The Return of Hip-Hop at Shocktoberfest 2015
To the dismay of some and the delight of others, this year’s Shocktoberfest, after just one year of consorting with EDM, made a return to its hip-hop origins. Following the announcement of the annual fall concert’s lineup, hip-hop fans and students alike were thrilled to hear the news.
“I was super excited to find out that Shock was going back to hip-hop,” said Kieran Moriah, a fourth-year urban studies major. “It gives nice diversity to the types of performances ASUCI sponsors.”
Kieran wasn’t the only one eager to hear the Shocktoberfest lineup; over a thousand students liked and commented the picture on ASUCI’s Student Services Facebook page, portraying silhouettes of the three artists playing sets at Shocktoberfest. After countless guesses (popular runner-up guesses were Vic Mensa and Tinashe), Student Services finally announced the performers: openers Kehlani and Ty Dolla $ign, and headliner Sage the Gemini.
“Our focus (was) to really increase student attendance, and since the turnout with EDM wasn’t as great as we hoped it would be last year, we decided to make that switch back (to hip-hop),” said Jane Jayme, ASUCI’s Concerts Commissioner. “I’m really glad that we switched back this year, because selling out in less than 24 hours is a record for us!”
That’s right: Shocktoberfest’s student tickets sold out in less than 24 hours, with freshman and seniors alike clambering for the chance to storm the Bren for UCI’s hottest fall event. After a seemingly endless line at the Bren’s entrance, UCI Athletics’ Midnight Magic exhibition and a tandem dance performance between dance crew (need this spelled out) MCIA and UCI men’s and women’s Basketball teams, Shocktoberfest 2015 was finally ready to begin.
Kehlani — affectionally referred to as ‘Baelani’ — was the first to take the stage, crooning and grooving with the two backup dancers flanking her, while eliciting screams from Bay Area Anteaters with shoutouts to her hometown of Oakland, California.
An especially exciting part of Kehlani’s set was when she brought out a ridiculously-dressed man accompanied by her two dancers, both dressed in white coats. Her dancers examined the man and his dramatically idiotic movements before arriving to the conclusion that he suffered from the symptoms of ‘being a f*ckboy.’
Ty Dolla $ign followed, bringing a gigantic banner of his logo onstage as well as displaying a projection of the same logo for good measure. The crowd exploded for hits like “Paranoid” and “Or Nah”; otherwise, Ty left a lot to be desired. The vibe of the crowd, which had once been so amped for Kehlani, felt considerably less stoked for Ty; it might just be the plight of performing the second of three sets, but the energy noticeably waned during Ty Dolla $ign’s set.
The crowd was back to firing at all cylinders when Sage the Gemini came onstage. Opening with his feature on Flo Rida’s “GDFR (Going Down For Real),” Sage immediately had the Bren on its feet. With his natural charisma, Sage won the audience over easily. Playing with the crowd, Sage would stop songs and tease leaving when he felt the crowd’s reaction was less than satisfactory.
The audience’s reactions to his biggest hits made it apparent that they didn’t want him anywhere but onstage; “Gas Pedal” and “Red Nose” were undoubtedly the most electrifying performances of the night. Audience members in the stands spilled over into walkways and aisles as to have more room to ‘shake it like a red nose’ as Sage wrapped up an ultimately successful Shocktoberfest.
After all was said and done, Jayme was satisfied with the work her and her team had done in putting together Shocktoberfest 2015.
“Having people tell me that this was one of the best Shocktoberfests they’ve been to really feels good.”