Greek Freak concert met with high energy despite low turnout

Greek Freak concert met with high energy despite low turnout

The Friday night show featured upcoming hip hop artists Delly, Bas and headliner Lil Tecca
Published: October 12, 2019
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Lil Tecca performs at Greek Freak 2019 at Syracuse University.

Low attendance made the Greek Freak concert an intimate affair between the artists and the audience in SU’s Goldstein Auditorium on Friday night. The concert began with a small number of impatient attendees, but the performers’ infectious energy turned the room into a roaring pit of fans by the end of the night. The annual event, put on by SU’s chapter of the National Panhellenic Council, featured upcoming hip-hop artists Delly, Bas and headliner Lil Tecca.

Audience members waited for over an hour before opener Delly performed, resulting in an unenthused crowd with groups of students moving toward the back of the auditorium. At one point, the event’s DJ pleaded with concertgoers, many of whom were seated, to stand up.

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The concert, which aims to bring the community together by showcasing popular music at affordable ticket prices, struggled to draw a crowd in comparison with years past.

Kala Fogg, president of SU’s chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, attributes the drop to lower student engagement this semester. “In the past, we’ve had no problem with getting to our community,” she said. “Usually we sell out tickets within days, but it’s been a little tricky.”

Fogg suspects the temporary closure of the university’s Schine Student Center has negatively impacted the campus community. Schine, a hub where students could socialize and campus organizations could promote their events, has been under construction since late spring.

“I think it’s dividing us a little bit,” Fogg said. While students would typically buy tickets at Schine for an event like the Greek Freak concert, construction has forced ticket sales to go online this year.

Despite a slow start, the concert picked up as performers engaged with the audience, cracking jokes, asking questions and joining the crowd for dance battles. Delly riled students up when he pulled out a T-shirt gun. After the gun failed to launch the first shirt, Delly and his entourage began chucking them into the crowd by hand.

Bas opened for Lil Tecca with a similar approach, inviting a few lucky students to come up onstage. Freshman Ryan Hermann got to sing alongside the rapper. Though he didn’t know all of the lyrics, Hermann shot his hand up when offered the opportunity.

“I honestly knew half the verse, but I’ll take it, man, it was crazy,” Hermann said, fresh off the stage and still grinning.

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Delly, an up and coming Harlem rapper, performs at Greek Freak 2019 at Syracuse University.

While the Greek Freak concert usually highlights hip-hop artists, such as T-Pain and Goldlink in years past, genre does not define who headlines.

“It’s based on who we think is poppin’ right now,” Fogg said.

Considering Lil Tecca’s recent accolades, including surpassing Post Malone and 21 Savage with his record-breaking Soundcloud streaming count, this year’s lineup was no exception.

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Students dance on the stage while waiting for Lil Tecca's performance.

After hours of anticipation, an excited crowd was treated to the 17-year-old headliner Lil Tecca, who wore a black hoodie and braces. Tecca recently topped Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with his debut mixtape, We Love You Tecca. While performing, he took a break to join audience members in the pit, asking where people were from and even singing “Happy Birthday” to a fan. He closed the show with his hit single, Ransom, which shot the young rapper to stardom back in May. Lil Tecca left the stage with a silent message to his fans, holding his hands over his head in the shape of a heart as the crowd cheered.