It’s the same thing every year. Almost like an organized sequence of events.
- USG announces Brookfest
- Hype meter increases to 11
- USG announces artists for Brookfest
- Students stomp their feet in protest on social media
And just like every year when Brookfest actually happens, people go absolutely crazy for it.
Last Friday night, Stony Brook’s annual spring concert to close out the semester was held at the Island Federal Credit Union Arena. The arena was chock full of students looking to embrace their inner mid-2000s emo kid with the likes of Twenty One Pilots and Panic! At The Disco. For those who weren’t fans of Hot Topic stores and short haircuts, hip-hop artists like B.o.B. and Stony Brook’s own JUS were there to kick off the show.
JUS opened up the show at around 7:30 p.m. with a fresh and energetic set of his own tunes and covers of the likes of “CoCo” and “No Flex Zone.” JUS was light on his feet and kept the crowd entertained in preparation for the upcoming acts.
8 p.m. came with the arena stocked full of red Brookfest t-shirts given out at the entrance. The lights went down and the decibel level went up- thanks to screams from the crowd as Atlanta’s B.o.B took the stage. With nothing but a brown beanie, all white clothes and a DJ, B.o.B. pumped up the crowd with hits like, “Not For Long,” “Magic,” and “HeadBand.” In the midst of his set, B.o.B played a medley of his featured spots on other songs like T-Pain’s “Up Down.”
For those too far away from the stage to get a clear view, B.o.B. accommodated by not only stage diving into the crowd near the end but even running out to the stand seats on the lower-left of the arena to take a selfie with the crowd. On a night primarily noted with guitars, B.o.B. was a short and sweet burst of energy for the crowd.
The arena then went through the darkening and decibel increase phase again for the appearance of two figures draped in silhouettes. One was dressed like Where’s Waldo in a red sweatshirt and bug-eyed sunglasses went behind a piano. The other wore a black tank top and a green alien ski-mask. Despite barely being able to see them onstage, the crowd went wild for the indie success called Twenty One Pilots.
The duo consisting of Tyler Joseph (vocals and piano) and Josh Dun (drums) performed with little lighting onstage but radiated energy throughout their brief set. In just under an hour, the duo performed crowd-pleasers like “Holding Onto You,” and “House of Gold.” It’s hard to remember the specifics of Twenty Tne Pilots’ set because of how quick it was. Some songs were stopped about halfway through and others were abandoned right at the start. The duo made it clear that Stony Brook had denied them the opportunity to do certain stunts with the crowd like crowd surfing on an actual surfboards. Perhaps because of these limitations, the band appeared lost and restricted onstage. Regardless, Joseph still managed to jump and flip around to keep the energy alive, concluding by banging on a giant bass drum in the crowd at the end of the set.
At around 9:30 p.m., with the arena now at capacity, four gentlemen with coiffed hair in black suits stepped onstage to the loudest decibel level of the night. This was Panic! At The Disco, fronted with flair and bounce by Brendon Urie, sporting a velvet red blazer and black t-shirt. Playing “Vegas Lights,” “This Is Gospel” and “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” was met to rapturous fanfare as Urie and co. skipped and bopped around the stage. Even more well-received was their cover of the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with Urie doing a spot-on job hitting the high notes of Roger Taylor.
The audience unified to sing along to classic songs like “Lying Is The Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off,” “Time to Dance” and “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies.” The latter song closed the show with near universal audience participation, both in singing and dancing. The bright lights from the stage and crowd noise being projected toward the stage nearly drowned out any memory of there being criticism for this year’s show.
So once again, the story of Brookfest is the same as last year: early complaining eventually leading to one damn good concert.