Khalid brings ‘free spirit’ to Block Party

Khalid brings 'free spirit' to Block Party

The R&B singer stirred the college crowd with heartfelt vocals and recent hits.
Published: April 28, 2019
Su Block Party 2019
Khalid performs at Syracuse University Block Party 2019.


In the midst of a downpour, thousands of drenched SU students gathered indoors at the Carrier Dome for the annual end-of-year Block Party concert, headlined by Khalid. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter, known for his uplifting R&B, just last week performed at the TIME gala where he was honored as one of the Most Influential Teens of the year. An audience of eager and energized college students, some clad in decorative face-paint and costumes, awaited the performance in the Dome Saturday night. For Khalid, there was never a better crowd to celebrate being “Young, Dumb and Broke,” the title of one of his hits, than this one.

SU Block party 2019
Students in the audience at Syracuse University's Block Party.

Once Khalid made his way to the stage, the crowd was sent into a frenzy. The pop star performed material from both his 2019 album, Free Spirit and his 2017 debut LP, American Teen. Noteworthy tracks from the night included the infectiously melodic “Young Dumb & Broke,” synth-laden “Talk,” and laid-back “Better.” Sporting a Syracuse sweatshirt with Otto the Orange on the front, the musician received a chorus of frantic, emotional cheers from the crowd during the introduction of each song. The true impact of Khalid’s music was undeniably apparent, with some concertgoers wiping away tears throughout the set.

SU block party 2019
Rico Nasty performs at Syracuse University Block Party 2019.

Opening acts Kenny Beats and Rico Nasty riled the crowd up with their respective sets. A hip-hop producer from Greenwich, Connecticut, Kenny Beats has worked with various prolific electronic artists such as NGHTMRE and Zeds Dead. Rico Nasty’s performance saw a bit of technical difficulty when her DJ’s setup was cut off in the middle of her set. However, the rapper handled the situation gracefully, conversing with the crowd until the issue was fixed.

Ultimately, Khalid’s performance at Block Party 2019 was perhaps one of the most invigorating and emotional shows to rock the Carrier Dome in recent memory. The young artist will soon embark on a world tour to promote “Free Spirit,” with the opening date taking place at the Hangout Music Fest in Alabama on May 17.


SU Block Party 2019
Kenny Beats performs at Syracuse University Block Party.