Big Sean brings energy to annual Blowout concert


Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

Big Sean performs Friday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Student DJ Anleu and indie duo MS MR opened for the rapper at A&O’s annual Blowout.

Lydia Ramsey, Managing Editor

Big Sean may only be of average height, but the rapper lived up to his name Friday night when he commanded the stage at A&O Blowout.

Big Sean headlined the night at Welsh-Ryan Arena after student DJ Anleu and indie rock duo MS MR, in front of a crowd of Northwestern students.

Bienen senior Lucas Messore kicked off the evening with a 20-minute DJ set. Messore, who performs under the name Anleu, is the first student act to play Blowout. Before performing, Messore told The Daily he hadn’t decided what kind of set he was planning to do.

“I just completely improvised,” Messore said after he played. “I didn’t have anything planned out. I had a few playlists that were workable … that seemed to be appropriate for the event.”

Messore said he was surprised by the size of the crowd that was already at the arena to hear his set at 7 p.m. Earlier in the day, Big Sean posted an Instagram video announcing he would take the stage at 9 p.m.

MS MR opened their set with eerie guitar chords before duo Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow performed “Fantasy” from the band’s 2013 album “Secondhand Rapture.”

Playing to a half-listening crowd, Plapinger and Hershenow had fun on stage, joking about the nature of the college-age crowd.

“If you’re going to make out with someone, this is your chance,” the duo suggested right before launching into “Dark Doo Wop.”

The band, which has been compared to Florence and the Machine, played a varied set before ending with its hit, “Hurricane.”

During set changes, A&O projected tweets from audience members who included #AOBlowout in their posts.

“The biggest change from last year was that we had this awesome Jumbotron and that we had a lot of visuals,” A&O chairwoman Tracy Kopulsky said. NU announced the scoreboards upgrade last June.

Right before Big Sean came onstage, NU Ski Trip announced that this year’s trip will go to Copper Mountain in Colorado. Ski Trip partnered with A&O to promote Blowout.

The crowd’s excitement grew when Big Sean entered. With the rest of his band behind a light board, the rapper rarely stood still, opting to dance, bounce and “swerve” around the stage.

“He brought incredible vibes to Welsh-Ryan,” Kopulsky, a Communication senior, said. “The whole crowd was having an amazing time. He was really charismatic and engaged with the student body in a really great way.”

The Detroit-based rapper made frequent references to NU and Chicago, even throwing in a few “Go Cats.”

“Usually I’m reppin’ Detroit,” he said. “But tonight, I’m reppin’ motherf—— Northwestern.”

Throughout the set, Big Sean had the audience dancing and rapping along. His set featured his own music as well as other songs on which he was featured.

“I think he did well,” Weinberg senior Adrienne Jenq said. “A little tiny part of me was hoping Ariana (Grande) would show up.” Big Sean and the popular singer are rumored to be dating.

Toward the end of his set, Big Sean shared the stage with another rapper for a song and, later still, brought a lion mascot wearing a Detroit Redwings jersey to the stage, adding another meaning to his repeated “Go Cats” exclamations.

During his performance of “Don’t Like.1,” Big Sean summed up his feelings toward his audience.

“Northwestern, Chi-Town that’s that s— I do like.”

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