Lauren Hallow / Lantern photographer
B.o.B.’s concert at the Newport Music Hall on Saturday might not have been free, but it still sold out, as did its “Big Three Weekend” predecessors, Lupe Fiasco on Thursday and Kellie Pickler on Friday.
After opening act Hoodie Allen performed, there was little doubt that the crowd was there for B.o.B. when a chant spelling out his name rose from the pit before he took the stage.
The rapper entered to his song “Higher,” jumping around the stage while spitting rhymes. The energy kept up, and B.o.B. was occasionally joined on stage by fellow Atlanta rapper Playboy Tre.
B.o.B. introduced his fourth song with some wisdom for the college students in attendance.
“No matter what you do, no matter where you go, you’re going to have a motherf—–‘ hater,” he said, before starting “Haterz Everywhere.”
After the first four songs, B.o.B.’s band came out to perform “Beast Mode,” but some fans were anxious that the rapper himself had not picked up his own guitar, one of the key aspects of his performances. During a pause in the action, the DJ read a tweet from someone in the room who had expressed worry over the instrumental drought. B.o.B. responded by launching into “Magic,” a top-10 hit that featured Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, and then finally grabbed a guitar for another single, “Don’t Let Me Fall.”
After “Magic,” the crowd’s excitement was at full force, and the mood carried over into the hit “Nothin’ On You.”
Interestingly, one of the biggest hits with fans was a song that he didn’t write. Picking up the guitar again, the band began playing “Kids,” the hit single from alternative band MGMT. The fans embraced the change of pace, singing the hook’s playful riff while the rapper provided the vocals.
After “Kids,” B.o.B. left the stage, but the suspense of the inevitable encore was cut short by another “B-O-B” chant. He did three more songs: “I’ll Be in The Sky,” his final top-10 single “Airplanes,” and finished with one of Playboy Tre’s songs, “Talking Bout Her,” during which the two rappers pointed out various female Buckeyes and earned many swooning grins in the process.
The rapper wrapped up by throwing his sneakers into the crowd, making at least two fans’ nights. Student reactions were positive on the whole.
“It was awesome,” said Dan Furbee, a first-year in business.
Even the non-Buckeyes in the house were pleased. High school junior Brittainy Martin and senior Monica George (who will be a freshman at OSU next year) won tickets through a Twitter promotion.
“It was amazing,” Martin said. “I can’t hear, it was so awesome.”
When asked whether it was the volume or the excellence of performance that had deafened her, Martin replied, “Both.”
Tickets for the show were priced at $10, still a bargain for Ohio State students. The concert served as this year’s BuckeyeThon Benefit Concert, with all proceeds going toward the Hematology/Oncology department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The concert had more than 1,300 attendees and raised $17,790, said Katie Krajny, adviser of the Ohio Union Activities Board, who hosted the event.
Before B.o.B. took the stage, Allen, a New York rapper, warmed things up for the steady flow of fans who showed up fashionably late.
The emcee played for just more than a half-hour, including a hip-hop remix of Ohio natives The Black Keys’ “Tighten Up” and a freestyle on a menagerie of OSU topics.