Editor’s Note: This article contains profanity.
Art Attack XXXII, the first concert ever held at the Xfinity Center, brought in performers Jessie J, The Chainsmokers, Logic and student performer The Orthobox Friday.
Junior criminal justice major Derek Abrokwa said he could not imagine a concert in the Xfinity Center.
“I’ve only seen basketball games and stuff there, so I’m not sure,” he said. “Maybe it will be like going to the Verizon Center for a concert, or something like that.”
However, sophomore biology major Kaitlin Beilec said she thinks Xfinity will bring a new aspect to Art Attack.
“I think it was a great idea to move it because the sound will be better and there will be lights,” she said. “It’ll feel more like a concert than just being on the football field.”
A stage was set up in front of the student section, but the other sections of Xfinity were open for seating, along with the option of floor seats.
Doors opened at 5:30 for ticket holders to start filing in.
Though Xfinity was still mostly empty, the crowd seemed lively for The Orthobox’s performance.
The Orthobox earned the opportunity to perform at Art Attack when he won Battle of the Bands earlier this semester. He is a beatboxer, meaning all of the sounds in his performance are created solely from his mouth.
“Orthobox” is a combination of the words “orthodox” and “beatbox.” The Orthobox follows Orthodox Judaism, so he could not perform after sundown, which marks the beginning of the Sabbath.
Because most campus events – like sports games and concerts – take place during the Sabbath, The Orthobox doesn’t get to participate in many.
“Being here, I’m embracing whatever SEE’s initial intention was to bring other aspects of student life,” he said. “Having a venue where I can participate, it’s like I’m contributing something to what’s going on here, and that is incredible.”
Students engaged in the more popular songs The Orthobox covered, like “Sail” and “Royals.”
“I think everyone was really blown away at the beginning because he was basically taking EDM tracks and doing it with his mouth and that was really cool,” said sophomore journalism major Marisa Haber. “But toward the end he had to start singing and I think that it kind of fell flat. The energy kind of died.”
The crowd at Xfinity slowly started growing. Glow sticks lit up in the foggy lighting around the stadium.
Logic took the stage wearing a University of Maryland sweatshirt.
Logic, who grew up in Montgomery County, said the university is a very special place to him. He has filmed music videos and recorded songs on campus.
“I’m so happy to be here,” he said. “Real talk.”
At this point, the room was halfway full. Those in the floor seating threw a beach ball around as Testudo jumped off the stage and crowd surfed.
When he performed covers of songs like “Memories” and “Pursuit of Happiness,” the crowd perked up and became more engaged.
“I saw [Logic] freshman year here; he had a free concert,” said senior government and politics major Francesco Zuluaga. “Just seeing him grow over these four years is great, so I think it’s gonna be really cool for him.”
However, senior communications major David Roumani was unimpressed with Logic’s performance.
“Logic was kind of the same thing the whole time for half an hour,” he said. “It was too much hip-hop, too much rap, very repetitive; it didn’t really get us into any kind of zone.”
After performing “Gang Related,” a “tale about what it was like growing up,” Logic left the audience with an important message.
“Do you know why I’m up here? It’s because I’m special,” Logic said. “You can do anything you want to do because you’re all special.”
Dressed in black outfits with hoods, the group took the stage relatively unnoticed. The stage lights were still off and audience members danced to the transition music. Then the stage lights flared on and the hooded band members threw more glowsticks into the crowd. One of them took a selfie on stage.
“But first … shut the fuck up,” The Chainsmokers, famous for their song “#SELFIE,” said, remixing their own lyrics.
The Xfinity Center started to fill up and the attendees in the stands finally stood to their feet for the performance.
The Chainsmokers seemed to energize the crowd the most out of all of the performers so far.
The audience jumped and fist-pumped to the loud beat.
A crowd favorite was “Kanye,” which, contrary to popular belief, is not about Kanye West.
“‘Kanye’ is about being yourself,” The Chainsmokers said.
Nisha Pawar graduated from this university in December, but came back to see her friends.
“I just wanna have fun with them,” Pawar said. “I’m actually a fan of Jessie J and Logic and The Chainsmokers. I’ve heard all of their music and I’m pretty excited for the concert.”
The lights dimmed and “Uptown Funk” played over the loudspeakers. The lyrics echoed around Xfinity as everyone sang along, an excited buzz in the air.
The stage lights illuminated the evening’s first live band, complete with back-up singers. The band started playing and then Jessie J ran onto the stage wearing a see-through Maryland tank-top as a dress.
Jessie J’s set was a mix of upbeat tunes like “Burnin Up” and more mellow songs like “Nobody’s Perfect.” She asked the audience to put their phones away and enjoy the moment.
“She doesn’t know her audience well,” a girl said during one of the slower songs.
Jessie J said performing at Art Attack was special to her because it was the first time she sang more than two songs at a show.
“I read somewhere that she’s the first female artist to come in a really long time,” Subhashree Nayak, who graduated from this university in December, said. “I think that’s really cool so her performance will be a lot more different than last year’s and in the past.”
Sarah Sinnott, a freshman early childhood education major, lost her voice during Jessie J’s performance.
“I’m a singer and personally I think that Jessie J is just amazing because, not only is she beautiful, but she has such a positive message,” Sinnott said. “She’s so talented and she can do things with her voice that a lot of famous people can’t do.”
Jessie J talked about how awkward and clumsy she is, describing herself as a “dog in disguise.” She said she’s had a lot of embarrassing moments, but she said they are important life lessons.
“The bad moments you’ve had in your life, you need them,” Jessie J said. “You learn from them.”
Maya Pottiger is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at email@example.com.
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