It began as any other pop concert would–rowdy guys and dolled-up girls, talking, shouting, laughing and some stumbling on the floor due to a little too much “pregame” enthusiasm. USF students entered the Memorial Gym, eager to see New Boyz, Fall Fest’s headliner Jay Sean, The Cataracts and Rock-It Scientists. While many students never lost this enthusiasm, willing to wait hours for Jay Sean to step on stage, screaming for him until they lost their voices and shattered my eardrums, most students’ energy died down after they “dougied” with the New Boyz. When it came time for Jay Sean to perform, he was left with a small crowd to please. Nonetheless, his performance was surprisingly impressive and successful.
The Rocket Scientists warmed everyone up by performing some great mash-ups of pop culture’s finest, including a never-before-heard Black Eyed Peas single. Despite San Francisco’s less than welcoming weather, our Memorial Gym had everyone burning up as evidenced by the mosh pit of guys and girls dancing and practically making out on top of audience members. Similar to any concert or venue where there is someone even mildly famous, people huddled into one great mass, attempting to get the best view of the stage. Consequently, this left no room for anyone to move or, in my case, breathe. Though, I must admit, it was entertaining to watch several chains of girls try to squeeze their way to the front of the crowd, while simultaneously dodging scowls from those standing firmly in their place. Fortunately, the crowd’s dynamic changed with the performers.
There was no end to the pushing and shoving, but when The Cataracs played their hit single, “Like a G6,” which is the number one song in the country as they reminded the crowd proudly, everyone began jumping up and down with their hands in the air.
It was starting to get claustrophobic until the New Boyz per- formed their version of the Cali Swag District hit “Teach Me How To Dougie” and everyone spread out to “dougie” with the New Boyz. They also performed a few of their own hits including “Tie Me Down” and “You’re a Jerk.” They also sang their new single, “Break My Bank,” from their upcoming album, “Too Cool To Care.” Overall, these guys got the students, especially the girls, excited every time they thrust their hips and took off their shirts.
The girls were screaming wildly, so wildly that eighteen year-old New Boy, BenJ, proceeded to ask, “Do you all scream for anything? Where are all my ugly girls at?” Cue more screaming, of course. They were overwhelmingly the crowd’s favorite. And the best part about them? They didn’t make the crowd wait over an hour.
As the New Boyz left the stage, so did a lot of the students. But to be honest, I don’t blame them. It took what seemed like forever for Jay Sean to step on stage, and although The Rock-It Scientists’ attempt to entertain the crowd was admirable, it wasn’t enough to keep the non-Jay Sean fans waiting. Luckily, Jay Sean did have enough loyal fans here at USF to make his performance worth the wait.
He stepped on stage like a bonafide rockstar with shades, a scarf, torn jeans and leather vest. The girls in the front row were loving Jay Sean, and he used it to his advantage by looking them straight in the eyes and singing them romantic words.
But his act did actually make him seem endearing, especially when he pulled a fan on-stage and sang directly to her, touching her, dancing with her and even coming close to kissing her. He got laughs from the crowd when he paused this performance to ask for her ID, so as to make sure he wasn’t “pulling an Akon.” He not only won the crowd over with his smooth moves and jokes, but also with his “invisible DJ-ing” skills when he beat-boxed Daft Punk’s “Technologic.” He performed hits from his first album as well as songs he released here, such as “Down,” “2012” and “Do You Remember.” In the midst of the music, fans were saying all around, “He’s such a great performer.”
Ultimately, Jay Sean was a crowd pleaser and those who left before his arrival missed a pretty great performance.
After the show ended, I had a chance to speak with our head-liner. Speaking with Jay Sean confirmed he is an endearing person and passionate artist, drawing his inspiration for songs from “real life experiences, traveling and friend’s stories.”
He also stated that some of it is “straight imagination” and that it’s “pretty easy to write a fictional story.” Jay Sean will release his fourth album at the beginning of next year.
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