Up-and-coming rapper Hoodie Allen kept his teenage fans screaming with hysteria on Nov. 30, 2012 at Castilleja School, despite arriving an hour late and performing a short 60 minute concert. At the end of the night, there were ambivalent reviews from the crowd, showing that only his true fans enjoyed the performance.
The concert was held in Castilleja’s small gym; the concert had a bland setup consisting of a rather small stage with simple red and blue lights to reflect the theme of his album, “All American.”
Although the event sold out weeks in advance, the audience failed to fill up even half the gym.
Hoodie and his band began the concert by pumping up the crowd with “The Chase is On,” and “You are not a Robot,” which were instantly received by a horde of mesmerized girls and boys belligerently shoving and clawing their way to the front in order to get a closer chance of touching his hand.
Although security was implemented in front of the stage as an attempt to keep fans away, they did not succeed against the entranced high schoolers.
The audience gradually dispersed into fervent fans clustering around the stage and a disappointed few socializing in the back of the gym. People seemed to be either enthralled or bored by Hoodie’s performance.
“I thought it was great and the energy was awesome,” senior Yoko Kanai, who scored a front row spot, said. “The sound wasn’t too loud or too quiet.”
On the other hand, junior Lizzie Rose was extremely displeased with the concert.
“I did not enjoy the concert at all,” Rose said. “I was glad it was short so that I could leave.”
Even though the sound was pleasantly resonant, Hoodie’s voice was constantly drowned out by his screaming fans. Also, because the acoustics in the gym were terrible, he was barely audible behind his tracks.
As an attempt to get his fans involved, Hoodie held a trite dance contest on stage. Most contestants were shy and uninteresting; however, Kanai received perhaps the loudest roar from the audience but lost to a Bellarmine Prep senior, Jeremy Edwards, who performed to a ridiculous rendition of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”
“Jeremy was the best part of the concert,” junior Lizzie Rose said. “His dancing was very seductive.”
Most of Hoodie’s songs were from his “All American” album, although he did include a few covers, some of which included versions of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA” and other covers of Blink -182 and Beastie Boys songs. His covers included original lyrics to well known ballads. Despite this, not all song selections were well received by the audience.
“I did like most of his songs, but some were too mainstream,” Kanai said.
Hoodie concluded the concert with “No Interruption,” a crowd favorite, and the most popular song from his “All American” album, which received the loudest and most excited response. The entire audience, including the few disappointed fans, seemed to be dancing and enjoying themselves. However, his voice was again almost completely overpowered by the passionate crowd, especially during this popular song.
Overall, the biggest audience complaint was the brevity of the concert. Originally scheduled to perform two hours, Hoodie made an appearance of less than an hour.
“The concert itself was way too short,” Kanai said.
Although Hoodie is known for fan interaction as he often retweets them, he initially did not want to take pictures and sign autographs after the concert.
Hoodie eventually gave in when persistent fans refused to leave the gym. According to manager JD Yarosh, his voice was too hoarse to speak after the concert, aside from this one comment.
“It was a lot of fun,” Hoodie said. “I hope to be back in the area soon.”
This was Hoodie’s first concert ever held for high schoolers, and according to the artist, he enjoyed the experience.