Going into this, I knew B.o.B. was a rapper. I even knew that he made
“Airplanes,” the song I had my first slow dance to. It was an awkward
dance — partially because it’s not a very appropriate slow dancing song
and partially because I kept stepping on the guy’s feet. Nonetheless, I
have good memories attached to that song.
The major artist at this year’s SpringFest, B.o.B. performed at Gordon
Field House Saturday, April 28 to a lukewarm reception.
My friends and I arrived 40 minutes before they opened the doors,
and we waited in the chilly weather with about 50 other people. Time
went by slowly as our extremities gradually froze.
Once the door opened, there was an aura of excitement. For the next
hour and a half, the crowd hummed quietly with a few conversations
amongst those taking a break from checking Facebook on their phones.
Eventually the preshow began with performer Playboy Tre, a member
of B.o.B.’s production/rap group Ham Squad. Playboy Tre, who has
been featured in some of B.o.B.’s songs, including “Bet I,” performed
some of his own work and attempted to get the crowd’s energy up. He
flirted with a girl in the front row between songs and at one point he
did a short cover of LMFAO’s “Shots,” which drew a positive reaction
from the crowd. By the end of his performance, he managed to garner
a bit of enthusiasm from the audience.
Five minutes later, DJs, backup singers, guitarists and a drummer
began to file on stage. Finally, after a great deal of cheering and
applause, B.o.B. arrived in a baseball cap and baggy pants. He captured
the crowd’s attention within seconds, dancing around the stage.
He was joined on stage on multiple occasions by scantily clad
dancers in bejeweled bras. He also made sure to display his wide range
of musical talent by playing the guitar and the keyboard during a few
different songs such as “Don’t Let Me Fall” and “I’ll be in the Sky.”
However, despite these attempts at making the show exciting, the
audience quickly lost interest.
By that time, B.o.B. had already performed “Magic” and “Beautiful
Girls,” two of the songs that the majority of the audience actually knew.
In addition to the slightly repetitive lyrics, the DJ kept reminding the
audience that B.o.B.’s new album “Strange Clouds” was coming out
Tuesday, May 1 after every song.
Despite the DJ’s comments on what a wonderful audience we were
for our half-hearted cheers, the crowd had lost its enthusiasm. B.o.B.
also was losing enthusiasm and stopped dancing around the stage
with the same energy he had shown at the beginning. At the show’s
lowest point, B.o.B. expected the audience to know some of the lyrics
to one of his lesser-known songs and to sing along; instead, he was met
Then, what seemed to be just in the nick of time, he performed
“Airplanes.” It was so widely anticipated that the audience gave a
roaring response at the opening piano chords.
B.o.B. then performed one more song and left the stage. The
audience seemed to be taken aback by his sudden exit and it took
a few minutes for them to start chanting for an encore. Despite the
crowd’s delay, B.o.B. seemed to have an encore already planned. After
a quick performance of “Strange Clouds” and another reminder about
the album, B.o.B. made a swift exit. The audience quickly followed suit.
As my friends and I left the Field House feeling slightly disappointed,
we saw an empty couch positioned outside one of the windows of the
Field House looking in. Looking back, it seems like whoever sat there
had the better idea.