such as Yaneli Delgado, 12, enjoyed the various options High School Nation had at the concert, whether it was for leisure or fun.

 

“No, I didn’t expect it to be as big as it was; I expected it to be smaller and have some small booths but then it had actual stages,” Delgado said. “My favorite part of the concert would be the fact that they had free tickets [for some games] because I won.”

 

The concert came to a close shortly after students were dismissed at 2:50pm.  Reflecting on the day’s concert, indie pop singer/songwriter Morgan Karr, better known as Morgxn, emphasizes the mantra he lives by and leaves a message behind for Downey High’s student body.

 

“I believe all people are unique and vital and important to the world and I believe people should be able to express themselves in whatever way they want,” Karr stated.  “I imagine that when you are in high school, you have all of these people telling you what you should be doing and how you should be acting so when you first come out to something like this, it’s cool seeing other people let their guard down.”

 

High School Nation’s concert at Downey High was one out of 35 visits they made to schools across California, Arizona, and Texas.  The 11-week tour will be hosting its final festival on May 3 in Houston, Texas. To find out more about the organization and their past projects, their information can be found at: http://www.highschoolnation.com/news