They came. They performed. They conquered.
It’s not every year that you get a fall concert that rivals the notoriously big spring concerts at Stony Brook University in attendance and vibes. But if you want something that comes close to that outcome, all you have to do is get The Cataracs and Mac Miller to perform at the second annual Back to the Brook Concert.
Not even accounting for the performance, this year’s fall concert could definitely be considered a success based on the number of students drawn in alone. The performers brought in students by the hundreds–an extreme opposite of last year’s fall concert featuring Reel Big Fish.
It was not that last year’s performers did not put on an excellent show, but this year proves that the popularity of the hip-hop and DJ genres is just unparalleled to that of ska.
The line stretched from the top of the Staller Steps all the way past the library, and that was only at 3:30 pm. The concert was not scheduled to begin until around 4:30 p.m. At least, that’s when The Cataracs took to the stage.
When solo member Niles Hollowell-Dhar got in front of the crowd, the first thing he did was ask, “What the f*#$ is a Seawolf?!” to which the students yelled back in unison, “I’m a Seawolf!” From that point on, The Cataracs had good control over the audience.
Many times during the set, Hollowell-Dhar would interact with the crowd. During big hits like “Bass Down Low” and “Like a G6,” he would lower the music and have the massive crowd of students sing the chorus. And whenever he built up a big bass drop in the music, he would crack open a cold water bottle and douse the audience.
The Cataracs did more than just play his music. He mixed in songs ranging from Nirvana to DMX, which elicited plenty of cheers from the crowd. At one point, he even gave the audience a taste of a new Martin Solveig track that he collaborated on called “Hey Now.”
The Cataracs ended the set by asking the crowd yet again, “What the f*@# is a Seawolf?”
Between The Cataracs leaving the stage and Mac Miller performing, there was a moment when it seemed that the concert would be canceled. During the intermission, students still on line for admission to the steps were filing in one by one. However, the massive line of students got tired of waiting and rushed the steps in a stampede, blowing by security checks and barricades. The steps were so crowded, you could barely even see the grass on the ground.
Student officials like Undergraduate Student Government president Adil Hussain tried reasoning with the students, giving ultimatums that if they did not move back, the concert may be canceled. After about 20 minutes of negotiations, students receded and Mac Miller was able to start his set.
Before getting on the stage, Miller got on the mic and began singing the beginning of “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles, a band, which he later revealed in an interview with The Statesman, that he really enjoys.
Like The Cataracs, Miller had excellent control over the crowd getting them to put their hands up, jump around and sway to the music. He also strayed into songs from other performers like Bob Marley.
The music was loud and the bass was so powerful it could be felt from the ground, but all the while, the students could not get enough of Miller.
Multiple times throughout his set Miller would take a break in one of his songs to freestyle. Normally, that would seem like a risky move, but Miller effortlessly flowed words from his mouth, speeding faster and faster until the crowd went crazy.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of student cooperation during the intermission, Miller had to cut his set short in order to finish at 7 p.m. He even cut out one of his popular hits, “Frick Park Market.” Near the end of his set, he thanked the audience for their support and went on to end with his big hit, “Donald Trump” which put the crowd into a chaotic dancing frenzy.
The thing that really stuck out about this year’s performers is that they really knew how to put on a show and rile the crowd. Ava Rubino, a sophomore majoring in health science, didn’t need to be the bigest fan of the artists in order to have a good time. “It’s just a fun show and environment for everyone,” Rubino said.
The Student Activities Board has some big shoes to fill for next year’s fall concert.