“This isn’t a concert or a show, this is a motherf*ckin’ party,” said Kendrick Lamar, halfway through his set at the Fairfield University Student Association-hosted spring concert on May 1.
The Verge Campus Tour made one of its many stops at Fairfield and students got the chance to let loose and kick back for the night before a hectic week of finals awaited them.
The night started with an impressive opening act by Philadelphia DJ, 5 & A Dime. His set featured a unique blend of electronic dance music (EDM) and Top 40 sounds. He was able to keep the crowd jumping for solid hour and a half and anticipating Lamar.
Before Kendrick got on stage, his road DJ wanted to get the crowd amped a little bit more. The DJ’s set featured hits such as “Work” by A$AP Ferg, “Bugatti” by Ace Hood, “Us” by Rick Ross, and the still popular “Pop That” by French Montana. Once the DJ knew the crowd was ready for Kendrick it was time for the show to begin.
The lights turned off and the Top Dawg Entertainment logo appeared on the screen. The eerie introduction to Lamar’s “Sherane a.k.a Master Splinter’s Daughter” crept through the speakers around the venue and Kendrick appeared in front of a sold-out audience. Lamar took a good look at the crowd before laying down the vocals to the first verse of the first track on his critically acclaimed major label debut, “good kid, m.A.A.d city.” The album was released in October 2012.
Lamar then proceeded to go through a catalog of his hits. “Hol’ Up”, “F*ckin’ Problems,”“R.I.P,”“Money Trees,” and “B*tch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” were just some of the songs he went through. There were rumors going around campus that Kendrick was only going to perform songs off “GKMC.” It was assumed that not a lot of people on campus were familiar with his first album “Section.80.” However, this was quickly shot down as nearly everyone in the crowd raised their hand when Kendrick asked who has been down with his music since day one.
Once the crowd verified their fandom, Kendrick started rapping “HiiiPower.” The crowd rapped alongside Kendrick for a good portion of the night as he alternated tracks from “GKMC” and “Section.80.”
The highlight of the night came when Kendrick asked the audience to put both hands in the air. He advised everyone to go wild once the bass line to the next song dropped and that’s what everyone did. Kendrick cued the DJ and all you could hear was Kendrick’s vocals exclaiming, “If pirus and crips all got along / They probably gon’ be down by the end of this song.” Once the crowd recognized what song he was rapping from, they knew what time it was.
His latest album’s title track, “m.A.A.d city,” blasted through Alumni Hall as everyone in attendance lost it. Then Lamar cut the music and told the audience that he’s been to a lot of schools on this tour and he knew that Fairfield could get crazy just as – if not crazier than – the other schools he visited. He told the DJ to play the track again and madness ensued.
Lamar finished off his set with “Swimming Pools” and received an encore ovation. Lamar, not one to disappoint his fans, came back on stage to the delight of his fans and performed “Cartoon & Cereal.” After a strong performance Kendrick thanked his fans and promised Fairfield that he would be back again.
“I don’t see any other artist in the near future topping Kendrick’s performance here at Fairfield,” said Jorbel Mateo ’15. Jorbel was just one of many students who enjoyed the FUSA concert.
“This was a great way to end the school year; the night was filled with great music and great vibes. Kendrick definitely made his presence known on campus,” said Brooke Giordano ’14.
However, despite the overall positive reactions to the concert, there were students who thought differently. “I would have enjoyed the concert if the people that were there didn’t ruin the fun,” said Nick Restivo ’14. For a good portion of the concert there were several incidents of people shoving each other and scuffles broke out in the front row.
Dan Gessner ‘14 said, “People need to realize that if you’re standing towards the front of a concert, especially at a college campus you’re going to get involved with the pushing and shoving.”
FUSA changed its tune for this school year’s concerts. For the Kendrick Lamar concert, FUSA organizers Sara Robicheau ‘13 and Gina Tiftikidis ‘13 had sent out a survey to get student input and ended up with 600 responses. This input had led to a success – the concert sold out the day of the concert.
One thing is for certain: whether you left the concert with a good or bad feeling, your experience was a memorable one. The Verge Campus Tour definitely left its mark on campus, making this concert one that will have students buzzing for a while.