UB 'Can't Get Enough' at Fall Fest
J. Cole, Childish Gambino flocks of students to Fall Fest
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
With ideal weather gracing the East Coast from top to bottom, it seemed impossible to stay indoors last weekend. New York City hosted Electric Zoo, Philadelphia held Jay-Z’s Made In America festival and New Jersey was prepping for Rock The Bells.
A few hundred miles away – at Baird Point on UB’s North Campus – thousands of students and rap fans gathered to see hip-hop artists French Montana, Childish Gambino and J. Cole at Fall Fest 2012.
This year’s Fall Fest served as revitalization for the Student Association’s morale, as an overwhelming feeling of anticipation and high energy engulfed Baird Point Saturday night.
According to SA treasurer Justin Neuwirt, 7,400 people were in attendance – a number that towers over last year’s Fall Fest attendance, approximately 2,400. The Fray headlined last year’s show.
SA President Travis attributes the high attendance to the great weather Buffalo had last weekend.
“The crowd was well over capacity for Alumni Arena, so if it rained we would’ve wound up having to turn people away,” Nemmer said.
Senior sociology major Harris Rosado, who spins under the name DJ Rosado, opened the show with contemporary rap and house music and immediately set the tone for the night. Vivacious, unapologetic, unpredictable and in other words: dope.
The show itself went on without a hitch. French Montana hit the stage right on time and despite the limited time he had to perform, he made due. The New York rapper’s set list predominantly consisted of his radio favorites, including “Shot Caller” and “Pop That.”
What gained the most praise from his audience, however, was a track that wasn’t even his own. When Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin’” came on over the speakers, the audience erupted and sang along to French Montana’s raspy hook.
As Montana’s set ended, the sun began to set and the eagerness in the crowd was broken by an off-stage voice that belonged to the night’s superstar: Childish Gambino.
Dressed in Bordeaux (maroon-purple) pants and a swinging gold chain, microphone in hand, Gambino’s energy surged through the crowd as all of Baird Point yelled and got to jumpingright along with him.
As an up and comer, the rapper is a force to be reckoned with, receiving over 250,000 first-week downloads when his mixtape, Royalty,dropped in early July.
Those familiar with Gambino’s lyrics screamed them back toward the stage. Those who were hearing these potent bars for the first time were truly vibing, to say the least, which is exactly what the rapper had hoped for.
“I just want to keep going,” Gambino said. “I really want to grow as an artist. I don’t think I’m anywhere near where I need to be.”
Gambino poured his heart into every one of the 14 songs he performed. The extra emphasis on ‘F’ bombs read through the actor-turned-rapper’s facial expressions. His energy transferred into the audience, which was filled with jumping, yelling and some crowd surfing to the music.
The diversity of Gambino’s set list was well balanced between his mixtapes and albums as well as content-wise.
The rapper kicked off with “Freaks and Geeks” and transitioned into tracks from his album Camp and mixtapes Culdesac and Royalty. Tracks such as “I’m On It,” “Heartbeat,” “Bonfire” and “One Up” will have people doing their research on old work and new work alike.
“I knew he was legit when I saw them setting up the different instruments. A lot of artists [don’t give their best performances] to college audiences, but he came correct,” said Christinna Renee, a studentat Buffalo State College. “If they didn’t know who he was before, they do now.”
Gambino left his audience almost hungover from his set, which flowed perfectly into the night’s headliner: J. Cole.
The ladies came out in droves for the North Carolina rapper, as high-pitched shrieks and screams drowned out any other sound when he bounced onto the stage for his opening track “Rise and Shine.”
Similar to Childish Gambino’s set, J. Cole performed a variety of mixtape tracks as well as songs from his debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story. The feel of his set was much more intimate than his predecessors’.
J. Cole performed softer tracks such as “In The Morning,” “Lights Please” and “Lost Ones,” but didn’t lose his connection with the crowd. Those in the front row had their eyes fixated on the 6-foot-3 St. John’s alumnus – who played on the basketball team – almost in a trance, rapping along every word of each song.