By Andi Hubbell
Complete with vibrant lights, thrashing beats and a big-name headlining musician, last night’s 29th annual Art Attack concert at the University of Maryland provided a lively atmosphere that fully resonated with the hundreds of students at Byrd Stadium.
The event, featuring headliner B.o.B., captivated its target audience with a string of dance-worthy acts that complemented College Park’s customary Friday night party ambiance.
Audience members made their intentions to have a high-energy evening clear when opening band Harmonic Blue took the stage around 6:30 p.m. The local act’s mellow blues-inspired sound initially failed to fully capture the restless attendees’ attention.
But as Harmonic Blue’s set went on and lead singer and guitarist Zach Field became progressively animated, audience members showed an increased appreciation for the band’s soulful sound. Concertgoers in the pit danced enthusiastically to the band’s original songs and well-executed B.B. King cover.
It wasn’t until Boston-based group The Dean’s List performed that the audience became fully engaged. The band’s edgy drum beats and raucous raps generated an instant reaction among audience members, who shimmied and waved their hands in unison throughout the entire set.
The crowd seemed mostly enthralled by The Dean’s List’s danceable sound and lively stage presence.
“This is what I want you guys to remember — f*** it, I’m young!” rapper Sonny Shotz said at the end of the band’s set, prompting audience members to chant “f*** it, I’m young!” as The Dean’s List exited the stage.
By the time rapper B.o.B. took the stage, the sun had set and the stadium was lit by rainbow-colored glow sticks S.E.E. staff members distributed after The Dean’s List’s set. The concert looked more like a rave as B.o.B. launched into his set and colored lights immediately illuminated the stage, setting the mood for his vivid performance.
Throughout his set, B.o.B. demonstrated an impressive versatility that captivated the audience. His performance started out sexy and sultry, with purple and blue lights flooding the stage and two scantily clad backup dancers swaying seductively. Then it turned raucous and edgy as he performed “Ray Bands.”
B.o.B. switched tones again when he brought a guitar onstage and performed softer numbers like “Don’t Let Me Fall.” To the audience’s delight, the rapper capped the night with a slew of popular singles including “Magic” and “Airplanes.”
“We’ve been to a lot of schools, but no school has ever been this loud before!” he said during his set, eliciting enthusiastic cheers from the audience.
By selecting high-energy acts with broad musical appeal like B.o.B., S.E.E. effectively enthralled its party-ready target audience and cemented this year’s Art Attack as an altogether success.