“DEEROCK, DEEROCK, DEEROCK!” The crowd chanted as a swarm of JMU students ran off of the busses and into Jefferson Theatre in Charlottesville, Virginia. All to see…the opening act?

As a concert goer, you would have never guessed that over 160 JMU students were taking over Charlottesville all to see the opening act, Derek “DEEROCK” Attardi, a senior CIS major from Long Island, New York.

Attardi is an up and coming DJ who landed the gig of his career, opening for Kap Slap at the Jefferson Theatre this past Friday, December 1st, in front of his biggest crowd ever.

DJ Deerock setting up for his set. Image credit: Henry Saenz

“When I got on stage and I saw everybody there, I had that feeling of like nostalgia, like that feeling of happiness that I did it; that I’m up here right now, let’s show them my worth,” Attardi said.

Attardi was able to secure a promo code for students to save $5 off of the price of a ticket and organized bus transportation to accommodate the 160 JMU students who came out to support their friend, Kappa Alpha fraternity brother and local DJ.

Attardi landed the gig back in October after reaching out to Kap Slap’s booking agent on a whim after seeing one of his favorite DJs didn’t have an opening act.

“Bring the paper towels,” Attardi’s email read, “because I’m bringing everyone I know from JMU.”

Attardi said at first the booking agent, WME Entertainment, thought Attardi’s email was just another “check out my mixtape,” email that Kap Slap often gets. But Attardi’s reference to one of Kap Slap’s first mixes, “bring the paper towels,” made him stand out, and Kap Slap gave Deerock’s Sound Cloud page a listen, soon after offered him the opening act.

Kap Slap with DJ Deerock after the show. Image credit: Zack Patrick

Deerock opened his set unconventionally with a Dominos’ pizza order: a large cheese with anchovies. When the “delivery guy” showed up, a familiar one-liner from the popular movie, Step Brothers, was Deerock’s response. “I didn’t want salmon! I said it four times!” The crowd went wild.

“That was the best feeling ever, because everyone was laughing and smiling and I’m on stage to make people happy and I knew I was making people happy,” Attardi said.

The mix that followed was the perfect “tropical house” mix, as Attardi refers to his music style. The crowd sang along to every song, most of which were Attardi’s close friends and family.

“I loved it because when I was able to look up, I saw all of my best friends there and everybody was just chanting my name,” Attardi said. “It’s really cool to see that everybody I know and that supports me was there.”

Jefferson Theatre and Kap Slap were so impressed with Deerock’s following and support as the opening act, Kap Slap invited him to open for him again, and Jefferson Theatre offered him an opportunity to headline his own show there in March.

“I’m just super excited to see what the future holds and for my next show,” Attardi said.

To check out Deerock’s mix from Friday night which he dubbed, “Late Night Delivery,” click here.

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DJ Deerock during his set. Image credit: Henry Saenz





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