Smoke, sweat and a sea of thousands filled Alumni Arena for one of the most successful Spring Fests in years.
Sunday night, DJ Rosado, 5 & A Dime, Bad Rabbits, Krewella, Kendrick Lamar and Steve Aoki performed at Student Association's Spring Fest 2013 to a venue of raucous undergraduates and fans alike of the six acts.
The night served as a massive crescendo, with each performance adding to the unbearable energy inside Alumni Arena. As the night progressed, the crowd grew and fans filled the entire floor and the stands to enjoy this stop on Karmaloop's Campus Verge Tour.
Aoki closed out the night with a command of his audience unlike any of his tourmates. The electro-synth mashups merged with Aoki's laidback yet focused demeanor had all of Alumni jumping at the sway of his arm. Fans in the audience held up Japanese flags in honor of Aoki's nationality and others simply held up posters with "cake me," a common occurrence at Aoki shows.
The overpopulated venue eventually became too hot for comfort as the enormous screens adjacent to the stage showed women in their bras climbed on top of any shoulders available and halfway through his set, Aoki abandoned his turntables to engage the audience which roared in excitement as he moved closer toward the end of the stage.
Electronic dance music was the crowd favorite by far Sunday night, as four of the six acts performed EDM and kept the energy at its absolute peak. Krewella, the fourth act to grace the stage, took the crowd from content to berserk in preparation for the night's headliners.
The chemistry between sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf captivated their fans that came in full force, as the majority of the people sitting in the stands throughout the first three acts sprinted down as soon as the Krewella logo appeared on screens in the venue.
The group was a duo for most of its set as the Yousaf sisters performed "Alive," one of their newest tracks featuring Nikki Rivera, a mashup of Europe's "Final Countdown" and "Rise & Fall," which gave the girls the opportunity to flex their vocal abilities as well.
Matthew Lippman, 17 and a senior at City Honors School, attended Spring Fest with plans to only enjoy rapper Kendrick Lamar but left pleasantly surprised.
"I didn't realize [the show] would be so EDM oriented, but it was wild," Lippman said. "Krewella especially; they were insane."
Co-headliner Kendrick Lamar gave Spring Fest a break between EDM acts for his raw lyrical talent and, much like Krewella and Aoki, he also brought his niche group of fans to Alumni just for him.
Dylan Allesi, 20, of Fredonia, visited UB for solely Lamar and although he sat through performances he didn't like, Lamar made it all worth it.
"I wasn't really vibing to the electronic music, but Kendrick got me as hyphy as can be," Allesi said. "The atmosphere was rich with good people and good beats."
Lamar opened his set with "The Art of Peer Pressure" and worked his way into tracks such as "Hol' Up," "Money Trees" and "Backseat Freestyle," both incorporating his 2011 debut album Section.80 and g.o.o.d. kid, m.A.A.d city.
The smell of marijuana, compliments of attendees who managed to evade security for a short period of time, engulfed the entire arena during Lamar's set as he performed "B**** Don't Kill My Vibe," "Cartoons & Cereal" and especially "HiiPower."
As the rap fans began to leave to make room for Aoki's following, Lamar astonished his fans by reappearing in a UB Bulls basketball jersey, with his label and collaborative T.D.E. stitched on the back along with the number three, making him an honorary Bull for the night.
Although 5 & A Dime and Bad Rabbits didn't receive as much praise as their tourmates did, they held their own in front of an unfamiliar crowd. Bad Rabbits even went as far as hanging with fans after their set in the Alumni Arena lobby as they promoted their EP, Stick Up Kids,as well as their upcoming LPs American Dream and American Love.
While hundreds of rowdy students were turned away by approximately 8 p.m., those who arrived early were greeted by senior sociology major DJ Rosado, who also opened Fall Fest 2012.
Although Rosado only performed for a fraction of the audience that ended up at Alumni that night, his stage fright from Fall Fest diminished as he spun for his fellow students, whom he deemed his inspiration for the night.
Many students who arrived immediately recognized Rosado.
"Everything I've made, it was all inspired by my four years here," Rosado said. "I started making music when I got here. So it's not really like I have a following. I'm just regurgitating everything UB gave me."
Those inside Alumni Arena were able to mute out the chaos occurring outside the venue, which erupted after security began denying entrance to students. Once 6,500 people entered Alumni Arena, the event reached maximum capacity, according to SA Entertainment Coordinator Ned Semoff. Although some did exit after Alumni reached capacity, regulations state that no more people would be allowed entrance.
Despite the small riff of the night, Spring Fest went off without a hitch. Alumni Arena seldom hosts that many people and the only other event that might compare would be this year's commencement ceremony.