DJ Matt Bennett- also known for his role as Robbie Shapiro from the 2010 Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious– took to the Brooklyn Bowl stage this Feb. 24 spinning the most popular Nickelodeon and Disney hits.
The event saw a turnout of approximately 300 or so adolescent fans who grew up watching Bennett for years. Under strobing lights, bright lasers, and a spinning disco ball, concertgoers jammed out nostalgically to songs from Hannah Montana, Lemonade Mouth, and other popular 2000s shows. Bennett initially opened up the night telling fans that he would, ‘heal their inner child,’ by playing their favorite childhood songs. Bennett deejayed the event with a television background that continuously accompanied each song he was playing with scenes, music videos, and animations from famous shows and movies. The visuals also helped concertgoers reminisce on the good times of their childhood and sing along to each track with displayed lyrics.
One of the most popular moments during the concert was when Bennett played the Spongebob theme song and the crowd erupted in a frenzy throughout the venue. Fans began cheering, ‘spongebob squarepants,’ along to the song.
During the concert, Bennett asked the crowd how many of the attendees were locals or visitors. When it came time to raise hands, practically all attendees excitedly shot their hands up to signify that they are locals.
The event drew a lot of attention from the UNLV campus community given that there was a larger crowd of students at the event. One student in particular, Jalen Valdecantos, told the Free Press that he attended the event with a group of about 8 other students but recognized several others who were not in his group.
When asked about his overall impression of the event Valdecantos stated that the event was memorable. “It was quite the throwback,” said Valdecantos. “Literally bringing me back to my childhood! ‘Year 3000’ by the Jonas Brothers is a bop!” One of Valdecantos’ friends, who is also a student, shared similar experiences. “There were many UNLV students at the event which was a bit surprising,” said Steven Tran, a third year finance student. “I grew up watching iCarly, Victorious, and Big Time Rush, and part of me felt that my childhood was left in the past. But at the event, hearing all of these songs made me feel nostalgic and gave life to many of these songs we grew up with. I do wish Matt played more Big Time Rush songs.”
In December, Bennett played a similar concert at Brooklyn Bowl but called it ‘iParty’ instead of Party 101. The event saw a similar turnout and had the same nostalgic feeling for concertgoers. In light of seeing a lot of positive feedback to his concerts, Bennett announced on Instagram that he would be continuing his tradition and expanding it to what he calls, ‘a world tour,’ despite it only debuting in American cities.
Bennett in an interview with Z100 New York stated that he drew his inspiration for hosting these concerts to bring everyone’s 2000s favorite back to life. He also noted the musical talent from the 2000s era that was a part of many of these songs. “There is a lot of talent from this era,” said Bennett. “Now it has become such a sizable part of so many kids’ lives so it’s been really funny tapping into that. It tickles the brainstem in a way where people think, ‘I haven’t heard this song in 10 years’.”
The Party 101 schedule shows that there are 16 other upcoming concerts in cities across the nation.