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Homecoming Concert A Smash Hit

by Kevin Saez
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OMI takes the stage at the 2015 Homecoming Concert.
Photo Credit: Alex Gamboa.

After setting eyes on a line that spanned the road from Yogi Berra Stadium’s entrance all the way to the Car Parc Diem parking garage, I could clearly see the anticipation that Montclair State students had for the 2015 Homecoming Concert. The event was headlined by pop artist Tori Kelly and featured sets from Reggae artist OMI, R&B performer Natalie la Rose and the MC of the night, New Jersey’s very own DJ Wallah. The chance to see all of this talent perform for only ten dollars was an opportunity I could not pass up.

The line for the concert was a bit annoying to stand in, especially when line cutters were obvious, but within due time it had condensed to a size that moved along pretty quickly. I entered the concert to the sounds of hip-hop and Jersey club music played by DJ Wallah, rallying students for the big night to come.


MONTCLAIR #whereibelongtour

A video posted by Tori Kelly (@torikelly) on


Unfortunately for me, I had missed the first one thousand ticket holder mark that was needed to enter the field. Anyone behind the one-thousandth person, like me, had to observe the concert from the bleachers.

Fortunately, the event staff in conjunction with UPD made a very good decision an hour and a half into the concert by allowing concertgoers to flood the field at their will.

The first performer on deck was OMI. He performed four songs. The song that really got me excited was was his hit single from the summer, “Cheerleader.” The chance to hear the words of this summer sensation sung live by the man himself was truly remarkable. He also performed his new song “Hula Hoop.” This song contained the familiar sound to the summer single that put him on the map, but was not nearly as hypnotic or groundbreaking.

To my knowledge it has been the largest turnout in Montclair State history for an event like this based on the venue. -Rahjon White, SGA President

Next up to perform was Natalie la Rose, a singer whom I cared little about and knew nothing of before going into the concert. However, after a performance such as her own this past weekend, I will definitely be on the lookout for more music by her. Her vocal talent was there and the amount of showmanship evident in her wonderfully choreographed dances made her the star of the night. The energy from the crowd was teeming when she performed her own track, “Around the World,” which features Paterson’s own Fetty Wap.

There was an approximate 30-minute wait before the headliner, Tori Kelly, appeared on stage. Truth be told, many guests along with myself were a bit confused and found most of the energy from the previous performances gone by the time she took the stage. When Kelly entered after the intermission, she was met with a very welcoming and roaring applause. She strutted on stage with her acoustic guitar in hand and her professional ensemble behind her. She unleashed a variety of soulful tracks upon the ecstatic Montclair State crowd. However, the electricity was really in the air when she sung, “Nobody Love” and many concertgoers were heard singing along.

Tori Kelly performs at Yogi Berra Stadium. Photo Credit: Annie Gerke.

Tori Kelly performs at Yogi Berra Stadium.
Photo Credit: Annie Gerke.

Overall, SGA and SLAM’s homecoming concert was a success. These two organizations really showed their prowess by organizing such a recognizable and gifted group of talented performers that our generation could truly get excited about.  The downfalls of the show, I would have to say, were the sometimes awkward intermissions and the organizers only allowing a portion of the audience on the field for the first part of the show. Without these setbacks, the concert would have been perfect, but the remarkable talent of all the performers definitely compensated for those few imperfections. I was informed by Rajhon White, President of the SGA, “…that over 2,500 students bought tickets and participated in the homecoming concert. To my knowledge it has been the largest turnout in Montclair State history for an event like this based on the venue….” The success and magnitude of this recent concert has me and many others excited and wondering what SLAM and SGA could possibly have in store for us next year.

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