Ludacris performs for sold-out crowd in Patten

Alexandra Finkel

Ray Whitehouse/The Daily Northwestern

“Where are all the real Ludacris fans at?” asked Chris “Ludacris” Bridges to a sold-out crowd Friday night. A sea of more than 1,000 Northwestern students answered with screams and waved hands.

“I guess there are some real Luda fans here,” he said.

Ludacris headlined this year’s A&O Ball in Patten Gym, which featured opening performances by hip-hop groups Pacific Division and The Knux.

Although doors opened at 7 p.m., Ludacris didn’t come on stage until nearly 10 p.m. During his set, the hip-hop artist was joined by Lil’ Fate and Chicago rapper Shawnna, two artists on his record label. He performed his most popular singles including “What’s Your Fantasy,” “Stand Up” and “Move Bitch” as well as a few singles off his upcoming album, “Battle of the Sexes.”

Although many students said they enjoyed his show, they said they felt the wait was a drawback.

“I liked when Luda came on, but I feel like I should’ve gotten there at like 9:30 p.m.,” said Weinberg sophomore Alana Buckbee. “When you’re standing in the sweaty mosh pit for two hours, it’s hard to have a good time.”

Other students said Patten was not a suitable venue for the concert. Lynnanne Nguyen left before Ludacris finished his set with his number-one single “Money Maker.”

“It was just really hot and gross in there,” the Medill sophomore said. “I don’t think Patten is the best venue to have a concert like this. It was poorly ventilated, and the bathrooms were really far away.”

Forrest Wickman, A&O director of concerts, said although A&O members would have liked to hold the concert in a different place, it wasn’t feasible.

“Of course we would have liked to have it in a larger venue, but we didn’t have the funding for that,” the Weinberg senior said.

Wickman said he thought the crowd responded well to the show.

“Everyone was singing along to all the hits and pumping their hands,” he said. “I think that’s what makes it all worth it for us.”

Tickets sold out in nearly 40 minutes when they went on sale two weeks ago. An additional 200 tickets were released Friday morning, but tickets were gone within one minute, said Communication sophomore Barry McCardel, A&O Productions co-director of promotions and public relations.

Communication senior Isabelle Esposito said she enjoyed the show.

“I was really excited when I heard Ludacris was coming,” Esposito said. “I took off work so I could get tickets.”

Esposito and other students were invited to dance on stage during The Knux’s performance.

“I thought the whole show was really fun,” she said. “I especially liked The Knux because I hadn’t heard of them before. A&O has done a really good job this year.”

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