Fall Fest - a musically diverse success

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The Spectrum

Baird Point was packed to the brim on Wednesday night with thousands of energized music fans. This year's Fall Fest, presented by the Student Association, featured a diverse lineup that appealed to multiple musical tastes.

Whether a hip-hop fan came out to watch B.o.B. spit lyrics or someone with more of an ear for pop wanted to hear headliner Jason Mraz's soothing chords, the 2010 Fall Fest did not disappoint.

The opening act featured a relatively unknown artist, Robert Francis. His music showcased an alternative sound that was more rock-oriented than any other performer throughout the show. Among the highlights of his set were "Night Fall" and his hit single "June Bug."

Francis, along with being a talented songwriter, is also a very skilled guitar player. Through the duration of his set he displayed thrilling electric solos that captivated the audience.

Opening for such popular music acts as B.o.B. and Jason Mraz might seem like a challenge, but Francis performed flawlessly and the crowd appreciated him that much more for it.

The second act to perform was Bruno Mars, who was a definite crowd pleaser. Although he came out to serenade the girls, Mars performed a great energetic set that everyone enjoyed.

Mars performed some of his most popular songs, such as "Just the Way You Are" and his Travie McCoy collaboration "Billionaire." While McCoy was not on hand to join him on stage, the song was still very well received as the crowd sang along to every word in perfect unison.

In a surprise twist, Mars sang "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson set against Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which really fired up the audience. When he followed that with a cover of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," it showed that Mars was an unpredictable performer ready to throw the crowd for a loop.

Taking the stage next was popular hip-hop artist B.o.B., who many UB fans eagerly waited to see. Based on the dancing and energy radiating from the crowd, B.o.B. was anything but lackluster.

B.o.B. performed his smash hits "Airplanes" and "Nothin' On You," which Mars joined him on stage for, while adding crowd-pleasing covers of "The Kids Don't Stand A Chance" by Vampire Weekend, and MGMT's ubiquitous "Kids," which was also his closing number.

The diversity of this set was a big plus, as fans of all music genres got in on the fun. With his skilled female backup dancers and a rocking band playing with him, it was hard not to get caught up in the splendor of B.o.B.'s performance.

Finally, headliner Jason Mraz took the stage to begin performing a very strong set. Ever the oddball, Mraz ate cantaloupe while playing guitar, which the audience found very captivating.

Mraz interacted with the crowd throughout his performance and at one point invited two fans on stage to dance with him. Even the biggest detractors of his music cannot deny that he was charming, funny and entertaining.

The highlight of the night came at the end of his set when he performed his popular song "I'm Yours" and updated the Beatles' immortal "All You Need Is Love."

Now, with Fall Fest in the past, it's time to look to the future and hope that SA can live up to the precedent it set on Wednesday with next semester's Spring Fest.