UM students react to Rae Sremmurd live at Watsco Center

Rappers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd perform during the Spring 2022 Hurricane Productions Concert in the Watsco Center on April 1, 2022.
Rappers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd perform during the Spring 2022 Hurricane Productions Concert in the Watsco Center on April 1, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

The long-awaited return of live entertainment concerts hosted by Hurricane Productions (HP) happened on April 1 at the Watsco Center. The Billboard charting duo Rae Sremmurd, consisting of brothers and rappers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, headlined the show.

With a variety of students in attendance, many shared their opinions about the anticipated event.

Fabian Treviño, a sophomore psychology major, enjoyed Rae Sremmurd’s set, saying they compiled a good selection of hits.

“They played all of the hits everyone knew,” Treviño said. “It would’ve been more lit if we were closer to the stage, but I still enjoyed it.”

Senior creative advertising major Lindsay Jayne was also enthusiastic about the concert.

“I thought it was super fun to be able to hold the live event here,” Jayne said. “It was awesome to be able to experience it before graduation. I know a lot of people were upset about no floor tickets, but it didn’t bother me.”

Rapper Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd climbs up the tucked away seating to reach the crowd during the Spring 2022 Hurricane Productions Concert in the Watsco Center on April 1, 2022.
Rapper Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd climbs up the tucked away seating to reach the crowd during the Spring 2022 Hurricane Productions Concert in the Watsco Center on April 1, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

“My favorite part was definitely being able to have all my friends in one spot and share the experience of seeing Rae Sremmurd for the first time,” she said.

Aside from the duo’s performance, students had a lot to say about the way the concert was set up. They were surprised to see that the stage was so far from the seating.

“It wasn’t set up properly…should’ve had floor seats,” said Anjali Borra, a sophomore, who is majoring in biology.

During past HP concerts, students were able to approach the stage more closely. In 2018’s headlining performance by German DJ and producer Zedd and 2019’s set by Atlanta rapper 21 Savage, students could fill out and stand on the floor of the Watsco Center, in addition to seating available along the sides of the floor.

Other students, such as sophomore psychology major Ronak Dsouza, didn’t enjoy the concert as much as Treviño.

“It wasn’t fun… but it was free,” Dsouza said.

Since convenient floor seats or a standing area in front of the stage were not available to students, they couldn’t enjoy the show directly in front of the hip pop duo.

Rapper Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd performs at the Spring 2022 Hurricane Productions Concert in the Watsco Center on April 1, 2022.
Rapper Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd performs at the Spring 2022 Hurricane Productions Concert in the Watsco Center on April 1, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Amanda Costello, senior public relations major and Concert Chair of HP, spoke about the organization’s reaction to the event.

“We are very excited following the completion of the concert and very proud of how it all turned out,” Costello said. “It was a very high energy show and it was great to see students back together in Watsco again.”

She additionally referenced students’ concerns about the seating arrangements, stating that Hurricane Productions is aware of student frustrations.

“We understand that students were upset by the closure of the floor, but our goal was to be able to have a concert while keeping students safe and adhering to the university’s guidelines,” Costello said.