Hip-hop star entertains crowd
April 25, 2005 —
After countless hours of hard work, a worrisome delay and almost 5,000 fans waiting in anticipation, the SVSU Program Board introduced Ludacris to those in attendance on Friday at around 10:15 pm. The concert required a 20 minute extension of the second opening act, 1st Dagree, to keep things moving due to a flight problem with Luda's DJ. When Ludacris arrived in a truck and ran his way to stage, the near-capacity crowd was restless no more.
Ludacris plunged right into performance by rapping "Number One Spot" from his album The Red Light District with Lil Fate, who would rap throughout the night alongside him.
He immediately got the crowd involved by working each side to compete with the other side. The 1,250 people on the dance floor reached out to slap hands with Ludacris as if their lifelong dream had been fulfilled.
Ludacris made sure to incorporate people of all races, backgrounds, and classes while he was commenting on stage between songs.
He also made people respect where they came from by asking them precisely that question.
"Give a shout out to DJ Ked," Ludacris said in recognition. Ked filled in for Luda's absent DJ.
Ludacris performed songs from all four of his albums, along with a few other selections, including his hits with Usher and Lil Jon, "Yeah!" and "Lovers and Friends."
Loyal fans displayed their admiration by pulling out their cell phones and lighters during "Blueberry Yum Yum."
Diversity in the crowd was apparent by the wide variety of dress style among the 4,700 people in attendance.
"Five years in the game and over 10 million records sold," Ludacris said to the crowd. "I think my albums are working."
After he left the stage, fans remained happy, perhaps wanting an encore when Ludacris was finished performing.
"The first person got in line at 11:30 today," said Event Supervisor Mike Major. "I think it was a good idea to bring him here. Students seem to love Ludacris."
Fifty-four security guards from Gallagher Security Inc. and police officers helped to maintain order during the night. There were no major problems during the night from the crowd.
Merchandise was on sale from the opening acts, and fans could also buy concessions from the SVSU baseball team.
Twenty-six Program Board members along with 22 other student volunteers from Alpha Phi Omega and Alpha Psi Omega helped in running the event. Some of these volunteers had been at the Ryder Center since 4 am that morning.
"Our goal as program board is to get people out to events we put on," said Program Board member Jessica Chandler, "and to get freshmen involved so they can meet new people because they don't know a lot of people coming into college."
DJ Ked, the main DJ of the night, helped keep the crowd alive during the delay before Ludacris stepped on stage.
"A lot of publicity has come out of this for myself," said Ked, sporting an Eazy E shirt. "I tried to keep the beats as new as possible because people will react to that, but some people don't know some of the old school stuff. You can only play so much new stuff."
The opening act came on around 8:25 pm and the normal arena lighting was replaced with spotlights and stage lights for the rest of the night.
The fog machine, sound mixer and speakers came alive with the guitar sound of Thad Gazta and the rap music of V Sinizter. This received a heavy load of boos from the crowd who were craving rap beats.
"It was brutal," said V Sinizter. "The boos came right when the guitar came on and the mention of my performance with Insane Clown Posse hurt the situation due to their current beef with Eminem. There were a lot of Eminem fans in the crowd."
The second opening act of the night featured 1st Dagree members D. Snipes, Big Mark and J. Stone, who collaborated with DJ Ked on stage. They threw shirts of their band into the crowd.
The group concentrated on crunk music and kept the crowd happy with their mention of Saginaw.
They also brought out artists Short V and Matt Dillon from their record label Empire Records when asked to stay on an extra twenty minutes to transition to Ludacris. The group has done a mixtape with popular artists Lil' Flip, D-12, Royce 59 and BG.
"This brings money back into the community because Saginaw Valley will cycle that back into Saginaw Valley," said D. Snipes. "We need more of these so we can accomplish that."
The opening acts of the night featured people who grew up or live in Saginaw.
V Sinizter has a sister who graduated from SVSU and a grandfather who is a professor here.
Ked attended SVSU for six years before concentrating on being a DJ.
"This is the best concert that has ever hit Saginaw," Ked said. "Saginaw Valley is giving mad props to the rap game."
"We wanted to bring in people of different diversity and for everyone to have fun and have a great time," Chandler said to sum up the night. "Judging by tonight I think that happened."