Screaming fans could be heard echoing out of the Rec Center on April 25. It was the night of the 2019 Spring Concert, and excited students were buzzing around on campus in anticipation for the show.
Women’s lacrosse team members were first in line for the event, eager for the night’s performances.
“Since the tickets came on sale, we were probably the first ones to all buy our tickets,” said junior Hannah Lamothe.
CEN Traditions Co-Chair, junior Alec Gesualdi, said that ticket sales for this year’s event were not as great as last year when they sold out in 2 hours, but that they still went pretty well.
Caleb Hawley took the stage first, jokingly saying that the audience was probably wondering who he was. A Harlem-based singer who was raised in Minneapolis, he incorporates a lot of different emotions into his music, playing the guitar alongside his songs for a more acoustic sound.
Some of the songs that Hawley performed included originals like “U & I” and “Bada Boom, Bada Bling,” For the latter, Hawley gave the crowd two phrases to sing, “bada bling” and “cha-ching,” and students were loving the sing along.
In an interview with The Hawks’ Herald, Hawley spoke about his music and his goals when he is in the midst of the creative process.
“With my lyrics, I try to be as genuine as possible. [They are] not necessarily about positivity or self love,” Hawley said. “I feel like if I write from a real place, that’s what I’m kind of in this for.”
Hawley’s new album, “Sad People,” released today. On this album was his final song, and the song that he told The Hawks’ Herald he was most excited to play that night: “Machine Gun.” With introspective lyrics that touch on struggling with depression, the song taps into Hawley’s practice of not sticking to the ordinary, upbeat tune.
Screams were roaring through the audience when Jesse McCartney came out on stage.
Sophomore Stephanie Bona expressed how thrilled she was that the singer was one of the performers for the night.
“I’m excited because this is like my childhood idol,” Bona said.
McCartney definitely felt this energy from the students too.
“First time here at your school, I can already tell this is going to be a fun crowd,” he said.
Accompanied by his guitarist, Jacob Evergreen, McCartney kicked off his set with some of his old hits, including “She’s No You,” “Leavin’” and “How Do You Sleep.”
At one point, he announced that he was going to perform a cover of Robin Thicke’s “The Stupid Things.” Stopping the song after a few lines, he sent the crowd into a frenzy when he said that it would probably be better if he was singing it to someone. Sophomore Jordan Chesek was the lucky student that McCartney brought on stage to serenade.
“Jesse McCartney was so nice. Being on stage with him was so much fun, especially because I could see all of my friends in the crowd,” Chesek said. “Spring Weekend is one of the best weekends on campus and this was for sure the best way to start it.”
In an interview with The Hawks’ Herald, McCartney said that playing for college crowds is really refreshing.
“You very rarely get a boring college audience,” McCartney said.
When asked about what song he was most excited to play that night, he said that he was really excited to perform his most recent song, “Wasted.” Though, the first song title that he responded with was his hit from the early 2000s, “Beautiful Soul.”
“‘Beautiful Soul’ never gets old. I don’t even have to sing it, like they can sing every word. I can pretty much just toss the mic to them and let them sort of carry out the encore,” he said.
Students in the crowd did just that. McCartney and his guitarist left the stage before running back on to close out his set with “Beautiful Soul.” He held the mic out to the audience and students were singing along to every word.
Many students did leave after McCartney’s set, however people were still squeezing up against the front barriers to get closer to the stage for Lupe Fiasco’s performance.
Prior to the show, students expressed that they could not wait for Fiasco to take the stage.
“I love all of his top songs. Lupe Fiasco, I’m just so excited for,” said junior Shannon Mohr.
Fiasco, who previously performed at RWU during its 2011 Spring Concert, came out on stage with DJ DoubleUp for an electrifying set. Starting his set with “Dopamine Lit (Intro),” he had the volume on the speakers turned all the way up as he hyped up the crowd.
He closed out the show with one of his classic hits, “The Show Goes On,” splashing water onto the crowd as students chanted every word. The lyrics really spoke to the ending of the event.
Before he left the stage, Fiasco thanked all of the staff and security for putting the event together. He encouraged students to have a great rest of the school year and summer, and focus on the things that matter to them.
“Hopefully I’ll see y’all in another 10 years, not here though, somewhere else,” said Fiasco.
CEN Traditions Co-Chair, senior Sarah Durning, spoke to the success of the show.
“I think the event went really well. We didn’t sell as many tickets as we expected or hoped, but everyone that came had a good time,” Durning said. “Caleb, Jesse, and Lupe all put on a really good show and overall it was an exciting day.”