The cold rain did not stop the 2018 Jubilee concert-goers from seeing Waka Flocka Flame with openers DJ Luke Nasty and Hollywood COLD on Saturday night.
Hooker Fields was opened at 5:30 p.m. and only a handful of people walked in, probably because the temperature was nearing 39 degrees and the rain was threatening to turn to sleet. Hollywood COLD was set to start the concert at 5:45, but a combination of technical issues and the rain delayed the start.
Despite all of the weather conditions and the slight delay, the crowd was pumped up from the moment they walked in. Even as the night went on, the temperature went down and the rain got harder, the crowd got bigger and more enthusiastic.
The small handful of people had doubled by the time DJ Luke Nasty came on stage and then doubled again when Waka himself came on around 8 p.m. The energy steadily went up throughout the night.
“We sold around 2,800 tickets, and with the rain you can expect some people to not show up — but we are hoping for a crowd of at least 2,300,”T.J. Wallace, an entertainment committee member for the Carolina Union Activities Board, said before the show.
But the rain did have an effect on the mentality of some crowd members.
“My motivation to stay here 'til the end decreased with the rain,” first-year Taylor Benefield said.
Brandon Cashwell, another first-year in the crowd, had a more optimistic view on the weather conditions.
“It’s a little cold, so that’s going to make it a little harder to watch," he said. "But if there are a lot of people and everyone is into it, then it’s probably going to get lit — especially if Waka is into it.”
As much as mentalities differed through the crowd, the performers were hype from start to finish. DJ Luke Nasty pumped the crowd up with every single crowd-pleasing song, and even included a personal favorite of mine, “Party in The U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus.
DJ Luke Nasty even tried to encourage the crowd, saying, “I fuck with those umbrellas.”
As well as all of the openers did at keeping the drenched crowd alive, a steady chant for Waka began. I have never seen a group of people go so insane for someone in my life. As soon as Waka came on stage, the crowd erupted. Everyone was dancing, singing and having a blast.
The front couple of rows even got to have an up-close and personal interaction with Waka when he jumped on the barricade and sang into the crowd. This electrified the entire crowd, especially when it was in conjuncture with one of Waka’s most popular songs, “No Hands.”
Overall, the concert had a couple of things going against it, but it turned out to be a night to remember for everyone who came out — even if you only remember how cold you were.
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