Sean Kingston’s concert drew mixed reactions from students – Colgate Maroon-News
Last Saturday, October 30th, the Colgate Student Activities Association (SAA) and the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted an expanded Fall Fest that included a number of events at Starr Rink, as well as a concert performance by Shawn Kingston at Cottrell Court. While students generally enjoyed the events at Starr Rink, Kingston’s performance received mixed reviews from students, according to attendees interviewed Maroon-News.
Students learned about Fall Fest in a variety of ways, including Get Involved emails, Colgate’s calendar of events, and SGA. Activities included a giant corn pit, inflatable ax throwing, pumpkin painting and food from a variety of local restaurants.
Senior Fallon Hemingway participated in some activities at Starr Rink, which she enjoyed.
“I wanted to go to participate in some fun fall activities and get free food because I’m an elderly person who wasn’t on a meal plan, and I thought it went well,” Hemingway said. “I would definitely go again if I didn’t finish school. I think they underestimated the number of students that would be there to improve next year because they just ran out of things to do.”
After the day’s Fall Fest activities ended, the doors opened for the concert around 9:30 p.m., with Colgate 13, the university’s a cappella group, opening for Sean Kingston. According to an Oct. 28 SGA email, Kingston was scheduled to take the stage at 10 p.m.
Some students, such as senior Spencer Gump, noted a lack of communication surrounding the specifics of the event.
“I had doubts about the quality of the concert. I don’t think it was widely publicized and there always seemed to be uncertainty about the logistical aspect of the event,” Gump said. “A few days before the day he was to perform, it was unclear where and when the concert would be.”
SAA and SGA announced the event via Instagram, releasing information about the concert a week before the concert even amid a flurry of student rumors that Kingston would be the performer. Another email from the SGA dated Oct. 28 — the day before the event — detailed the concert, including that guests were not allowed and that there would be no re-entry if a student left the venue.
Some students, like high school student Maria Clara Rapoza, came to the concert with low expectations and ended up having a good time.
“I think I got what I expected from the concert,” Rapoza said. “The people who were more in the crowd and expected it to be silly and fun had a good time, but the people who were in the side stands and hyped it up probably had a worse time.”
Students who got there early were able to grab seats nearby, while others who arrived later stood in the bleachers to see the stage, which many felt was too small for the size of the venue.
“When I walked into the concert, most of the audience was sitting in the bleachers, and there was a smaller group on the floor,” Gump said. “At first, my friends and I decided to sit in the stands, but then we went down to the floor when the concert started. When Shaun Kingston came out, everyone had their phones and the crowd looked really excited.”
According to Gump, the students were disappointed that Kingston did not appear to perform live and that the concert only lasted about an hour.
“However, it became clear that this was not a live performance when the first song he played was played through the speakers and Sean added little noises throughout the song,” Gump said. “That’s how all the songs went, and for his really popular songs everyone was dancing and singing along, but there seemed to be a moderate amount of disappointment that he didn’t actually perform.”
Some students who were looking forward to hearing Kingston’s late 2000s hits were unhappy with the quality of the concert, including sophomore Nikhil Bahal.
“I enjoyed hearing the songs I grew up listening to, but I was disappointed with the overall performance,” Bachal said. “Shaun Kingston’s performance on Saturday night was underwhelming, from mediocre performance to poor venue selection.”
According to Gump, other students decided to leave early.
“After we heard his biggest songs, we decided to leave, and the rest of the crowd seemed to agree,” Gump said. “In any case, he stopped performing shortly afterwards, so the whole concert only lasted about an hour.”
Colgate 13 Cappella opened for Kingston, performing CeeLo Green’s “Forget You,” among other songs. According to leader Piers Haley, the opening of Kingston was a great opportunity for the group, despite some technical difficulties.
“The stage they put on was smaller, so our group of 13 was packed pretty tight,” Haley said. “Before the performance, we did a soundcheck with three microphones they gave us: one for the lead singer and two for the background. Unfortunately during the show the microphone level wasn’t high enough to compete with the crowd noise, so we got a lot of feedback from people watching that they really couldn’t hear us singing.”
According to Haley, while some students felt the concert did not live up to expectations, other students enjoyed it.
“In terms of the actual concert, I thought it went great,” Haley said. “Some people I spoke to said they couldn’t actually hear Sean when he was singing, but it sounded good from where I was in the foreground. There was a lot of jostling and discomfort in the crowd, but what else would you expect from a concert like this? All in all, it was really cool to hear one of my favorite childhood artists perform live right in front of me.”
Although sophomore Elsa O’Brien, director of SAA’s entertainment committee, reported about 1,500 students, some students were confused after Kingston captioned his Instagram story “10k Sold Out” with a photo of the crowd and tagged the venue as “New”. York, New York.” According to Gump, some students felt that these errors misrepresented the actual concert.
Although reception to the concert was mixed, students who attended pre-concert events at Starr Rink were pleasantly surprised by what they found—provided they arrived before supplies began to dwindle.
“I went to the stuffed animal booth, which was very cute,” Hemingway said. “I also went to Maxwell’s, Hamilton Eatery and Ray Brother’s. The turnout was decent, definitely more people than I expected. People were still leaking when I was there too. I think there were enough things to do, but they weren’t enough. By the time I got there at 5:30, almost all the plushies were gone. The food was also running out.”