The 2011 Spring Fling Concert welcomed a Long Island diva, a Jamaican star, an ATL newcomer, and a rapper straight out of D.C to St. John’s.
Chrisette Michele, Wayne Wonder, Roscoe Dash, and Wale rocked the stage Friday April 29 for the annual spring concert. The arena was filled with students, as well as the members of Haraya, the Pan-African student organization, who planned the event.
Liane Robinson, 2011-2012 President of Haraya said a total of about 2,000 students were granted access into Carnesseca Arena for the event. The concert line-up was a popular topic of conversation among students around the university and the suspense built as the organization announced each artist one by one.
The night of the show, St. John’s students and guests lined up outside the arena starting at 5 p.m. When doors opened two hours later, a stampede of concert goers flooded the halls of the venue seeking a spot closest to the stage.
The show started off with Grammy award winner Chrisette Michele, who had the ladies in the audience filled with emotion as she sang her 2009 hit “Epiphany.” Michele displayed her amazing vocal skills through her women empowering songs like “Porcelain Doll,” “Blame it on Me,” and “Goodbye Game.”
Reggae singer Wayne Wonder took the stage with his popular hits “Searching” and “No Letting Go.” The artist had the crowd on their feet moving to the rhythm of his Caribbean sounds. During his set, he announced that he will be releasing a new album later on this year. The crowd sang along to his love song “I Still Believe,” but his segment proved to be a lot mellower than the rest and the artist was desperately seeking crowd participation.
Atlanta rapper Roscoe Dash’s experience was different than Wonder’s. The Inferno was able to talk to Dash and he said “I love it here; there was a lot of crowd participation.” He said that in Atlanta audiences are not as willing to contribute positive energy to shows. “It takes away from the energy of the performer whenever the crowd doesn’t participate,” the “All the Way Turnt Up” rapper said, “for us to come out here and everyone is just going crazy the whole time, it is a good feeling.”
After nearly a four hour wait and three performers later, fans became impatient and starting chanting “Wale! Wale! Wale!” The D.C. rapper took the stage and opened his segment with the song “World Tour” and jumped into the crowd as fans screamed. As the show went on and he performed songs from his catalog, the rapper seemed to catch on to the sentiments of fellow artist Wayne Wonder as his eyes shot a few glimpses up to the bleachers. “Get on your feet St. John’s!” the rapper yelled to the top.
As his song “Sexy Lady” was being performed by Tre, the singer from Uncalled 4 Band—a popular D.C. go-go band, Wale got off the stage and disappeared. Everyone looked around in confusion, and minutes later the rapper appeared by the entrance that leads to the top bleachers of the sports arena. What minutes before was a dormant crowd, was now on their feet and cheering for the artist. The rapper performed a song from the top as the fans snapped photographs of him and attempted to shake his hand.
The rapper returned to the stage and introduced a song that will be featured on his upcoming sophomore album, and had the crowd learn the lyrics on the spot saying “chain so big/can’t pop my collar.” The show ended with the hit “No Hands” as a shirtless Roscoe Dash joined the rapper for the finale.
The D.C. rapper turned up the energy by maintaining the fans engagement throughout the show. Wale denied The Inferno an interview but one of his people commented about his experience, “I loved St. John’s, it was a positive crowd and we got a lot of response,” said singer Tre from UCB. “We really want to come back. I didn’t know it was going to be like this,” he said.
The artists seemed to be enamored with the St. John’s community. Roscoe Dash said he wants all students to “put God first and just stay positive.” Especially for those trying to get into the music business.
“You have to be different than everyone else,” he said. “Everyone is rapping about selling drugs, big chains and cars. I just think that if people had a different angle or took a different approach it will be a lot easier. I think that’s what sets me apart from everyone else.”
Now that St. John’s has experienced their talents first hand, it is evident that these artists have bright futures ahead. The crowd was enthusiastic after the show and that’s what Roscoe recommends. “If you don’t believe in yourself no one else is going to believe in you.”
“It took forever to bring Roscoe and Wale out,” said freshman Bielca Sosa, 19. “But it was worth the wait, and definitely worth the five dollars.”