The Daily Trojan, or "DT," is the student newspaper of the University of Southern California. The newspaper is a forum for student expression and is written, edited, and managed by university students. The paper is intended to inform USC students, faculty, and staff on the latest news and provide opinion and entertainment. Student writers, editors, photographers and artists can develop their talents and air their opinions while providing a service to the campus community through the Daily Trojan. Readers can interact with the Daily Trojan by commenting on articles online or writing a letter to the editor.
While there was no lightning on Thursday, thunder erupted inside the Belasco Theater as Imagine Dragons took the stage for an intimate concert with L.A. fans.
The show was first in a four-part virtual reality concert series hosted by Citi, Live Nation and NextVR, and was recorded in VR for fans to enjoy at home.
As the lights dimmed to glimmers of blues, violets and pinks, drummer Daniel Platzman, guitarist Wayne Sermon and bassist Ben McKee appeared. After several booming drum beats, lead singer Dan Reynolds finally appeared to perform the first song of the night, “Thunder.”
Heavy drum beats, electrifying guitar melodies and roaring applause filled the venue as the indie rock band played popular songs throughout its discography. Following “Gold,” Reynolds took a quick break from the music to share an appreciation story about Sermon, whose birthday was on the same night.
“He was born to be a musician,” Reynolds said before resuming with a lively performance of the band’s all-time hit “It’s Time.”
With fan favorites such as “It’s Time,” “Amsterdam,” and “Hear Me,” fans throughout the venue chanted and sang along to every chorus with Imagine Dragons.
A spectrum of colors filled the stage for each song, seemingly resonating with Imagine Dragons’ concept for its upcoming album Evolve. While the band didn’t perform its newest song “Walking the Wire” — which was released the same day — it did play two other songs from the highly anticipated project: “Whatever It Takes” and “Believer.”
Slowing down the pace of the night halfway through the set, Reynolds sang part of “Bleeding Out” as an interlude before leading fans to an emotional rendition of “Demons.”
The band continued to fluctuate between electrifying and emotional songs, keeping fans engaged while also giving them small breaks in between Platzman’s thunderous drumbeats and Reynolds’ habit of belting out every final chorus.
In the final four songs of the night, Imagine Dragons kept fans on their toes by tricking them into thinking the show was over. Perhaps an intentional move to surprise and excite the audience, the trick caused some members in the audience to exit the venue prematurely before the set even ended.
Reynolds thanked fans for their commitment and loyalty over the past eight years and spoke about the band’s upcoming album.
“[Going back home] gave me perspective to look back on everything that’s happened,” Reynolds said. “I’m overwhelmed with appreciation.”
Fans cheered and sang along to the upbeat tune “I Bet My Life” before the entire band left the stage for a couple minutes. Then, Platzman returned to deliver a deafening, yet impressive solo as a prelude to “On Top of the World.”
What could have been a positive ending to the show ended up becoming the build-up to a dramatic, jolting finish to Imagine Dragons’ concert. Multi-colored lights flashed across the stage as the band passionately carried through a captivating performance of “Believer,” the lead single off Evolve.
After a moment of darkness, the show finally came to an end with what was arguably the best performance of the night. A stream of green lights permeated across the stage as Imagine Dragons delivered an extra rock-and-roll rendition of “Radioactive.” The band rocked the night away with a two-minute instrumental segment that pulsated throughout the venue even after the lights dimmed.
While the show only lasted about 90 minutes, Imagine Dragons filled the time with a well-balanced setlist that captivated fans and casual listeners. Reynolds, McKee, Sermon and Platzman all had their own shining moments — something often rare among bands with only one leading vocalist. Moments like Reynolds banging on Platzman’s cymbals or Sermon and Platzman strumming melodies together made the band’s chemistry come to life on stage.
Though it would have perhaps been a more strategic move to preview some of their upcoming songs, Imagine Dragons nonetheless owned the night with passionate deliveries and great fan interaction.
