Big Sean had every “clique” swerving and showed anything but “mercy.”
More than 1,200 people filled Goldstein Auditorium on Friday night for the “Save The Horn” benefit concert featuring Big Sean. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. hosted the concert for the second year, with intentions of making it an annual event.
Concertgoers — as excited as they were — showed up tardy for the party, causing the event to start later than scheduled. Greston Gill, a Phi Beta Sigma brother and event coordinator for the night, said he guessed the hour-late start time was the result of attendees holding out for the main act, Big Sean.
Three diverse opening acts graced the stage beforehand, getting concertgoers hyped and in the mood.
IamG, known to Syracuse University as Grant Palmer, a senior in the Bandier Program for Music and the Entertainment Industries, was the first opening act to hit the stage.
Inspired by Jay-Z, T.I. and Tupac, Palmer said he tries to keep an open mind for his inspiration.
“I basically just try to look at the legends to see what made them great and what I can do like them that will also set me apart,” he said.
Palmer, like many artists, writes about what he’s going through in his life, such as school or personal strife.
“Whatever I need to vent about – music is my outlet,” Palmer said.
Palmer was excited for the opportunity to open for Big Sean. He said he owes a lot of hard work and time to his success, and is proud he “finally got to the big stage.”
Second in the lineup of opening acts was Soul Star, who brought a smooth, rhythm-and-blues sound to the speakers of the auditorium.
Toward the end of his set, he serenaded a woman from the audience on stage. She had long, curled hair and a tight, red, strapless dress. As she sat center stage in front of the crowd, all were in for a surprise. As Soul Star’s passion-filled lyrics emitted from his smooth-talking mouth, he performed dance moves emulating that of which is usually kept behind closed doors.
The crowd cheered on.
Closing the opening acts was Nuff Sed, who amped the crowd to its peak energy with upbeat rhythms and catchy lyrics. Nuff Sed got the crowd off of its feet and, to close his set, brought many of the fraternity brothers on stage for an all-inclusive, Friday night “Harlem Shake” — giant dancing panda included.
Finally, Big Sean was welcomed to the stage by a roaring and energetic crowd. The 25-year-old said he was happy to be back in Syracuse.
The sing-along atmosphere paired with a coordinated, eye-catching light show made for an entertained, dance-heavy crowd. Big Sean had everyone singing to top hits like “Clique” and “Mula.”
The concert crowd was predominately female – most of who showed up dressed to impress with an urban, fashionable flair seemingly taken straight out of the center of Manhattan.
Ashley Tactac, a freshman English education major, was excited to see an artist perform who she and her friends said they loved. She viewed the benefit concert as a relief after her first week of classes following Spring Break.
“We’ve had such a long and stressful week,” Tactac said. “We’re really excited to have fun tonight.”
Her friend Imani Shaw agreed.
“It was a very stressful week coming back and dealing with classes again,” said Shaw, a sophomore political science major. “I’m looking forward to having fun and listening to music and dancing.”
Organizing the night’s concert, Gill, a senior accounting and finance major, said he was in charge of all of the operations and planning for the event. From recruiting the artists to setting the door time to selecting the venue – Gill had full responsibility for the successful event.
“From my understanding, everyone enjoyed it,” he said.
Fifty percent of the proceeds from the concert will be donated to Relief International, a nonprofit organization that provides relief to those who are oppressed and live in less-fortunate areas, Gill said.
From there, Relief International will purchase and send nutrition packs to people in the area of Africa referred to as “the Horn.” The area is a region of Eastern Africa near Somalia.
The Horn has some of the worst famine and drought zones in the world, and these food packs will provide citizens with meal packets containing daily nutrients they likely wouldn’t otherwise receive.
Proceeds will also be given to some SU community resources. Gill said the fraternity is looking into giving back to its greater SU family through scholarships, books and the like.
Since last year’s concert, Gill said he is proud of the benefit’s growth.
“I’m really happy to see how it progressed over a year,” he said.
Fraternity members are already looking ahead to next year, planning for bigger artists, a bigger venue and a bigger crowd. Gill said he would also love to see promotional videos and merchandise.
Said Gill: “I’m really happy for what the ‘Save The Horn Concert’ has become in only a year. I’m just really looking forward to doing it again next year.”