Binghamton University students and locals alike swooned last Wednesday night in the Events Center, as they were treated to a three-act musical experience headlined by R&B star Trey Songz.
Justine Skye, a Brooklyn R&B artist, opened the concert at 8 p.m. with two dancers in tow. Skye warmed the crowd with a lively performance, and threw T-shirts into the audience.
The Chainsmokers, an EDM DJ duo famous for their single “#Selfie,” followed her performance, starting with, “Yo Binghamton, you ready for some new Chainsmokers music?” and jumping along to their music, engulfed by the blue and red lights above. Hopefully, everyone that went took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a selfie with them in the background.
Around 9:45, Songz walked toward center stage, to the deafening shrieks of the crowd. Songz, whose real name is Tremaine Aldon Neverson, began his rise to fame in 2005 with his first album, “I Gotta Make It.” He’s released six more albums since, with “Trigga” released on July 1 this year. On stage, he donned a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses, beginning his set with “Heart Attack.”
Songz made an effort to connect with his audience, whether it was pointing out specific audience members while repeatedly singing the line “and you,” or saying “If you know what it’s like to miss somebody, you can relate to this song,” before singing “Missin’ You.” The audience responded in turn – each new song only reinvigorated the audience.
Some audience members were seasoned Songz fans, coming adorned with homemade shirts, or store-bought “Trigga” merchandise. Others came indifferent, and left inspired.
“I never was a Trey Songz fan, but now I am,” said Anissa Williams, an undeclared junior. “It was a good performance, I’m happy now, I like him.”
Songz was accompanied by a seven-piece band with guitars, trumpets and saxophones. These additions made the sound bigger and more extravagant, if that was even possible. Songz played his big hits, such as “Say Aah,” and “Bottoms Up,” even filling in for Nicki Minaj’s part.
While some were upset by the length of the show, around an hour and fifteen minutes, wishing that Songz had done a longer set, the crowd’s overall reception was positive.
“I thought it was a pretty good concert,” said Jabrille Williams, a senior majoring in English. “It was a little bit short, so I know a couple people were disappointed, but the songs he did were pretty good so I liked it.”
Later that night, The Chainsmokers went to the APES mansion to play another set. Ché Johnson, a junior majoring in psychology, said that a member of APES Incorporated reached out to The Chainsmokers to play at their place.
“One kid knew a girl who was hooking up with one of The Chainsmokers,” Johnson said. The Chainsmokers filmed a video with the theme of “Ebrola,” a fraternity twist to the Ebola disease that’s killed nearly 5,000 people so far. They came to the mansion wearing Hazmat suits, and documented “bro-y” activity at the party, while also playing a 45-minute DJ set for free.
Closing the Events Center concert, Songz took his shirt off, getting screams from the audience in return. During his last song, “Na Na,” he riled up the crowd, alluding that he’d throw the shirt into the audience. Songz threw it. The crowd swarmed. And just like that, he disappeared back into the curtains.
According to Stephanie Zagreda, vice president for programming at the Student Association, the event went smoothly behind the scenes at the Trey Songz concert.
“The show went very well production wise,” Zagreda wrote in an email. “Everything went according and inline with the schedule.”
According to Zagreda, nearly 3,000 people went to the concert. Trey Songz’s ticket sales were similar to recent years’ shows, with the exception of last year’s J. Cole concert, which sold more. Zagreda would not disclose how much the concert cost.
Release Editor Jacob Shamsian contributed to this report.