Thousands of students packed the Spaulding Gym last Saturday to see Sam Adams and Lupe Fiasco perform at their Spring Weekend concert. The line trailed down Appian Way as students chanted and eagerly waited for their chance to enjoy both rappers perform. Greenstreet opened for Sam Adams while students continued to pile into the gym. An energetic Sam Adams took the stage at around 9:30 p.m. and performed some of his most popular songs including “I Hate College” and “Driving Me Crazy.”
A long wait ensued, the crowd was buzzing with excitement, until finally Lupe hit the stage. Lupe’s high energy performance got the audience pumped up as he performed his most popular songs on older albums, like his song “Superstar” off his 2007 album “The Cool,” his first debut single, an ode to his love of skateboarding, “Kick Push,” and more recent songs off his newest album “Lasers,” which included “The Show Goes On” and “State Run Radio.”
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The line to get in the concert snaked from the gym down Appian Way and many students were getting impatient while they waited.
“I really liked the concert,” said sophomore Kayla Papalian. “It just took forever to get in. I got here at eight, and the line was already past the gym. I waited for an hour and I missed the first few minutes of Sam Adams.”
“It was a lot of fun,” freshman Robyn Sall said. “It was definitely worth it. The concert didn’t seem like it was taking place in the gym. The line was incredibly long though, but I was okay with waiting.”
Matt Lane, the president of Social Activities Council, said he thought the concert, overall, was a success. The process of picking acts is very difficult, Lane said, but they chose Fiasco because his album was released a month before the show, and that SAC thought it would be good timing to have Fiasco perform when his highly anticipated third album was going to be released.
For Spring Weekend as whole, he said, the event cost over $100,000. This money paid the performers, including the comedian Hal Sparks, all the necessarily lighting, the crew, events coordinator, various staff members, and the events going on the student center lawn on Friday. Lane said the budget for next year was going to be even larger. As far as the show, this year, Lane said he was very happy with how it turned out.
“I think having 2,000 bodies in that gym, it went very well, especially with the majority of them not being in the right state of mind,” he said. “There were no serious safety issues and no EMT care, but there was some minor fighting and some people were aggressively intoxicated.”
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Lane said after the concert, there were several nips and bottles on the ground, but it would be impossible to make sure no alcohol would be brought into the concert. According to Lane, he said several people were taken out of the concert in cuffs, but there were no physical arrests to his knowledge. “The police came out in full force and cuffed one person for fighting in line. I think it was a great move on their part.”
In addition, Lane addressed the issue of people waiting in line for so long. “We wanted to get the doors open early, but the building did not pass fire code because the track team had tires in a hallway,” he explained. “Those had to be removed in order for the building to pass fire code, and that didn’t happen until about 7:30.”
As for the concert itself, Lane said, “Lupe gave a very energetic show. There were no security issues. None of the acts were obnoxiously picky with their requests or what they wanted before the show.” Lane said he is glad that this was his last spring weekend.
“I’m happy to leave on a high note, it was a good event,” he said.
Robin Szypulski, a senior and graphic design major, won the campus-wide contest to design the poster and the t-shirts for the Lupe concert. She said she loved seeing people walking around campus with her t-shirt, and she also enjoyed herself at the show. “I thought the performers were really good. Although the problem with the line was really unfortunate,” she said.
“I thought the show was a lot of fun, but I wished the sound quality was better,” said Marie Potter, a junior. “I wish I could have heard Lupe’s voice.” Potter also mentioned the issue with the line, but appreciated the fact that the gym wasn’t completely packed. “I could still move around and find my friends when I wanted to, so I liked that.”
Molly Bryant, a junior, enjoyed the concert as well. “I wish it could’ve been outside though,” she said.
“Fiasco was really fun, I was blown away,” freshman Tim Gagnon said. “I’ve listened to Lupe before, and he definitely exceeded my expectations with this concert.”
Yvonne Dykstra, a sophomore, worked the concert for SAC. “My job was to keep people from crowd surfing and basically keeping the crowd calm,” she said. “I thought the show was very good, Lupe was the best performer.”
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Freshman Bailey Albert also worked the concert for SAC. “Working it was so much different than watching it because we could hear the music, but we had to keep our eye on the crowd,” she said. “They were trying to get two different lines into the concert, one with people who had bags, and one without, but it just turned into two slow lanes.” In addition, Albert said it was Campus Safety who controlled how fast people got into the concert.
Sophomore Kathryn Smith was near the front of the line, she said, and waited about twenty minutes. “Greenstreet was practically done when I got in, but overall, I think the show was really well put together,” she said. “The crowd was crazy, but it was to be expected. It was definitely a good part on SAC’s part to pick Sam Adams and Lupe Fiasco. I think SAC did a very good job with this concert.”
“I thought the show was awesome,” senior Juan Guzman said. “I saw Lupe opening for Kanye West at ‘Glow in the Dark’ tour, and I think he’s much better headlining, he really stood out.” Guzman said for the first two acts, the crowd was very pushy, but when Fiasco came on the stage, the crowd calmed down and enjoyed the music.
“I wish he did ‘All Black Everything,’ because I love that song and ‘I’m Beamin,’” he said. “I’m glad he did ‘State Run Radio,’ because that’s my favorite Lupe song.” Guzman said he hadn’t really listened to any of Sam Adams music until the concert, but he enjoyed some of the songs he played. One of the best parts of the concert for Guzman was getting doused with the water Fiasco was spraying into the crowd.
“I think it was the only time I was actually happy I got sprayed in the face with water,” Guzman.
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Sam Adams gained notoriety when he released a remix of Asher Roth’s “I Love College” in March of 2010. Adams grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, so his aptly named album “Boston’s Boy” included his hit “Driving Me Crazy.” He has released a few mixtapes including “Boston’s Opening Day” and “Party Records Mixtape.”
Lupe Fiasco first started rapping reportedly after he heard an album by Nas. Fiasco also stays away from swearing and vulgarity in his music, instead focusing on the lyrics and the meaning of the songs.
After releasing a few mixtapes, Fiasco was signed to Atlantic Records by Jay-Z, but Fiasco has run into some problems with the record label, as it wouldn’t release his newest album “Lasers.” 28,000 of his fans signed an online petition to get the album released from the record label and it was finally dropped March of this year after more than a year of waiting.
Lupe is currently working on a couple different projects, from his political activism (he joined musician Kenna and actress Jessica Biel in a summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the billions of people around the world who don’t have a sufficient water supply, called Summit to Summit), he has his own clothing labels, and he is working on a new album called “Lupe’s Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album.” Fiasco could not be reached for comment.
Whitney Cyr can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org