A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie wins over Spring Fest crowd
A Boogie and Lil Baby power through lengthy sets in Alumni Arena
A late lineup change didn’t impact this year’s Spring Fest turnout.
And it didn’t impact the crowd’s energy either.
Opener Rich the Kid pulled out of his slot on Friday, just one day before he was set to open for Lil Baby and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. But his replacement, New York rapper Young M.A, didn’t feel anything like a replacement.
She ran through her 45-minute set, closing with "OOOUUU,” and proved to be the perfect setup to the trap-sprinkled night.
A Boogie and Lil Baby brought some big bling and bigger hits to Alumni Arena on Saturday night. Openers Kiana Ledé and M.A roused the crowd from the start, setting the stage for an energetic evening in Alumni Arena. Lines began forming at 5:30 p.m. and wrapped around Bissell Hall for entry. Fest is funded through the mandatory $104.75 Student Activity Fee.
Students reserved 5,983 tickets for Spring Fest, according to SA President Gunnar Haberl. Students picked up a total of 5,971 tickets and 4,381 students attended the show –– an increase of over 1,000 students from last year’s A$AP Ferg fest that saw 3,281 attendees. The evening cost roughly $452,000, according to SA Treasurer Tanahiry Escamilla.
The crowd was at its peak turnout at 8:30 p.m. when A Boogie hit the stage, appropriately wearing his signature hoodie as he gave the crowd the most energy of the night’s performers.
His dancing had him gliding through the stage, a move that mirrored that of 2016 Fall Fest headliner Travis Scott. He didn’t invite audience members to jump off the stage like Scott did but that didn’t stop students from crowd surfing.
The rapper, decked out in the camo hoodie and ripped jeans, kept the crowd pumped with flashing lights and luring visuals, which ranged from dripping water to roaming cityscapes. He opened with “Look Back At It,” played through “Beasty” and, by the time he reached his fifth song, had the majority of the 300 section refusing to take a seat.
The crowd’s energy died down a bit by the time A Boogie played “Just Like Me,” but the stage’s vibrant backdrop kept Alumni ignited in color.
Toward the end of his set, the rapper asked audience members to throw up their hands and turn on their phone flashlights for his track “Jungle,” which resulted in a sea of lights. He then thanked the audience for helping him earn a No. 1 record on the Billboard 200 with “Hoodie Szn,” as its album cover repeatedly flashed on the stage’s screen.
Audience members started sitting down after his countless trap hits, but once they heard the opening instrumental to “Drowning,” there was no stopping the proceeding mosh pits. A Boogie and his hype man had both the blue and red zones create massive circles and, before signing off for the night, the rapper watched as the crowd went ballistic.
They carried this energy into co-headliner Lil Baby’s set, but not entirely.
Lil Baby came out abruptly and some crowd members had to take a second look to make sure the headliner just hit the stage. The Atlanta native opened with his smash Drake collaboration “Yes Indeed,” which blasted throughout Alumni Arena and continued the energy that A Boogie garnered several songs earlier.
Lil Baby later jumped into “I Am” but the stage’s smoke and the rapper’s hits only kept the audience on their toes for so long. Once the rapper finished performing his top-ten hit “Drip Too Hard,” audience members quickly filed out of the arena.
But those in the red and blue section pits stayed cozily pressed against the barricades. They cheered through the remainder of the rapper’s set, which included deep tracks like “Exotic” and newer cuts “Put a Date on It.” Lil Baby kept chugging through his massive setlist, in which he played half of every song, in an effort to reenergize the crowd, which just heard the rapper’s premier track.
The resurgence never happened but Lil Baby was seemingly unaffected. He kept playing shorter versions of his tracks before abruptly departing with a brief goodbye, waving and walking off at the conclusion of “Sold Out Dates.”
Opener Ledé proved to be a pleasant R&B break from a night of constant trap smashes, and Beyoncé’s drummer Vanzella Joy worked the crowd in between sets and debuted her single “Flavor.”
"I could not be more grateful for the time and dedication of our Student Association Entertainment Director Sandeep Chakravarthy and the SA team on pulling off such an amazing Spring Fest,” Haberl said. “I am proud to have been a part of this memorable experience."
Correction: A previous version of this article did not state the correct amount of money SA spend on the show.
Brenton J. Blanchet and Brian Evans are editors and can be reached at email@example.com