For the first time in years, the BU fall concert sold out. But students were given more than just a show at the Events Center Thursday; they got a night in Cole World.
Rapper J. Cole headlined with opening EDM group Flosstradamus, and together they brought down the house and brought the BU fall concert back to what it once was.
After a 30-minute warm-up set by DJ Bas, Flosstradamus took the stage at 7:55 p.m. Floss, composed of Chicago-based DJs 2K and Autobot, pledged to “bring hip hop and EDM fans together.” After an hour long set with trap and electronic remixes to everything from Kanye West’s “New Slaves” to 2 Chainz’s “I’m Different,” it’s safe to say, “mission accomplished.”
“They could’ve brought some newer stuff to the table, but I still loved it,” said Monique Tartt, a freshman majoring in sociology.
Ten minutes after Floss ended their set, the lights blacked out and the Events Center began to rumble to the sound of deep bass. The roar of the crowd grew to a thunderous climax when suddenly in a flash of light, the back curtain covering the stage fell to the ground. Behind it stood a full band, backup singers, a giant white staircase and J. Cole standing mightily atop.
Wearing all black and rocking a snapback that read “sinner,” the rapper descended from his throne towards the sea of cell phones and screaming fans. Between swigs of whiskey, J. Cole belted out his biggest hits, from “Work Out” to “Power Trip.” After a few songs, he stopped to promise the crowd more than just a concert. “This shit is a journey,” he assured us. And after 75 minutes of Cole World, he had BU students on that journey with him.
“The concert was … incredible,” said Kayla Stammer, a junior majoring in neuroscience. “J Cole was on point. I can’t believe this is Binghamton.”
With students dancing across the bleachers and nearly filling the floor, the Events Center came alive in a way it hasn’t for years.
“The stage was incredible. The Events Center has never looked this good,” said Haley Garofalo, concerts chair for the Student Association. “J Cole’s tour manager was really impressed that we basically filled the Events Center even though we’re just students.”
While J. Cole brought the heat, students brought the spirit to the show. Most BU students haven’t seen such a high-profile booking on campus, and for seniors, the show evokes memories of Drake four years ago. This concert also marked the most tickets sold since Drake.
“I’m so happy Bing got a big name on campus for the first time in a long time,” said Stephen Bedik, senior majoring in accounting. “He released a dope album this summer, and tonight he’s on fire.”
For Mariana Moriello, vice president of programming for the SA, J. Cole and Floss are only the beginning.
“This show is the biggest success since Drake,” Moriello said. “We’re super excited to see what the year holds. We have Demetri Martin coming next month, and we definitely have a lot of surprises for BU.”
J. Cole said it best: this year is going to be a journey. And based on tonight, we’ve already started with a bang.