The post Imagine Dragons bring hits to life in Virtual Reality concert appeared first on Daily Trojan.
The women’s volleyball team will open its season against Loyola Marymount.
The Trojans released their 2017 schedule on Thursday, as USC enters the fall looking to build on its 2016 campaign — when the program finished 18-14 in its first season after the graduation of all-time points, kills and aces leader Samantha Bricio.
Head coach Mick Haley’s squad will face numerous challenges during the upcoming campaign. The Trojans are scheduled to play 11 teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season, including four regional finalists. They will also face defending national champions Stanford twice in Pac-12 play.
USC kicks off the year with four non-conference tournaments, beginning with one in Los Angeles against LMU, Michigan and Albany. The Trojans play the Lions at LMU on Aug. 25 to open the season before hosting Michigan at the Galen Center for their home opener.
USC then heads to Omaha, Neb., for the Bluejay Invitational, where the team will take on national quarterfinalist Creighton on its home floor in addition to Northern Iowa and Kentucky.
Finally, the Trojans wrap up their out-of-conference slate with tournaments in Santa Barbara and Maryland. USC locks horns with Arkansas, UCSB and Yale on the West Coast before facing Maryland and Oklahoma out east. By the time Haley and company begin league play on Sept. 20, the Trojans will have played 11 non-conference games.
The team will have to adjust to Pac-12 opposition quickly, too, as USC’s first conference matchup comes in Westwood against UCLA. Four days later, the Trojans have their Pac-12 home opener against Oregon State. The rematch against the Bruins at the Galen Center doesn’t come until the final day of the regular season on Nov. 25.
USC will play two matches against all Pac-12 opponents next fall — one home and one away — except Oregon State. The highlight of the conference schedule likely comes when national champions visit L.A. on Oct. 15. The Trojans travel to Stanford, Calif., for a rematch exactly one month later.
This year’s national champion will be crowned on Dec. 16 in Kansas City, Mo. Led by hall-of-fame coach Haley, USC begins its journey there on Aug. 25 at LMU’s Gersten Pavilion.
The quarterback position isn’t currently a pressing concern for USC, but the Trojans’ future prospects under center took a hit on Saturday, as five-star prospect Matt Corral de-committed from the program.
Corral, ranked as a top-five overall quarterback in his class, had verbally committed to USC in February 2016. Alabama, Florida and Georgia now lead the race to sign him, per 247Sports.
After the bad news over the weekend, however, head coach Clay Helton rebounded quickly. The Trojans secured a verbal committment from three-star offensive tackle Liam Douglass out of Harvard-Westlake on Monday night.
But the biggest news came on Tuesday, when four-star center Justin Dedich announced his committment to USC. Dedich is the top-ranked player in his class at his position, and he spurned an offer from UCLA to join the Trojans.
Dedich gives Helton seven committments in his 2018 class so far.
Last week, two Trojans were selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft. The Boston Red Sox picked redshirt junior Frankie Rios in the 17th round, and Washington Nationals took junior Adalberto Carrillo in the 33rd round. Though the duo retain the option to return to USC for their senior seasons, their selections brought the Trojans’ all-time draft tally to 330 players since the event’s inception in 1965.
Rios was taken with the 521st overall pick after earning All-Pac-12 honors in 2017. The shortstop led the team with 73 hits and a .354 batting average this season, and his 13 doubles were second-most on the Trojans.
Rios also earned an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention last year, manning second base in his first campaign as a regular starter. He redshirted in 2015 with knee tendonitis, but in his three seasons at USC, Rios has compiled a .310 career average across 123 starts with 50 RBI and 28 extra-base hits. If he chooses to return for his final year of eligibility, Rios will come to campus as an alumnus after graduating in May with a sociology degree.
