Students lined the block wrapped around the outside of the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion determined to enjoy their free concert Thursday night, despite the weather.
Grammy award winner Lupe Fiasco kicked off the “Big Three Concert” series presented by the Ohio Union Activities Board with his performance on Thursday night at the LC Pavilion.
As students filled in the pavilion and lawn, chants of “Lupe” were heard from the crowd just before 9 p.m.
As if on cue, the light rain stopped as Fiasco took the stage to a roaring welcome from students.
Heads began to bob and hands were thrust in the air as Fiasco played his show, and the crowd became more involved in singing and dancing with songs like “Beautiful Lasers” and “Go Go Gadget Flow.”
Fiasco had a full band behind him, including vocalist Skylar Grey, who is featured in the song “Words I Never Said.”
Performing hit songs from Fiasco’s most recent album, “Lasers,” prompted celebration from the crowd, but so did older tracks like “Kick, Push.”
More unique tracks like “Scream” incorporated flashing lights and the audience repeating the title of the song, to where Fiasco responded, “That was really good, congratulations.”
Fiasco ended the show with a slow R&B freestyle performance in which he motivated the audience with inspiring words and thanked the staff and students.
Many students were pleased with the concert.
Lina Alkhatib, a first-year in journalism, said she loved the closing song, “Daydreamin,'” and the freestyle ending.
“I thought it was inspiring,” she said. “He had the right to do that.”
Juli Madzsar, a second-year in nursing, said Fiasco was the biggest artist OUAB has recruited to perform for students.
“He was much better than Drake,” she said. “Everyone who went was pleased.”
Drake performed at OSU last April.
What started out as a sprinkle turned into a steady rain before the gates opened at 7:25 p.m. Officials at The LC Pavilion told patrons umbrellas were not allowed at their outdoor venue and that the show could not be moved indoors because 5,000 people wouldn’t fit inside.
Nick Kosanovich, a third-year in finance and operations, said he thought students would treat the event as a rowdy social gathering rather than a concert. But Kosanovich also said the rain and location could be a problem.
“I’m kind of torn, because I think people are going to get real drunk and not want to go all the way over there,” he said.
Yet, students kept pouring into the pavilion after OUAB students checked BuckIDs and bags at the door.
Some were huddled under any shelter they could find, while others adorned ponchos or drew their jackets’ hoods. Two students walked across the concession area holding pieces of paper of their heads.
Alicia Rodgers, a first-year in biology who wore a new poncho, said she was excited to see what Fiasco would be like live.
“I assumed it would be inside,” she said. “But people have the right energy coming in.”
Cayla Hellwarth, a second-year in marketing and international business, said she thought students might view the concert as a chance to party since the tickets were free.
“Since they didn’t have to pay for it, they don’t really care what they get out of it,” she said.
While many OSU students came to the show just because the tickets were free, some have been fans of Fiasco for years.
Marcy Gleghorn, a third-year in strategic communication, said she has been listening to Lupe Fiasco since 2006.
“I don’t like his new album actually,” she said. “He himself doesn’t like it either. He caved into the pressure of the record company.”
Todd Starky and Sam Perozer, second-years in chemical and mechanical engineering, respectively, said they would have come even if this were the $10 concert of the “Big Three Weekend.”
Only a few students had previously heard of the opening act, rapper Wax, who took the stage at about 8 p.m. in a gray OSU sweatshirt and jeans.
Wax not only rapped to a steady beat, but also played an acoustic guitar to a few slower songs.
Haydee Patterson, a third-year in human development and family science, said she had seen Wax on YouTube, but didn’t like what she heard at the show.
“He needed to tone it down with his vulgarity,” she said. “If I didn’t love Lupe, I wouldn’t be here.”
Ash Kittaneh, a graduate student in pharmacy, said he was not a fan.
“Tell him to change his name to ‘Wack,'” he said.
Nick Justus, a second-year in electrical engineering, said he had heard Wax’s mixtapes online before the concert.
“I liked him. … It’s good to have a variety,” he said.
The concert was originally scheduled to take place at the Newport Music Hall, but was moved to the LC Pavilion.
OUAB concert chair Linnea Larson said in an email that 1,750 tickets for the Lupe Fiasco concert at the Newport were released to students on April 27. The change of venue capacity allowed for an extra 3,250 tickets to be released on April 29 and all tickets had been given away prior to the show.
Larson would not reveal the cost of the concert due to competition among clients.