Students surged through the security line at the Governor’s Complex C Lot Saturday as the gates opened for the UB Student Association’s first Spring Fest since 2019.
The concert, which featured PnB Rock, City Girls and Polo G, lasted from about 7 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. and was held outside the freshmen-only dorm. Despite SA’s announcement that the line would begin forming at 5 p.m., attendees began to arrive around 4 p.m. — demonstrating the excitement many of them had toward the event.
Free merchandise tables, busy food trucks and a row of port-a-pottys acted as a landing site for arriving attendees. MCs kept the growing crowd in high spirits, booming songs with body-filling bass and pulling girls on stage to perform head-standing twerks.
Students speculated on who would perform at this year’s Spring Fest for weeks leading up to the announcement, tossing around names like A Boogie wit da Hoodie (who performed at Spring Fest in 2019). Following the announcement, YikYak was flooded with comments from users expressing their excitement to “shake their ass” to City Girls.
However, not everyone was impressed with this year’s lineup. In particular, concert attendees reported feeling let down by the choice of opener, PnB Rock, whose career has seemingly plateaued since his heyday in 2015 and 2016.
“Next time, please don’t invite PnB,” Isaac Asante, a fifth-year public health major, said. “He fell off.”
Despite the lack of anticipation for his performance, PnB Rock kept the crowd in high spirits, getting attendees to sing along to hits including “I Like Girls” and “Selfish.”
Following PnB Rock’s performance, the crowd’s energy ignited as Miami-born rap duo City Girls (consisting of Yung Miami and JT) took the stage as the first headliner.
For many attendees, seeing City Girls was the highlight of Spring Fest.
“They were f—king lit,” Kendra Obeng, a junior health and services major, said. “And we’re city girls, so you know the vibes.”
The pair amped up the crowd with hits like “Act Up” and “P—y Talk” while encouraging fans to “stay in school” and “be your best selves.”
However, the real show stopping began with their performances of “Twerk” and “Twerkulator.” In both acts, the pair pulled female fans from the crowd, coloring their performances with group twerking, sparking cheers from the audience.
But City Girls’ performance wasn’t just for the girls.
Some male fans, such as junior criminology major Tyler Miller, consider City Girls’ performance the highlight of their night as well.
“He wanted to shake some ass,” junior psychology major Jacob Schumacher said, regarding Miller’s enjoyment of City Girls.
Performing for just under 30 minutes, City Girls thanked Buffalo and said goodbye, leaving an empty stage for Polo G.
By the time the chart-topping Chicago-based rapper took to the stage around 8:50 p.m., the crowd was in a frenzy, repeatedly chanting, “Polo.”
Polo performed numerous songs from his most recent (and most successful) album, “Hall of Fame.” But the highlights of his set were undoubtedly his older hits, like “Bad Man (Smooth Criminal),” “Pop Out” and “Martin and Gina.”
“Polo G gets a good energy going,” Jack Mortenson, a sophomore occupational therapy major, said. “He gets the crowd hyped.”
Still, Polo G’s most hype-filled moment came early on in the set, when he dedicated his performance of “Flex” — a song which originally featured late-rapper Juice Wrld — to the fallen rapper.
After his performance concluded, the crowds dispersed as quickly as they had arrived, as Spring Fest 2022 wrapped up with a fireworks display.
Aside from being a time for festive fangirling and rockstar rapping, Spring Fest also served as a coming-together point for the UB community in the wake of more than a year of pandemic restrictions.
“It was wonderful to see people of my culture on stage, rocking out, and everybody being hyped about it,” Nakkia Smalls, a senior criminology major, said. “It was amazing and I feel like everyone at UB came together.”
Kara Anderson is a senior arts editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Falter is a senior arts editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Alex Falter is a senior arts editor at The Spectrum.
Kara Anderson is a senior arts editor at The Spectrum. She is an English and Spanish double major and is pursuing a certificate in creative writing. She enjoys baking chocolate chip cookies, procrastinating with solitaire and binging reality TV on the weekends.