After T-Pain’s cancellation at last year’s homecoming concert, Montclair State students anticipated a better spring concert by the Student Life at Montclair (SLAM) and Student Government Association (SGA). However, there was an unexpected turnout of less than 100 students this past Saturday night at Memorial Auditorium.
SLAM’s Live Entertainment Chair Michael Statile issued this statement about how the organization has been considering students’ suggestions towards the artists for their concerts:
“Every year, we try our very best to get an artist that is fitting to our campus community and within our budget range,” said Statile. “This year, that artist happened to be Cheat Codes featuring CADE & P. Muna. There were not as many people there as we may have liked, but everyone that was there seemed to have an amazing time as they were all great performers.”
Statile also addressed that SLAM has the ability to choose any location on campus where it would best suit the show, and this show was not meant for Yogi Berra stadium.
According to SLAM’s Co-Director Joshua Bishop-Mbachu, over 200 tickets were sold, but less than 100 people attended. The crowd seemed underwhelming at first, but hosting the event in Memorial Auditorium worked out in the crowd’s favor since it was more personal and tight-knit.
“I like how it’s in a small environment,” said freshman chemistry major Renske Niveldt.
Students of all graduate levels lined up at the entrance eager to hear Cheat Codes, a DJ trio from Los Angeles, California consisting of Trevor Dahl, Kevin Ford and Matthew Russell. They are most popularly known for their song “No Promises” featuring Demi Lovato. Dahl did not make the performance due to a personal conflict, but it did not dampen the performance or the excitement from freshman communication and media arts major Celine Fitzpatrick.
“I love Cheat Codes,” said Fitzpatrick. “They do great remixes of well-known songs.”
Other artists who performed included the New York based R&B and rap artist P. Muna, as well as CADE, an R&B and EDM artist also based in Los Angeles. Normally, people may not be as excited about openers, especially when the headliners are people who work with Demi Lovato and Cardi B. However, this year’s openers put on quite the welcome party for Cheat Codes.
With impressively stimulating light shows and a thin layer of dramatic haze in the air, all of the performers interacted with the audience playfully. At one point, P. Muna took selfies and got the crowd ready for the show by freestyling and tossing out “dad hats,” (as he called them) that promoted his debut album, “1991.”
During his performance, everyone gleefully cheered and threw their hands high in the hazy air in response to P. Muna saying, “If you believe in love, put your hands in the air.”
When SLAM made the announcement two weeks ago that Cheat Codes would be performing, some students were not thrilled and had no idea who they were.
Senior english major with a minor in anthropology Florence Vida voiced her opinion on Instagram and feels students should have more of a say in selecting artists for the concert.
“Almost every year, they get these no named artists and take a chance that it will be okay. Not really happy about it.”
Within the past two years, Vida has been disappointed with SLAM’s entertainment despite having the biggest budget for successful events such as homecoming week, as well as winter and spring bash. Vida had hoped for a memorable last semester of college by attending a worthwhile concert.
Vida suggests that SLAM and the SGA should pick their top three artists and send out a survey for the students to choose who they would like to see.
Another student wanted rapper Cardi B to perform at Montclair State, as she was offering a free concert to the school for the most swipes via Tinder.
Despite the unfamiliarity with Cheat Codes on social media, recommendations for other artists to perform, and change of venue, weighty kick drums and piercing high-hats continued to course through the auditorium. Although it was a heart pumping, bass heavy, ear-numbing ride, the show was not the best, as it could have benefited immensely from more publicity, exposure and energy. Halfway through CADE’s performance, people were calming down and the energy switched from excitement to boredom.
Considering the underwhelming amount of attendees, the mood was wholesome for such a small venue and crowd.
This article was updated on Thursday, April 12, 2018.