I had been waiting for this concert since April 2016, the month that The Chainsmokers came to RPI. After being extremely disappointed that there wasn’t going to be a concert for my junior year, I became super excited about who might come perform my senior year. I waited months for the final decision to be announced after taking the UPAC concerts survey. The reveal of blackbear came in late February; I turned to whomever was next to me at that moment and said, “Who is blackbear?”
It seems I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard of him. At the door the night of the concert, a friend asked how many tickets were left, and astonishingly, only a little over 900 out of 2,000 tickets were sold. The low ticket sales probably didn’t have to do with UPAC Concerts advertising, as they promoted the concert on many platforms, or the access to tickets, as they gave many opportunities to purchase tickets rather, the problem was picking an artist that not enough people were interested in.
On the day of the concert, I wasn’t planning on going after giving a listen to his music, as it wasn’t really my genre. However, a few of my friends messaged me saying they had an extra ticket, so I decided to go. I got there just in time for the second opener’s (Asoh Black!) last song. I was there in the pack waiting for what seemed like forever. I thought to myself, “what is the delay, isn’t blackbear a solo singer?” Finally, after replacing half the sound system and bringing out his own sound crew, he came out with a whole band; I did not see that coming!
I migrated behind the crowd of people and stood there, confused. The bass was high and I could barely understand what he was singing, the crowd was low energy, and there weren’t many people singing along. People started leaving after his first song. I made my way to the seats in the Field House and sat with some friends.
Unfortunately, many of us agreed that the lights and the drummer, as well as the free light-up bracelet, were the best part of the show. It seemed that Blackbear went up on the stage with an attitude of “I’m too cool for this;” his cockiness stood out the whole show.
Overall, this show was not for me. I’ve been talking with friends, and an alternative band next year would be nice!
Photos: Jonathan Caicedo/The Polytechnic