Block Party 2023 delivers energetic performances from Aminé, Surfaces and Faye Webster
Aminé, Surfaces and Faye Webster headline 2023 Block Party
As the school year comes to a close, University Union’s Block Party is the last event before Syracuse students head home for the summer. This year’s lineup included Faye Webster and Surfaces who opened for Aminé. Students packed the JMA Wireless Dome as they waited for the performances.
DJ Mototommy kept the crowd excited with his mixes that had everyone singing and dancing. Eagerly waiting for Faye Webster’s arrival, the fans were finally greeted with the beaming stage lights and a black backdrop that read “Faye Webster” in bright white letters. The screams echoed throughout the Dome as she began her hour-long set with her hit “Better Distractions.” Not once did the crowd’s energy die down after Faye took the stage.
In an attempt to feature more pop and indie artists, University Union’s co-concert director Laurel Matsui explained the selection process for this year’s lineup.
“We always want to try and put the student body on to new artists, so not a lot of people knew Faye originally,” Matsui said. “But, I think after this show they’re definitely going to fall in love with her, so I’m really excited about that.”
And she was definitely right about that. Lovers held one another while Faye took the stage, while friends danced and swayed side to side, eyes glued on Faye and her team. Having never heard of Faye Webster, SU senior Sofia Becker was extremely surprised by her performance.
Adding Faye and Surfaces to her liked artists, Becker said, “I feel like it’s cool that they brought in small artists and one big headliner.”
Having stolen the crowd’s heart, Faye Webster sang her final song and had the crowd sing along with her. While the orange and blue strobe lights took the stage as it was being prepped for Surfaces, Mototommy kept the energy with the remixes of hits and oldies. The crowd started to multiply as fans awaited Surfaces’ arrival.
After a seven month long hiatus from performing, the two friends Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki chose Syracuse to kickstart their long-awaited performances. Playing their hit songs and even their own rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” that had the crowd buzzing, you wouldn’t have known about their break from the stage.
Padalecki took to the stage to tell the Block Party audience about Frank’s recent newborn baby, excitedly shouting, “Syracuse, let’s party.”
And party they did.
Calling on OG Surface fans to sing along, they played their 2017 hits. To their surprise, the entire Dome sang with them.
As Surfaces closed with their hit “Sunday Best” fans could no longer await Aminé’s set. Block Party is an annual concert that takes a village, and this year’s Block Party left its attendees more than satisfied with their experience.
Quinn Schmidt, University Union’s public relations director, always knew that planning the annual Block Party was no small feat. Managing the artists’ teams, securing press coverage and amping up social media promotion of the event were just a few of the many responsibilities that fell on his shoulders. But the day of the show made it all worthwhile.
This year, Aminé headlined the show at SU, and the excitement was palpable. The crowd was buzzing as Aminé stretched before his set, and DJ Kaytraminé took the stage. The energy in the air was electric as he played hit after hit–fans going wild for his electronic dance set.
Finally, Aminé came out in full ‘Cuse fashion, wearing an orange jacket and baggy balloon pants. As he began to sing his hits, including songs like “REEL IT IN” and “4EVA” featuring Pharrell Williams, the fans went wild. His hit song “Caroline” was a particular standout; the sound of the audience singing along to every word had the entirety of campus shaking.
Even SU freshman Amara Nwokkike, who had admittedly “died down a little” in her fandom, couldn’t help, but be swept up in the excitement.
“I loved his last album,” Nwokkike said.
As the night wore on, the energy never waned. Aminé’s performance was unforgettable, and the crowd left the concert buzzing with excitement.