by AARON MEGAR
If this year’s Art Attack said anything of the beautiful campus and people at the University of Maryland, it’s that Terps know how to turn up. No matter the artist or the song, Xfinity Center’s audience on Friday night was about as fired up as they had been after beating Wisconsin basketball back in February.
The crowd was in it from the start, immediately jumping into a unique set from Battle of the Bands winner, The Orthobox. The one man show was all but orthodox, beat-boxing in a way that incorporated dubstep, pop music, and hip-hop beats. Regardless of his unusual genre, everyone on the floor was down to dance to whatever odd noises and sounds came out of the man’s mouth. This was only evidence of what was to come, however, as the crowd would continue to grow in size, volume, and energy throughout the night.
And then came Logic. In his homecoming show, the up-and-coming Maryland native was entertaining, confident, and lively, making for an awesome performance. The young rapper certainly felt at home, rapping through his discography as his local fans were able to rap along with him. At one point, he even brought Testudo on-stage, which was was sure to bring the crowd to another level.
The set had two distinctive highlights. The first song, “Alright,” is one where Logic sounds more like a Big Sean or Drake than the mixtape rapper that he was no more than a year ago. On-stage, it felt like I wasn’t at a Logic concert, but instead at the show of a more established rapper. This was his strongest moment on Friday night, but it was “Under Pressure” that was the most entertaining. This is where Logic really went in, aggressively spitting into the mic as the crowd bumped with him, beat by beat through what is my personal favorite Logic song. He exhibits his phenomenal flow on “Under Pressure,” and it made for a great live act.
The Chainsmokers were my favorite performers at Art Attack. To be fair, I will lose myself at any EDM show and The Chainsmokers are no exception, but from an objective standpoint, I can still say that the Xfinity Center was no more live for anything else than it was for their top-track, “Kanye.” The Chainsmokers’ mix moved from genre to genre, playing some of the New York duo’s original music, like “Kanye” and “Selfie,” while also mixing in whatever else sounded good. And it all sounded good.
By the end of their show, all the jumping and arm-moving and singing had left the crowd about three-times as tired as they were before the set had began, but I think I can speak for everyone else at Art Attack when I say that the raging was definitely worth it.
Coming into the night, I had only low expectations for Jessie J. Did I wish it was Juicy J? Yes. And do I like the song “Bang Bang”? No, not at all. But what the young artist was able to do on-stage truly did surprise me. She was more energetic than anybody else had been that night, including the fans. She hopped and danced around the stage and was solidly entertaining. And I also forgot that she wrote “Domino,” so that helped her too. Not to say that I had a “great time” watching Jessie J, but I can’t imagine any other pop star would do much better (besides Miley Cyrus).
Maybe it would have been in SEE’s best interest to end the show with The Chainsmokers, seeing that the end of their set drained both the energy and size of the crowd. But either way, I have to give it to Jessie J for getting me to dance to songs as poppy as hers are.
All in all, Art Attack XXXII was better than I had expected, and the crowd was one of the best that I’ve ever seen. A school concert is special because it brings the school together, allows everybody to have fun around one common thing – music. Were Logic, The Chainsmokers, and Jessie J the three acts that I could have asked for? No, the furthest thing from it. But together they put on an exciting and spirited show in front of a great group of people known as #TerpNation.