Confetti, shoes, water bottles, toilet paper, inflatables, glow sticks and sweaty celebrity rags rained down on the audience during the Homecoming concert with Waka Flocka and T-Pain Thursday night.
School pride mixed with love for the artists was a reason many students made the decision to attend. “You can’t turn up for homecoming without going to the concert,” said junior Kristi Brownlee.
Standing in line full of anticipation and a study guide in hand, junior Sabrina Romaine said she wasn’t going to miss this concert for anything – even if she did have an exam next day.
“This is my first homecoming and I’m excited because I love Waka Flocka and I want T-pain at my wedding,” Romaine said.
Waka Flocka was first on deck. His performance consisted of an unexpected combination of music, including performances of fan favorites like “Hard in Da Paint,” and his own mixes of Electronic Dance Music.
The audience seemed split on his decision as some looked around confused while others jumped in the air and danced to the beats. However, his willingness to connect with all of the crowd made him a favorite. Toward the end of his performance, he even jumped into the crowd to meet his fans.
“It was a life-changing experience,” said freshman Chris Schenker. “At one point, a very sweaty Waka Flocka Flame went stumbling through the crowd and I got to shake his hand.”
There were plenty of excited murmurs during the transition to T-Pain’s performance when members spotted twins who were backup singers and a woman on drums. However, when T-Pain made an appearance, he quickly stole the attention. He played the old-goodies with new twists, including acapella for some songs and remixes of others.
Nothing but cheers and laughter could be heard when T-pain performed famous dance moves like “the whip” and “Nae-Nae,” as well as his own pop-locking and choreographed dance moves with his hype man.
While the night was an unforgettable experience for many, it was not all for positive reasons.
“I thought it was one of the worst planned events I’ve ever been to and I’ve been to 40 other concerts,” said freshman Jared Madfes. “Music quality aside, the way it was run was atrocious.”
Madfes had a floor ticket that was only valid until 7:50 p.m. When his class caused him to arrive late, he was told his only option was to go into the stands, despite the ample amount of room on the floor.
“It didn’t make sense that we weren’t using certain things that we could’ve in order to increase the overall enjoyment of the Miami community,” he said. “They so grossly underestimated the number of people who could’ve been on that floor level.”
The floor, although not at its capacity, was filled with other trouble. Students fighting to get as close to the stage as possible created dangerous situations. Some students said they feared for their lives multiple times when the constant movement caused the crowd to unwillingly lean in the same direction all at once, almost causing some to fall and be trampled. The experience made the concert even more memorable for Schenker.
“I was almost crushed in a mosh pit,” he said matter-of-factly. “Overall, it was a successful night, one that will stay with me forever.”
Aside from the extreme measures students took to make their way to the front, the artists’ creativity and originality still made for a great time.
“I’m happy I got to experience one of the best concerts I’ve seen in all of my years here,” said senior Hülya Miclisse-Pola. “I didn’t expect them to get the crowd as turnt. It was actually really live.”