WRBB’s 37th ANNUAL BLOCK PARTY (Photos + Review)

WHAT’S LIT, HUSKIES?

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to last week’s Block Party featuring Raury and the O’Mys. It was definitely a show for the books.

Keep reading for exclusive photos of Raury and the O’Mys, as well as a small review of the show written by our friend, Kenny!

RAURY

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***View more photos here!


SHOW REVIEW

It was 5:50. The show was about to begin, 6pm on the dot. Everyone was in their places and my Walkie-Talkie was buzzing with Dan’s voice trying to coordinate everyone to their places. We were only missing one thing: the audience. There were a couple of fans camped out right in front of the barriers, eagerly awaiting The O’My’s to come on, but besides that and a few others scattered in the lawn, the space was relatively empty. Dan gave the word. The show was to be pushed back to 6:15. Everyone sprang into action pulling people from all around campus trying to spread the word that one of the best concerts at Northeastern University was about to take place. I hopped up to the soundstage and started playing music trying to draw people in as much as sirens lure sailors. We offered a great time however, while they offered a watery grave. It was working. The space was actually filling up, as more and more groups of marauding students wandered over with a curious gleam in their eye, wondering what was about to take place. Finally as the clock showed a quarter past six, the O’My’s began.

And what a way to begin. As soon as lead vocalist Maceo Haymes opened his mouth and filled the air with his deep, soulful melodies, the whole air completely shifted. At first no one moved, filled with complete awe at the sound that filled all of Centennial. It was in the grass. It was in the trees. Reverberating off of the buildings then joining back together in a smooth harmonious honey, dripping from every pore in the crowd. This is when things really started to fill up. My siren’s song of top 100 hip hop was nothing compared to the open bleeding wound of raw emotion and feeling that was being poured from the stage. After getting over their initial shock, each member of the crowd enjoyed the performance in their own way. Many people started grooving along, moving their hips to the soulful tunes. Other simply marinated in the aforementioned honey, laying back and taking it all in. Everywhere you looked, however, people were clearly enjoying the performance. Raury and his friends chose to watch the action from atop Ryder, getting one of the best seats in the house (until NUPD decided otherwise). The O’My’s are Chicago royalty after all, having previously collaborated with the likes of Chance the Rapper, Nico Segal, and other various artists of a world caliber. They didn’t simply “open” for Raury. They weren’t just placeholders, taking up time before the main event. They were setting the stage and laying the groundwork for the rest of the night. A night that was soon to be filled with even more dancing and emotion. The O’My’s ended their performance as nonchalantly as they began. Humbly thanking the crowd then retiring to their green room to finish their Thai food.

After a quick set-change (thanks to the help of all of our wonderful volunteers), the WRBB Executive Board took the stage for a quick rousing speech by Dan and a bow from the E-Board. Once the snapchats were all taken and the crowd was finally ready to receive him, Raury took the stage. If the O’My’s filled the air with honey, Raury filled it with electricity. He wasn’t going to take anything but raw energy from the crowd and made everyone stand up and pack into the front. Starting off the show immediately with a bang, he had the entire crowd moving, jumping up and down and swaying to his unique blend of hip-hop and soul. After a four piece band, you’d think that just a single man backed by his drummer would make the stage feel barren, but Raury had the fire of 15 performers all bottled up into one explosive package. He was all over the stage jumping and dancing and even did a backflip or two. He interacted with the crowd, jumping down, much to the ire of security to touch them and really connect. There were moments of tenderness too among all of the bustle. At one moment, Raury stopped the show and asked everyone in the crowd to turn to the person next to them and embrace them in a show of shared humanity. Part of the reason why the performance was so poignant was Raury’s honesty and authenticity. After all he was no older than many of the crowd in attendance. He even lamented at one point that he missed out on having a college experience due to his commercial success with music, and urged us all to really appreciate what we have. College is an immensely special time after all, and this entire show really showcased that.

-Kenny D.