On Saturday night, UB students flocked to Lake LaSalle for the return of Fall Fest, the Student Association’s annual September concert. The free show, last held in 2019, was headlined by rappers Yung Gravy and Fivio Foreign.
Reactions to the lineup were mixed. Some were disappointed to learn there would not be an opening artist, despite SA’s initial announcement promising one.
“I feel like if they were going to promise us a third artist they should at least deliver on that,” Lila Bloom, a sophomore biology major, said.
Nevertheless, students arrived excited to see the headliners.
Sophomore Madison Nitsche and her friends lined up three hours early to ensure they’d be in the front row for Yung Gravy’s performance.
“The magnitude of sexiness in that man,” Nitsche said of the Minnesotan rapper. “6-foot-7, voice of gold, silky smooth… just everything.”
The show kicked off around 6 p.m. with a set from Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg, who played a string of Top 40 hits to get the crowd warmed up for the show. Waiting over an hour, the audience grew restless for Yung Gravy to perform.
As the crowd chanted his name, Gravy strolled onstage at just after 7:30 p.m. With his sunglasses, track pants and deadpan delivery, the rapper performed sample-heavy, memeable hits like “Mr. Clean” and “Cheryl,” all with the energy of a hungover substitute teacher.
The rapper took several lengthy breaks between songs to throw miscellaneous items from his dressing room into the audience; students scrambled to catch assorted fruits, bottles of ranch dressing and packets of deli meat.
Though a good chunk of Gravy’s set was spent sending bananas soaring through the air, he also attempted stage banter — mostly about the rapper’s defining gimmick, his love for hot moms.
“Do we have any future MILFs in the audience?” Gravy asked.
He closed his performance on a relatively high note, with his Rick Astley-interpolating song “Betty (Get Money).” Students were happy to sing along with the song’s viral TikTok refrain.
After Gravy threw his final bottle of ranch and left the stage, the crowd thinned out quite a bit. But plenty of students remained to watch New York rapper Fivio Foreign’s set.
With help from his DJ/hype man, Fivio Foreign burst onto the stage about half an hour later, bringing back the energy with a spirited performance of “City of Gods,” his recent collaboration with Alicia Keys and Kanye West.
“Make some noise if you’re a freshman!” the 32-year-old rapper instructed the crowd throughout his set.
The heavy bass in Fivio’s upbeat trap music shook the ground as he and his sidemen danced around the stage.
“I do think Fivio really topped it off … [he] engaged with the crowd well,” Rachel Galet, a junior media study major, said.
Though he didn’t seem to know exactly where he was performing (he made several references to “BU”) he was clearly enjoying himself, resulting in an engaging and fun performance.
At one point, the rapper even brought a lucky student up on stage to perform with him.
The audience was decidedly more active than they were during Yung Gravy’s set, forming a mosh pit at one point. But for some attendees, the excitement of the crowd spiraled out of control.
Xen Byer-Tyre, a freshman criminology student, was left hurt and disappointed by the audience’s behavior.
“I couldn’t breathe because of how tightly packed we were when the mosh pit started,” Byer-Tyre said. “I have asthma so it was not the best environment for me to be in.”
Byer-Tyre, a fan of Fivio Foreign who arrived early just to see his performance, recalls being jostled around and crushed by the people around her. She tried to leave the crowd, but nearby security guards did not respond to her and her friends’ calls for help.
“[Security] just told the people around me to tell me to relax,” Byer-Tyre said. “He said there was nothing he could do.”
She eventually was carried out by another security guard and handed over to EMTs, missing the performance she had waited hours for.
In the days following Fall Fest, some students expressed their displeasure with the concert on UB’s Reddit page.
“It’s supposed to make us want to keep the mandatory fee and it made me want to vote against it,” commenter Mysterious_Ad5072 said.
“Gravy was actually embarrassing,” Reddit user AdorableGuarantee970 said. “I had no idea he’d be that bad, can’t listen to his songs anymore.”
But some enjoyed the free night of music, like freshman occupational therapy major Amber Laudman, who felt the concert brought together the student body in a positive way.
“To have everybody together and just bonding over music… It was really fun,” Laudman said. “Hopefully everyone comes during Spring Fest, because it’s really a night to remember.”
Meret Kelsey is an assistant arts editor and can be reached at email@example.com
The arts desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meret Kelsey is an assistant arts editor at The Spectrum.
Alex Novak is a senior arts editor at The Spectrum.