Kweli homecoming concert shut down mid-song

Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli’s performance for Homecoming Friday night, which began 20 minutes late, came to an abrupt close after the music was stopped mid-song.

Police approached Hurricane Productions, the event’s organizer, and told the group they had to shut off the sound, said Andrew Hunter, HP’s large venue concert chair. Hunter said the message was relayed to the production company, Unique Productions, which shut down the performance.

A Coral Gables noise ordinance restricts loud music after midnight, although Kweli’s performance was scheduled to end before that time.

Kweli’s set was scheduled to start at 11 p.m. and go for 45 minutes, with 15 minutes left for an encore, Hunter said. Kweli did not begin his set until about 11:20 p.m. because of problems during the changeover of bands on stage, he added. Robert Randolph and the Family Band was the opening act.
Police on the scene said they had nothing to do with the shutdown.

“I have no idea why the music turned off,” said Sgt. E. Claughton, who stood with other officers as the crowd broke up.

Hunter said Kweli, who expressed frustration with his show being cut short, was “100 percent aware” of the noise rule, noting it would have been stipulated in his contract.

Representatives for Kweli and Unique Productions could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Hundreds of students lingered after the show was halted, with many expressing frustration at the way the show ended.

Several dozen students chased Kweli’s car, clearing the Richter Green even more. Others who left the concert area made their way to the UC Rock.

Emanuel Fidalgo, who stood close to the stage during the show, initially thought the shutdown was due to technical difficulties.

Fidalgo, a junior, said Kweli tried to hush the crowd. He said Kweli told the audience, “That’s some disrespectful sh**,” before knocking down the microphone stands and emptying water bottles.

“We wished we could be up there with him, wrecking the stage,” Fidalgo said.

“But we didn’t want to do anything crazy.”

Anthony Wojtkowiak, a senior, also stood near the stage.

“The crowd exploded,” he said. “People were chanting, ‘Let’s start a riot,’ throwing stuff on stage. People didn’t know what to think.”

Student Government President Danny Carvajal, who walked by the scene where students chased Kweli’s car, called the shutdown “terrible.”

Hunter said he thought the student reaction to the shutdown was warranted, but also kept it in perspective.

“I think that overall it was an extremely positive experience for everyone,” he said. “I think, with the exception of the ending, everything went extremely well.”

Greg Linch may be contacted at