Singers Sean Kingston and Bryce Vine performed at the Robins Center Friday night at the University of Richmond's annual spring concert. The concert was hosted and organized by SpiderBoard, who invited students, faculty, alumni and the Richmond community to attend.
1,043 people attended the event, said concert chair and sophomore Erin Watton.
Doors to the concert opened at 7 p.m., but Vine did not take the stage until a little after 8 p.m. Around 7:45 p.m., more students began making their way to the floor level of the stadium.
Vine opened the concert with his song “On the Ball,” screaming to the audience to make some noise. He also sang his hit R&B track “Drew Barrymore,” which gathered some enthusiasm and singing along from the student crowd.
After several songs, around 9 p.m., Vine introduced Kingston as the next act. Kingston’s arrival received a larger uproar of applause from the audience.
“I was not familiar with Bryce Vine, but I really enjoyed his performance,” said senior Elizabeth Minder. “Although, Sean Kingston was the soundtrack of my middle school experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.”
As Kingston took the stage, more students began pouring onto the stadium floor.
During his performance, Kingston sang some of his well-known songs such as “Fire Burning,” “Take You There” and “Replay,” pumping up the crowd with music that many students were familiar with during the late 2000s.
But one song seemed to be missing from Kingston’s line-up.
Junior Claire Griffiths said she was upset that Kingston did not sing his debut single, “Beautiful Girls.”
“I think everyone was a little surprised when it ended without him singing ‘Beautiful Girls,’” Griffiths said. “But upon reflection of the lyrics, we understood why.”
Sophomore and president of SpiderBoard, Colin Sparkevicius, said SpiderBoard had received a request from Richmond Athletics that Kingston not sing "Beautiful Girls."
Sparkevicius said that it was because of the context of the song and the triggering word “suicidal" in the chorus, especially given the campus environment right now and an increasing focus on mental health.
"We, of course, politely agreed to their request and we got a lot of questions [from people who wanted to hear the song], especially me, if he’d be singing that song,” Sparkevicius said.
When Sparkevicius informed people that Kingston would not sing one of his most popular songs, the SpiderBoard president was asked if the singer could switch the word to “in denial,” such as in Kingston's radio versions of the song.
However, Sparkevicus said it was the context of the song itself that was an issue so SpiderBoard did not want it to be played in order to honor Athletics and its request.
“I think it’s really justified that we did that, even if people aren’t happy that he didn’t sing it,” Sparkevicius said. “I feel better that it didn’t happen.”
The concert ended a little after 10 p.m., right after Kingston took selfies with the crowd and encouraged the audience to follow him on Instagram.
Watton said that although more people knew Kingston’s music because of his appearances on Disney Channel, she thought that people knew of Vine’s music more than they thought.
“A lot of people came up to me afterward and said like, ‘Wow, maybe Sean Kingston should’ve gone first,’ because Bryce Vine is a great performer and he’s got a lot of talent and I think he’s just going to continue to grow,” Watton said. “It’s awesome to be able to have someone who’s going to be big and say we had him on campus but also someone that everyone knew.”
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