Sweaty bodies thrust against one another. People forced through for the chance to get closer. The bass bounced at an octave that could kill eardrums. Everyone was having a great time.
Saturday afternoon, thousands of Cal Poly students packed the outdoor Cal Poly Sports Complex for the second Spring Stampede. The event, hosted by Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), allowed the student body to vote on the artist they most wanted to see. And so a huge crowd gathered for none other than platinum hip-hop vocalist T-Pain.
“I think most people here are hyped for T-Pain,” computer science senior Jack Wang said.
Headlining the show, T-Pain was the main act, but Spring Stampede opened with Cal Poly’s own Box the Oxford, followed by indie-electronic DJ Jai Wolf.
Box the Oxford, an indie surf rock band of Cal Poly students, won ASI’s Battle of the Bands in April. The concession for the win was a spot as opener at Spring Stampede.
During their performance, the audience grew from a small huddle to a massive crowd as hoards of students piled in. Box the Oxford successfully energized the crowd with upbeat, beach-y music that was fitting for a hot day outside. Having won the opportunity to open at such a big event, the enthusiasm and excitement was evident on the band members’ faces, as well as in their performance quality.
“I think they did really well. They got the crowd fired up, it was really fun,” English junior Lauren Henninger said.
Following Box the Oxford’s beach-y, California sound, Jai Wolf mixed to the beat of a different drummer. The electronica DJ blared the bass with popular hits that everyone knew, but with his own EDM flair that got the crowd singing along and moving.
Next up was T-Pain, expectantly awaited by the crowd. Rolling up in a black Escalade, T-Pain hopped out of the car and onto the stage chanting the iconic “O-ooh, o-ooh” opener to “Cyclone.” The cheers met were deafening. T-Pain succeeded in turning the Sports Complex lawn into a scene out of a night club.
T-Pain’s stage presence was marked by his signature sense of humor. He incorporated selfie-taking and overexaggerated leans, drops and stanky-leg dance moves.
“T-Pain’s pretty awesome. He did a really good job getting the crowd pumped up,” manufacturing engineering junior Peter McLean said.
In a blatant disregard for eloquence, T-Pain thanked the audience, saying “Thank y’all for lettin’ me get into this mothafucka. Y’all didn’t have to do that shit and I appreciate it.”
T-Pain also shared some of his newer hits, “Look at Me” and “Panda T-MIX,” as well as displaying his natural vocal talent with some autotune-free vibrato … Before quickly returning to his usual hip-hop rhyme with “I’m Sprung”.
In “I’m Sprung,” T-Pain sang of acting out of character, going crazy and being infatuated. Cal Poly exhibited the same sentiment, and was “sprung” for T-Pain.
As only the second Spring Stampede concert ASI has hosted, the event proved to be a huge success. Clearly the tradition will carry on in future years, and will continue to draw big-name performers.