On Saturday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m., University of Maine students packed the Alfond Arena to get ready for the annual Maine Day concert, “The Maine Event.” The concert featured artists Lupe Fiasco, Action Bronson and Felly.
Lupe Fiasco, a rapper and businessman from Chicago, Illinois, took the stage as the headlining act for the night. He has produced six studio albums and 19 singles, including well-known “The Show Goes On,” which he performed at the end of the concert.
The stage was assembled on the floor of the Alfond Arena, which included light fixtures, tables, walkways, speakers and an area for the performers and DJs to stand. Hundreds of eager students walked through the front entrance before show time, and the bright smiles and eager faces added to the upbeat atmosphere of the arena, and the energy of the crowd and performers. Students held phone flashlights up in the air, as well as hats and other memorabilia, which added to the feeling of unity felt throughout the night.
“I wasn’t sure how the concert was going to go, considering it was moved to the Alfond and wasn’t the night before Maine Day. I had a great time though, and I loved the performers and the atmosphere,” second-year student Olivia Bristol said. “I think it’s great that our school sets up these activities and events for the students, and gets everyone together for a fun night.”
Vice President for Student Entertainment Jared Dumas shared student governments pride in the success in the event in a message.
“Changing the concert venue back to the Alfond was not the first choice of Student Entertainment, but we worked with the situation we we’re [were] presented with. The show was a great success and many of the issues that the administration and the community had with the previous event were avoided, “ Dumas wrote. “We hope to be able to have outdoor events again in the future, but we are quite proud of our event and the potential avenues it may lead to in the future.”
Felly, otherwise known as Christian Felner, is a rapper and producer from Connecticut who took the stage as the opening act for the night around 7:40 p.m., introducing himself and his DJ to the crowd. Felly first performed his No. 1 song on iTunes, titled “Desert Eagle,” from his album “Young Fel.” He also sang his new song titled, “Murder” and “Bang and get it over with” as well as many other top charts from his recent albums.
“As someone who has always admired Felly, and looked up to him as a performer, it was great to see him live on the stage. The colorful lights, multiple sets of speakers and great vibes from the crowd made the night memorable,” first-year student Ethan O’Rourke said.
Action Bronson, known for his rapping, acting and writing, continued the night by singing a few of his well-known songs, including “Amadu Diablo,” singles from his album, “Blue Chips 7000” and “Baby Blue,” from his album, “Mr. Wonderful.” Bronson wrapped up his set at 9:30 p.m.
“The atmosphere of the concert was very welcoming and safe, everyone seemed to be having a good time and enjoying the music,” first-year student Aidan Lurgio said. “It was nice to be able to get close to the stage in the center of the arena, but also have the chance to hang out and talk with friends in the stadium seats and other areas of the building.”
Staff and members of the Student Government and other school organizations planned the event and made sure everything ran smoothly. Police officers, University Ambulance Corps (UVAC) and security were stationed at the entrance of the Alfond Arena, as well as around the building to ensure student and audience safety.
Lupe Fiasco finished off the night as the last performer of the concert, beginning his set with songs “Go Go Gadget Flow,” “Chopper” and “Jump.” Walking out with sunglasses, a bright red sweatshirt, and his face hidden behind long brown hair, Fiasco made an entrance grabbing every students attention and packing fans close together at the front of the stage.
“Before seeing him live, I knew who Lupe Fiasco was, but never really listened to his music. After hearing him and Felly perform, it made me a huge fan and I am excited to listen to more,” second-year student Alison Cyr said. “Each of the artists put on a great performance and engaged the crowd with interesting techniques and special effects on stage.”
Many students lined up outside the door to the arena before the event started, eager to find a spot close to the stage and enjoy a night of music and fun. Tickets for the concert were distributed in the Memorial Union weeks prior to the day of the show by members of Student Government. The concert ended around 11:15 p.m., and students filed out of the arena singing their favorite songs of the night and reminiscing in the memories of the event.