Hundreds of students filled Wilkins Theater Oct. 5, 2017, as well-known hip-hop artists A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Don Q headlined the venue for Kean University's annual homecoming concert. Sponsored by the Student Organization of Kean University and coordinated by the Programming for Unique and Lively Student Experience (P.U.L.S.E) Organization, the yearly concert saw another fantastic turnout from 8 to 11 p.m. as concertgoers packed the stage as soon as the music began.
"For the time that it took for the concert to be sold out within four hours, I was highly impressed with that. With Kean, it made it bigger than what we expected," said Kevhorn Anderson, a member of the P.U.L.S.E Committee for Culture, Concerts and National Events and a junior majoring in information technology.
The P.U.L.S.E committee is responsible for organizing major events, concerts, workshops, lectures and cultural performances, such as this year's homecoming concert. The organization is dedicated to promoting the building of community and involvement among the Kean student body, all at a low and affordable cost. Produced by students for students, this organization pays close attention to its student body.
From background checks on artists to measuring their popularity, the Kean University's official Programming committee does more than just sign artists to performance contracts. They ensure that the Kean student body get treated to well-known artists at an affordable cost.
Members of the concert audience arrived in assemblages and checked in their tickets to the awaiting ticket takers who directed them to their seats. A theater hall encased in blue and purple lighting with stage fog floating throughout the electric environment welcomed students to this year's installment of the Homecoming Kickoff. The show was ready to begin.
The concert officially kicked off at 8:30 p.m., as the renowned DJ Nix in the Mix introduced his own mix to the crowd as a warm up to the show. As he played popular songs for the audience, they danced and sang along accordingly. This mix carried on for a half an hour, as the theater increasingly filled with new people eager to see some of their favorite artists perform on the campus' official stage. As soon as it filled to capacity, DJ Nix in the Mix asked for all of the lights to be shut off inside of the venue, as rapper Don Q was about to make his entrance.
Subsequently, the room burst into light and the students took out their phones and recorded this once-in-a-life-time experience on their respective Snapchat and Instagram accounts. Soon after, attendees erupted in cheer for the first artist of the night. Don Q performed his lengthy set for the crowd to enjoy a concert experience unlike any other.
Members of Kean University's Student Government were also instrumental in orchestrating the night's festivities along with P.U.L.S.E committee. Nina Townsend, the executive secretary of Student Government and a senior majoring in education, spoke highly on her organization's efforts in producing the massive turnout.
"We always love it when the student body is happy with Student Government and the work that we do. You really want to make sure that they have a good time within their college experience," Townsend said.
"We really try to be here for [the students]. Some students may hear the term 'Student Organization' or 'Student Government' and may think that they work for some administration. That is not the case. We really want to hear feedback from the student body and we really want to know what they want to see on campus and we are here to change things for them," Townsend commented.
While fans were up close and personal with the recording artist, Don Q was accepting of picking up students' phones and recording himself for their Snapchat or Instagram stories. Roars and cheers rang through the building when the artist performed his most popular tracks.
After performing his set, fans of the popular genre were treated to another hip-hop mix, prevalent with students' favorite songs. Those in the crowd could not stop dancing and singing along word-for-word as it continued for about a half an hour. Then, the main event began.
Popular artist "A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie" made his appearance midway through the show, and fans were ecstatic the exact moment he set foot on the Wilkins Theater stage. With the artist performing various tracks such as "Drowning", "Timeless", and "Say A", students experienced an unforgettable night and made memories. The rapper performed for an hour and was even requested to perform one more song at the end of his set, which he willingly agreed to as an extra treat for his fan base within the theater.
The Student Organization at Kean University, who opened and closed the show, played an integral part in picking the artists that performed during the beginning of Homecoming Weekend. Tezhanae Jackson, a senior majoring in marketing with a minor in communications and the treasurer of Student Organization, spoke on what it took to get the popular artists to perform at this year's homecoming.
"The Student Organization really wanted to find who the students listened to the most and we thought, who would everybody really enjoy? We just did a basic majority rule of who the students are catering to, especially for our incoming freshmen," Jackson said. "We have a lot of support from our students, so whatever we do, we know that we are going to get a big turnout."
Certainly, Kean students and alumni were able to get their homecoming celebration started with a memorable concert enjoyed by all who went. For more information on the Student Organization and how events are planned for the future, visit their Official Cougar Link page.