U Campus Invasion 08 The Recap

Michael Hogan

photos by Alphan Gunaydin

The circle of lawn in front of the Campus Center held a tightly packed mass of 3,500 screaming music fans for over five hours, resulting in the biggest event at UMass Boston in recent memory.

On Sunday, May 4, the MTVu Campus Invasion Music Festival made its last of three stops here at UMB’s Harbor Campus. Top notch musical acts, Flo Rida, The Spill Canvas, and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, warmed up the crowd for headliner, Wyclef Jean.

Despite the inclement weather throngs of eager fans flooded through the gates when they opened at 3:45.

For those who took a little time to wander a bit of free swag and activities could be found along the outside of the circle.

From free condoms, glow ropes, can cozies, and chapstick being handed out throughout the festival grounds to the water bottles, backpacks, bottle openers, and beach balls at the Palm Centro booth festival goers were destined to walk out of there with quite a haul.

Burger King gave out masks of a stitched zombie-like chicken and that ridiculously creepy king from the commercials, making for an odd looking crowd by the end of the night.

Photogenic individuals with a yearning for fame could audition for roles in MTVu shows. Aspiring DJs could scratch out their own future hits on turntables at the Burger King DJ Nook. Living room musicians and karaoke extraordaires found themselves at home playing the Harmonix game “Rock Band.”

The pugilists in the crowd could challenge their friends to a match of inflatable Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, while those with a more pacified competitive streak got their kicks at Mindball, a futuristic game that uses a person’s brain waves to move a ball across a table.

Though there was tons of stuff to keep everyone busy, the music was the real draw. So, let’s get to that now.

First to hit the stage was, Inflowential, a finalist in the MTVu Best Music on Campus Contest. Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, Inflowential is as eclectic as hip hop groups come nowadays. The six man ensemble is made up of MCs Tab-One and Charlie Smarts, Kyle Phelps on guitar and keyboards, Bender on bass, Ill Digitz on the turntables, and the beat boxing expertise of A-Did. To vote for Inflowential go to www.bestmusiconcampus.com.

Between performances hype man Sunnie Dae kept the crowd as warm as could be in the cool harbor breeze. Dancing to hit after hit, throwing water bottles and beach balls into the crowd, calling on the audience to finish lyrics, he did all that he could to keep the screaming denizens enthralled until the major acts hit the stage.

Miami rapper Flo Rida was the first of the major acts to perform. Not one to disappoint his many female fans, Flo Rida eventually ended up shirtless and climbing the scaffolding next to the stage. He performed his hits “Elevator” and “Low” to a frenzied pack of screaming women. The crowd danced and bounced, helping to keep everyone warm. Some prepackaged rap, lots of sweaty tattooed muscles and throngs of horny women is what ultimately made up Flo Rida’s set.

Next up the South Dakota rock band The Spill Canvas hit the stage, followed by Jacksonville emo band The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Both bands seemed to blend together, with a few differences here and there. Of course, the music was different. Nick Thomas of The Spill Canvas wore a suit and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ Ronnie Winters had longer hair, but really it all felt kind of the same. The crowd was not really into it as much at that point, most of those in attendance at that time having come to see the headliner, Wyclef Jean.

And, so, eventually the indifference subsided as Wyclef himself took the stage to end the night. Wyclef took his time on stage to prove why he is the BMOC of this years MTVu Campus Invasion Music Festival.

Performing hits like “Sweetest Girl” and “Fast Car”, Wyclef had the crowd singing along all set long. Always outspoken, Wyclef didn’t wait too long before allowing his political views to enter into the performance, telling the crowd to point towards Washington and telling George Bush to mind his business. Later he would ask for votes while singing “If I was President”. Wyclef is a man who spans genres, performing what can be considered reggae, rap, and R&B, sometimes all at the same time.

At one point he showed his full lingual repertoire, free styling in English, Spanish, Creole, and Japanese all in the same song. How many of today’s rappers do you see do that? Playing his guitar and dancing, he proved that he is worthy of being called a musician and not just a rapper.

Overall, the concert was as successful as anything that has ever taken place here at UMB. 3,500 attendees, standing around in the cold to enjoy some great music, the whole night was more than any of us could have imagined here at our campus.

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