Lupe Fiasco presents high-energy concert
A line of people wound all the way to the parking garage last Friday evening at 7 p.m. for an 8 p.m. concert in Wiegand Gymnasium. If it were any other artist, the anticipation would probably not be nearly as intense, with people literally fighting to get into the gymnasium. The chanting from the crowd ensured that the entire Carnegie Mellon campus was aware that Lupe Fiasco was in Pittsburgh to perform at Carnegie Mellon’s Spring Carnival.
The concert was a success in terms of the anticipation before, excitement during, and craze after the event. In terms of organization, however, the event was a bit chaotic. According to AB Concerts co-chair Rebecca Paren, 2,000 tickets were released, but only 1,500 people were allowed in, which meant that some people with reserved tickets were denied admission to the concert. This was especially troubling because there seemed to be extra space in the back of the gym that could have allowed more people with tickets to attend the concert.
Perhaps everything would have run more smoothly had the show been held outdoors as originally planned. The weather ended up staying dry on Friday evening, though AB Concerts had decided to move the concert inside earlier in the week.
Though the concert began at 8 p.m., two DJs opened for Lupe and the audience grew very anxious for the headliner’s appearance. Every five minutes, there would be a literal “Kick Push” as people shoved toward the stage. Many students were also trying to cut the line in order to get to the front, causing even more of a frenzy. The beginning of the concert can only be characterized as out of control.
Surprisingly, Lupe Fiasco’s appearance calmed the crowd rather than sending them into a frenzy. Once his first song began, the audience’s hands went into the air, and Lupe sang and rapped for 10 minutes without a break. The singer’s passion was evident through his every move and his lyrics. Lupe might be a man of relatively few words, but he sang so closely to students, making eye contact and almost touching the audience, that he was definitely fully engaged with his fans. He even splashed water at the audience, further exciting the crowd.
Without any intermission or even a breather, the concert continued until around 10 p.m. Unlike the beginning, when everyone was fighting to be at the front, the second half saw people at the front begin trying to move back to get a breather, allowing audience members at the back of the gym to move up. Although it was unintentional, everyone had a fair chance to be near the performer they had been waiting to see, and “Daydreamin’ ” of, after all.
Finally, an encore of “The Show Goes On” — Lupe’s most popular and best-known song — served as the conclusion to the exciting evening. Everyone slowly left the University Center, singing the songs from the show. Logistical issues aside, the concert was an enjoyable event by a passionate artist, and will serve as one of the highlights of Carnival 2013.