Review: Block Party 2022 was the perfect celebration to end the semester
Review: Block Party makes perfect celebration to year's end
After a beautiful day spent outside on the quad, University Union continued the festivities in the Dome for this year’s Block Party. Students appeared as though they stepped out of an episode of Euphoria as they sauntered inside to witness A-Trak, 070 Shake, 2 Chainz and Baby Keem.
Doors opened at 7 p.m. with A-Trak starting his set late due to a delayed flight. Known for his song “Barbra Streisand,” he masterfully manipulated the turntables, hyping up the growing crowd of students. “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs mixed with “Work” by Rihanna had everyone jumping together in the end zone.
The stage was set up on the 20-yard line with standing room only in the end zone and seats available in the first tier. The huge Dome dwarfed the size of the large crowd. Security was on high alert, scanning the crowd for students that overindulged in pre-show events. Several students were carried out by paramedics and free cups of water were available all night.
Light filtering through the roof finally faded as 070 Shake took the stage.
“I wanted to come to this school to play basketball but my teacher said I couldn’t,” she said to the crowd. “But I’m here now!”
Her effortlessly chill vibes filled the Dome with a sound similar to Justin Bieber. Towards the end of her set, she split the audience into two open circles and had two of her friends from backstage walk into the crowd. Security resisted letting them off the stage, but she said, “It’s okay, we’re from Jersey.” With her friends situated in the middle of the circles, she gave her instructions.
“When the beat drops, you charge them,” she said.
Her 5 minutes of setup proved ineffective. While she played “The Pines,” the circles mushed into two small mosh pits within the crowd. Closing with “Ghost Towns” by Kanye West, the crowd sang along to 070 Shake’s version that blew up on Tik Tok.
Screams filled the air when 2Chainz walked on stage at 9 pm. Wearing a neon green jacket, sunglasses and his notorious chains, he matched the color of the accompanying videos playing behind him on stage. The bass shook the Dome as his performance grabbed the attention of every person in the room. He played a few songs before realizing he had not properly introduced himself.
“Now let me tell y’all a little bit about myself,” he said to the crowd. “I’m a Virgo, so don’t get too close, I don’t like when people get too close. I’m not a hugger. And I enjoy long walks…in the bank!”
The crowd sang and rapped every word along with him, and with him declaring his enjoyment multiple times. Ending with “Birthday Song [Big Booty Hoe],” he celebrated anyone having a birthday by having people shine their flashlights on the ones celebrating.
“Shout out to New York!” he said. “The whole New York!”
His last-minute addition to the line-up was a major success.
When Baby Keem walked on stage the mosh pits 070 Shake tried to make happen were executed in full. People were jumping and moving together, one student even had a brief stint of crowd surfing. Baby Keem’s performance was clean and visually captivating, using lights to plaster his shadowed silhouette to the roof. In the most energized performance of the night, he flowed from one song to the next, barely speaking to the crowd. He played the second Kanye West song of the night, “Praise God,” a track he is featured on with Travis Scott.
During his final song “family ties” known for featuring Kendrick Lamar, some students started to leave, but he shouted, “We ain’t done yet!” A few people got up off the floor to join the pit of jumping students as Baby Keem played it over and over again. He played the chorus three times after the song ended, each time with more energy.
This is the first in-person Block Party since COVID restrictions were put in place. Heading into the final week of classes, it was the perfect celebration to end the semester.