Big Sean brings some G.O.O.D. music

Review: SU students avoided the frosty weather at Winter Carnival 2011 kick-off concert Wednesday night.

Rising hip-hop star Big Sean, electrified the jam-packed Schine Underground as 350 Syracuse University students flocked to hear him perform Wednesday night. 

As the youngest member of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. music group, Big Sean has been steadily building momentum within the industry. SU’s enthusiastic student response to Wednesday night’s show provided more evidence that he could be on the brink of stardom. 

Photo: Alexander Abdalian
Donnis performs at the Winter Carnival Kick-off concert in Schine Underground.

Raucous fans sang along, danced and screamed as the Detroit native performed hits from his first three mixtapes. Although he has not released a studio album yet, a screaming pack of fans echoed almost all of his lyrics. Songs like “What You Doin?” “Supa Dupa” and “Too Fake,” drew the most screams from the crowd.

Throughout the show Big Sean exhibited the stage presence of a savvy, veteran performer. He interacted with the crowd, both those standing near the stage and calling out to those in the farthest corners. The lucky ones close to the stage were part of the show. Big Sean slapped hands with the guys and serenaded his suggestive lyrics to his female fans.

The Fly, a Syracuse-based rock-rap fusion band, was the opening act. They performed to a lukewarm crowd. As The Fly left the stage, fans showed some appreciation for their performance, but it was clear that they were ready for the headliner.  

The next act was Donnis, a new age, hip-hop contemporary of Big Sean. His performance started to energize the audience, but when he exited the stage the crowd’s excitement skyrocketed. As more fans trickled into the venue, the stage was set for Big Sean’s arrival. And he did not disappoint.

“Are you ready?” asked the disc jockey to the eagerly waiting crowd.

“Hell yeah!” said the audience in unison.

Big Sean jumped onto the stage, his pants sagging, wearing a backwards Knicks cap and a camouflage hooded sweatshirt. He wasn’t worried about his clothes, though, in fact, he seemed to enjoy removing them. Each time he took of his sweatshirt or cap, or lifted up his shirt, the girls in the crowd would scream and stretch out their hands wildly, trying to touch him.

The show was part of the Bandersnatch Music Series and SU Winter Carnival 2011. It was organized as part of University Union Concerts. Gabz Landman, co-president of Bandersnatch, booked the event.

After surveying SU students, Landman said that Big Sean and Donnis were the leading student choices. Landman made the final decision to book the artists.

“I’m a fan of Big Sean and Donnis,” she said. “From this new class of hip-hop artists these two are credible, lyrical and have great beats. They both promote good messages.” 

The show lagged at some points. The crowd spent the majority of Donnis’ act standing around looking unimpressed. No one knew the words to his songs. Nor could they hear them. Halfway through the set the musician had to stop his performance and request that the sound levels be adjusted. But he went out on a positive note with a performance of his radio single “Gone”.

The star of the night was undeniably Big Sean. He lived up to the hype and delivered a performance so memorable that dozens of fans waited after the concert for a chance to meet with him and take photos with the artist. Landman was satisfied and relieved that the show was such a success.

“I think it went amazing,” she said. “It exceeded my wildest expectations. I could tell that the audience was loving every minute.”

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