Carrillo, a 2017 all-conference honorable mention, was selected No. 1,003 overall. The junior has been a mainstay at third base for the past two years, memorably hitting his first collegiate home run against No. 1 Vanderbilt in 2014: a walk-off shot to down the Commodores in the bottom of the ninth inning. Interestingly, Washington drafted Carrillo as a catcher, despite him having never played the position as a Trojan.
The Nationals may be looking to utilize Carrillo’s versatile offensive tools at a traditionally light-hitting position. Carrillo led USC in stolen bases (9) and RBI (36) this season, and he was tied for the lead in home runs (7). If he chooses to sign with Washington, he will depart USC with 15 homers and 16 steals to go with 105 career hits.
Senior outfielder Corey Dempster went undrafted last week after opting to return to USC as a 37th-round pick last year — the only Trojan to do so in his draft class. Carrillo and Rios were the only two Trojans selected, compared to the record 12 players taken in 2016. Unlike last season’s veteran roster, however, only 13 members of this year’s squad were draft-eligible.
Head coach Dan Hubbs may have also taken a hit on the recruiting end during the draft. Two top prospects in USC’s incoming freshman class, first baseman Nick Pratto and pitcher Hans Crouse, were selected in the first two rounds, meaning they must pass up lucrative professional offers to don cardinal and gold next spring. The Kansas City Royals selected Pratto No. 14 overall, while the Texas Rangers picked Crouse 66th overall (Crouse’s older brother, Marrick, has pitched at USC for two seasons).
Highly touted shortstop recruit Nick Allen then went to the Oakland Athletics in the third round. The Milwaukee Brewers took outfielder Je’von Carrier-Ward in the 12th round; pitcher Kyle Hurt and third baseman Ben Ramirez went to the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs, respectively, in the late rounds.
Though very unlikely, USC now stands to lose six of its 15 incoming recruits. A disappointing 2017 season could lead to more high school commits trying their hand at professional baseball. The Trojans finished last in the Pac-12 this spring with a 21-34 overall record.
The post Frankie Rios and Adalberto Carrillo selected in 2017 MLB Draft appeared first on Daily Trojan.
Fireworks displays are a tried and true method for keeping guests at theme parks, but it might be time for something new and more magical. That’s exactly what Universal Studios Hollywood has planned for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter come June 23 with the official premiere of “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.”
In the weeks leading up to opening night, a number of guests were treated to a preview of what will soon be a nightly experience cast on the Hogwarts Castle just across from Hogsmeade Village and the Triwizard Stage. The display of lights and animations projected onto the castle in conjunction with the film’s iconic score will immerse audiences in the show, as though they have been transported into the film series.
Narrated by the Sorting Hat, the show imitates the annual sorting ceremony at the beginning of every school year at Hogwarts, featuring a unique lights display for each of the four houses: Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Gryffindor. As each house is presented, its signature colors wrap around the intricate design of the castle along with an animation of its mascot as the house crest gradually appears at the top. One by one, each display elicits applause from the audience as they cheer for the house with which they identify.
At approximately five minutes in duration, the show wraps up with the fusion of all four houses as the Sorting Hat narrates, “There is nothing hidden in your head the Sorting Hat can’t see.”
With the grand finale, gold sparkling lights trickle down the castle and park guests are free to continue exploring the themed attractions, shops and eateries. At a glance, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a visually accurate depiction of the film’s portrayal, but a bit of exploration confirms that it’s also interactive.
Aside from experiencing the two rides, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff,” some other popular activities include grabbing butterbeer at Hog’s Head Pub or picking out a personal wand at Ollivander’s.
“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” is more than a show — it’s an experience. For Harry Potter fans who grew up reading the novels and watching the movies on a screen, the opportunity to see the Hogwarts Castle replica light up in person is as close to an escape from the Muggle world as it gets.
For those who can’t make it to the park, Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook will host a Facebook live event to stream the all-new “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” experience at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on June 23 at 8:30 p.m. PST.
The post Fireworks bring magic to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter appeared first on Daily Trojan.