Khalid Wakes the Giant

By on April 17, 2018

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
On the first beautiful spring day of the year, the warm weather set the mood for the annual Wake the Giant concert that would take place later that evening. On April 14, the Quad was packed with students soaking up the sun, participating in Greek Life events, tossing frisbees and playing spike ball. A sense of joy and excitement could be felt radiating across the campus. While the warm weather was an added bonus, many students were focused on what was to come later that night.

“For my first concert, it [Wake the Giant] was perfect,” freshman undeclared student Rose Martinez said. “I got to stand front row in front of one of my favorite artists.”

Members of the audience were amazed by Khalid’s ability to interact with the crowd despite some restrictions from security.

“My favorite part was Khalid telling me he loved me,” sophomore education major Nina Castro said. “The overall experience was well worth the wait because we ended up being in the front row.”

By these students’ reactions it was no wonder that tickets sold out within minutes of the ticket portal opening.

When the lights finally went down on Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center, it was President John Lahey who set the mood for the concert. Having invested not only his time, but a large portion of money into the event, it was no wonder President Lahey was just as excited, if not more excited, than his students.

“Quinnipiac University has the best students in the world,” President Lahey said. “You work hard and God knows you play hard!”

After delivering his short speech, Lahey high-fived the front row of students who were ecstatic about President Lahey’s presence.

Donned in a yellow Quinnipiac University hockey jersey, Khalid opened the show with his hit song “American Teen.” The jersey featured Khalid’s name and the number 18 referencing his hit song “8TEEN” which was released in 2017. After greeting Bobcat Nation with his first song of the night, Khalid thanked SPB for the gear.

“Yo, this sh*t’s dope,” Khalid exclaimed as he flexed his number 18.

Khalid brought along two back up dancers who also represented the spirit of the Bobcat in yellow long-sleeve shirts that can be found in the campus bookstore.

The artist performed a wide variety of songs including hits such as “8TEEN,” “Another Sad Love Song,” “Location,” “Cold Blooded” and more.

Along with his hit songs, Khalid decided to throw in two acoustic renditions, something that he rarely does. The performer even admitted that he was nervous but laughed the nerves away.

Unfortunately, the night did not start off smoothly. The microphone died out on three different occasions throughout the night, but the audience carried the songs on for the artist. In a professional manner, Khalid kept the performance going through a series of spinning dance moves and high kicks.

Expanding his stage, Khalid jumped onto the high speakers to get closer to the audience allowing a few members to touch Khlaid’s hand. While his interaction with the audience was limited by security, Khalid did his best to interact as much as he could. On many occasions the singer pointed out specific audience members that he saw. A dance party even broke out between Khalid and a student in the general admissions seating.

The final performance of the night was the hit song “Young Dumb and Broke.” The chorus follows the lyrics of, “young, dumb, broke high school kids.” But at the draw of the concert the last lyrics out of Khalid’s mouth were “young, dumb, broke college kids.” The rendition was met with a roar of screams of surprise and excitement as the singer left the stage.

At the close of the concert, Khalid took to Instagram posting two images from the performance where he proudly wears his Bobcat jersey that garnered over two hundred thousand likes.

Khalid was not the only one to post images from the concert, as many members of Bobcat nation took to social media to express their love for the performer. A few technical difficulties did not take away from the artists performance.

While many students had their eyes set on April 14’s concert, SPB Mainstage Chair and senior BS/MBA major Joe Mania and his team had been hard at work for months.

“Planning for Wake the Giant began the day after Fall Fest back in September,” Mania said in an email interview. “It is never too early to start looking for potential talent for the spring! Overall, I would say a great deal of time goes into planning this event. While I rely on my team of directors and committee members for support, many months go into successful planning. We really get started right before winter break.”

Despite Mania’s excitement for the performer and overall event, SPB does not choose the performers based on their own opinions or their personal favorite artists. The original list of artists starts out at over a dozen potential options and SPB works with availability, pricing and the opinions of the student body.

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
“After surveying the students, we learned that Khalid and Daya best fit the data for genres our students want to see,” Mania said. “Khalid was a logical choice as he was rising in fame and we wanted to bring fresh, popular talent to campus our students would recognize and enjoy. Daya was a great pick for a first act as she represents students interested in pop music and has many successful hits.”

However, graduate students from the university were not in sight at the concert, which had initially caused uproar from the student body.

“Ticket sales originated with undergrads first as our funding for the event (and all SPB events) comes from the undergraduate student activity fees, which are allocated to SPB from the Student Government Association,” Mania said. “Our priority is to ensure undergrads have the first chance to purchase a ticket if they chose to do so. After careful decision making, the remainder of the tickets were opened to all undergraduate and graduate students.”

While audience members were busy singing and dancing with Khalid and Daya, the SPB team was feeling slightly emotional about the event.

“Very bittersweet,” Mania said. “I have been working on Wake the Giant for almost seven months with my team of directors and all of SPB. I could not have asked for a better show. I wish the show could never end! However, it is very gratifying that I played a large part in over 2,000 of our students’ college experience. I feel like I left my legacy at QU.”

Mania was not the only SPB member who was relieved and happy to see all of their hard work pay off.

“Overall, I think it went well,” stage crew volunteer Jessica Maricich said. “A few of the directors were stressed before the concert because of the last minute things that needed to occur, but everything came together nicely.”

Along with Mania and Maricich, Hospitality Director Naomi Robinson could not have been more pleased with the outcome.

“I was happy,” Robinson said. “The show was great from start to end and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

With the success of this past weekend’s concert, SPB has set the bar high for the 2018-19 Wake the Giant concert as Khalid’s performance generated one of the largest positive responses from the student body in years.

“This concert was a sold out Wake the Giant which hasn’t happened in a while,” Mania said.

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
As for next year, Mania hopes that the next Mainstage Chair will feel the same pride and joy that he has felt running the concert.

“I still watch the reveal video that our publicity director made since it makes me so glad our hard work in finding an artist paid off,” Mania said.

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