Kendrick Lamar - Karmaloop Verge Campus Tour, Florida Atlantic University - April 4

Categories: Concert Review
kendrick lamar fau.jpg
Alex Markow
The parking lot outside FAU's Kaye Auditorium rippled with three inches of flood waters from the evening's flash thunderstorm. Late in the afternoon, a blanket of darkness over North Broward suburbia brought 60 mph winds and hail the size of quarters.

Still, out of the cool darkness of the night, a stream of coeds glowed in neon crop tops and snapbacks, moving through the drizzle toward the shelter of the student center where Kendrick Lamar would be performing as part of Karmaloop's Verge Campus Tour Sponsored by NEFF Headwear. This was his first stop on a two-month tour across 27 universities beginning in Boca Raton and concluding in Watertown, New York.

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Inside, an air of stale sweat mingled with the damp, frenetic crowd of youths, recalling the musk of a high school gymnasium on a hot afternoon. Despite the strict no-bags, no outsiders policy, the auditorium radiated pure energy: throngs of girls skipped in, laughing, dancing, and holding hands; boys wore plastic sunglasses to hide their bloodshot eyes. 
Alex Markow
I settled into my seat, attempting to come to terms with the cup of beer I would not be holding throughout the duration of this no re-entry campus concert experience. EDM and Top 40 DJ and producer 5 & A Dime began his set, causing everyone to abandon their seats and rush up to the barricades in front of the stage.

5 & A Dime's set sounded like a slightly less ironic version of Harmony Korine's Skrillex-filled Spring Breakers soundtrack, transforming the auditorium into a surrealist rave playground of rowdy students hanging over railings and breaking into tripped out dubstep dance-offs in the middle of the aisles. The Philly-based DJ nerdily concluded his set with some remix overlaid with the theme music from Tetris, hyping up the crowd for Kendrick, even though we would have to wait another hour for the up-and-coming Compton rapper to take the stage.
Alex Markow
As the crowd grew restless with waiting, pressing up into each other to get closer to the stage, one girl created a frenzy when she decided to flash everyone in protest for not being allowed access to the closer rows that security had begun to block off.

When Kendrick finally took the stage, his raw, unrestrained energy perfectly matched that of the FAU crowd, who somehow, surprisingly, knew all of the lyrics to his songs, and made it known. The rapper demanded our attention with his original and effortless flow -- a completely refreshing sound like a cross between Bone Thugs and Outkast -- even though at 5 foot 6 and age 25, he looked more like one of the students rather than the artist some rap veterans have begun calling the new "King of California."
Alex Markow
He started out with tracks from earlier in his career like "P & P (Pussy & Patron)" and his breakout 2011 track "A.D.H.D.," asking the audience, "Who's been a fan since day one?" He received an answer of impassioned screams. When Kendrick said "Raise up your threes," the crowd obeyed, lifting their three-fingered hands in the air, screaming louder when Kendrick said, "Didn't y'all know this was going to be the loudest show?"

Location Info


Florida Atlantic University

777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL

Category: General

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