By Lauren Minore
About 1,565 Rider students piled into the Student Recreation Center Gym (SRC) on Sept. 20 after many arrived half an hour early to wait in line around 7:00 p.m. At that time, the line was backed up near Daly Dining Hall.
When the doors opened at 7:30 p.m., students made their way inside, inching close to the barricade in front of the stage set up on the courts. Soon, former Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke and rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie would be performing.
The Student Entertainment Council (SEC) presented Rider’s annual fall concert after a year of great success for headliner A Boogie, whose gold-certified second album, “Hoodie SZN,” was streamed more than 83 million times in the first week of its 2018 release.
The show began with a surprise performance from rapper Trap Manny, who collaborated with A Boogie on a song called “Alone.” He warmed up the crowd for about 15 minutes, until Brooke took the stage performing her song “Higher.”
Brooke, who is currently competing on Dancing with the Stars, showed off her dance moves while performing her singles “Low Key” and “Lips Don’t Lie,” among others.
When it came time for the headlining act, A Boogie didn’t disappoint his fans in the crowd, opening his performance with his track “Look Back at It”. “Drowning” and “Swervin,” two of A Boogie’s most well-known songs, were also a part of his setlist. He performed a wide range of his music, older hits like “Jungle” and “Still Think About You” to his latest single, “Mood Swings.”
A Boogie was interactive with the crowd, prompting students to create a big circle in the middle of the audience. At one point, he even brought out his young daughter, Melody Valentine, and serenaded her during his performance.
Associate Dean of Campus Life Nick Barbati said it was one of the largest concert attendances since it has taken place in the SRC, along with the Big Sean and Kelly Rowland shows.
“The event was much larger in scale with incredible LED screens that totally transformed the room into a true concert venue,” he said. “The audience this year was just amazing and they were so electric when A Boogie entered the stage.”
Jennifer Bartkovich, senior communication studies major and vice president of special events for the SEC, was responsible for planning the event with her co-chair and senior public relations major Danielle Chambliss.
“I wasn’t paying much attention to the size of the crowd, I was more concerned with getting the artist on stage,” Bartkovich said.
Balancing her responsibility and her ability to “call the shots” were the hardest, yet most exciting parts for Bartkovich, who felt the stressful experience paid off.
“I was definitely happy because there were no major mishaps, there wasn’t much commotion with students or fights like the ones that have broken out in the past, so that was definitely a relief,” she said.
Interacting with his tour manager and getting hands-on experience with A Boogie’s team on the day of the concert was also a rewarding experience for Bartkovich. Most importantly, she said, finding quick solutions to problems that occurred which weren’t anticipated was the biggest take away.
“With those kinds of high-pressure situations, you have to be accountable, reliable and on your game,” she said.
For Barbati, however, the night could not have been more successful.
“A Boogie, Ally Brooke and Trap Manny, collectively, put on such a great show that I know our students will be talking about for years to come,” he said.
Published in the 9/25/19 edition.