Fetty Wap said “Hey, what’s up, hello” to Binghamton University students on Friday night’s fall concert.
The concert, which was made possible by the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB), drew in a crowd of about 3,000 people to the Events Center, and featured two opening acts prior to Fetty Wap’s appearance.
The first act, Joywave, a band entirely composed of graduates from various SUNY schools, kicked off the night with a heavy synth-rock sound, which was unlike the hip-hop feel of the following acts. As much as they tried to banter with the crowd and danced to their own music onstage, the band failed to excite the audience.
The second act, rap artist Omen, fared much better with the crowd. Through dancing and cheers, the crowd’s appreciation of him was evident. Omen’s beats were loud to the point that the large venue felt as though it were vibrating, but he attempted to make the Events Center an intimate setting by performing some of his songs, many of which were about his upbringing in Chicago, sitting down.
An hour and a half after the concert began and later than when students expected him to take the stage, Fetty Wap arrived. He was greeted by an unadulterated wave of support from the audience, and the crowd seemed to know the lyrics to most of his songs. The sound was similar to the tone on his studio albums and singles.
No moment of the set was as animated as when Fetty Wap closed the show with his biggest hit, “Trap Queen.” It seemed that every audience member knew the hit song — the music would stop for seconds at a time during the chorus, so that all that could be heard was the wave of noise from the audience singing along. It was also toward the end of the set when, quite memorably for students in the front row, Fetty Wap threw $20 bills to any audience member that could grab them.
According to Max Maurice, the SA vice president for programming, the artist was chosen with his high pop-chart ratings and widespread appeal to college-age students in mind.
“In booking for Fetty Wap during the month of July, I was pretty excited about how the students would react to it,” said Maurice, a senior majoring in electrical engineering. “He’s one of the most popular names right now on the radio.”
Maurice also said that Fetty Wap was a widely suggested name in the survey.
“Because it was a concert open to the public, even University administration was concerned with the expectation and turnout of the event,” he said.
The crowd included quite a few community members and visiting students from nearby schools. Many attendees agreed that the performance exceeded their expectations for the show.
“I liked [the performance] a lot, I enjoyed it,” said Kelly Paris, a senior majoring in psychology. “I think he was a good choice; he’s very popular right now and it looked like everyone had a good time.”
Not every student was as pleased with the concert, though. For some, Fetty Wap’s performance was underwhelming, especially after the rumors that the artist might not show up at all — recently, he failed to perform at college concerts at Syracuse University and SUNY Brockport. Maurice wasn’t concerned about this track record and said that the artist signed a stricter contract with the SAPB to ensure his timeliness at the concert.
“Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed, but my expectations weren’t that high,” said John Russo, an undeclared sophomore. “He played for about 45 minutes, and then when he did play, he just rapped over his recording … [he] wasn’t that exciting; it wasn’t that captivating of a performance.”
This was not the only complaint surrounding the concert. Outside the Events Center, students from the Black Student Union were protesting the show based on Fetty Wap’s alleged history of domestic abuse against women. Members of the groups protested as people waited in line for the concert until about an hour after it started, and faced shouts in retaliation from some attendees as they walked into the venue.
Despite this, spirits inside the Events Center were high overall, and Maurice maintained that the concert had been a success with the student body.
“So far, I’ve heard nothing but praise about the concert from both concertgoers and administration,” Maurice said. “This was undoubtedly one of the most seamless concerts we’ve ever coordinated given the size of the name we brought and the controversy tied with his past. I couldn’t have asked for a better show.”