At Keene State College for the past month, the talk of the campus was the news that Big Sean and Sage the Gemini were coming to perform for the 2015 spring concert. Concert Coordinator of the Social Activities Council (SAC) at KSC, Alicia Berry, has been able to get bands such as 3LAU and Four Year Strong in the past, but neither of those names have been as popular campus-wide as Big Sean. Students responded to the excitement for the concert by having all of the tickets sold within a day and a half. On top of the student body ticket purchases, outsiders also bought tickets for the show, bringing the grand total to 2,200 people expected to attend last Friday night’s performance.
For those who do not know who Big Sean or Sage the Gemini are, they are both American rappers and have become popular with this generation’s rap culture. Big Sean has been releasing CDs since 2007, but did not come across mainstream success until late 2011. Sage the Gemini has been recording since 2008, but none of his albums reached fame until 2013, when he released his hit single “Gas Pedal.” The artists do not usually tour together, according to Big Sean’s official website, and it is unknown if they were booked together or separately for the KSC concert.
As concert coordinator for the past two years, Berry was determined to get a big name for this year’s spring concert. “We work with a company called Concert Ideas,” Berry explained, “We give them a genre and a price range and they give us a list of people available. We spent a total of about eighty-six thousand dollars on the artists alone.” According to Berry, SAC is able to pay for more expensive artists because of the money they have made from previous years’ ticket sales. “The students see it as a cheap concert ticket, which makes more people likely to buy one,” Berry said.
When students walked into the Spaulding Gymnasium on April 17, there was a stage set up covering about a quarter of the gym’s width, and SAC members were helping with security for the event. Member of the audience and first-year at KSC, Alexis Dukette, had been looking forward to the spring concert all year. “I’m friends with some upperclassmen who go here,” Dukette said, “They have always said how much fun the spring concert is so I am happy it’s finally here. I only know a few songs by Big Sean, but I’m glad that he is the spring concert because I have heard that he’s a good performer.” While some students did not know many of Big Sean’s songs, others were die-hard fans.
First-year student Abby Wilcox was ecstatic when she heard that Big Sean was coming for the spring concert. “I wasn’t a Big Sean fan until last year, but now I am a hard-core fan,” Wilcox stated, “I have had his music on repeat for the past week so that I know all of the words when he performs.” Wilcox explained that she was glad that this year’s concert was Big Sean not only because she was a fan, but also because it was ‘cool’ to have her first spring concert be the one that most students were planning on attending.
Olivia Belanger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org