The crowds of students attending this year’s Spring Fling could not fill up the Smith Center Saturday.
Floor access in the front of the stage was originally restricted to students who had special wristbands promoted by GW Program Board. But after the opening act by EDM DJ Gryffin, the emcee announced that all students seated in the general admission bleacher seats could join the crowd on the floor.
Despite Program Board’s efforts to hype up the event, its inaugural Pre-Fling event scheduled for April 12 in University Yard was canceled because of inclement weather. The event would have featured student music performances, food trucks and an announcement of the Spring Fling artists.
Light-up silicone wristbands that were supposed to be given to the first 500 students at Pre-Fling were instead distributed at random giveaways around campus and on social media leading up to the main event.
Outside the Smith Center, Program Board gave away Spring Fling stickers and glow sticks before the show began. R&B headliner Blackbear, who also performed, sold merchandise, including a pink and black acid-wash t-shirt for $35.
While students did not take up every seat in the Smith Center, the concert started off strong when Blackbear walked on stage following the April 26 release of his album “ANONYMOUS.”
The opener, Gryffin, took the stage at 8 p.m., performing covers of “High Hopes” by Panic! At the Disco, “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers and “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande.
Pink and blue lasers flashed a couple songs into Gryffin’s set, amping up students as the lights beamed over the crowd toward the back of the Smith Center.
Gryffin also mixed in original collaborations like “Just For a Moment” and ended on his song “Tie Me Down” that left the crowd singing along. After Griffin’s performance, students waited 45 minutes for headliner Blackbear to perform, prompting some students to leave before he got on stage.
Many students came to hear some of Blackbear’s recent hits like “Chateau”, “idfc” and “do re mi.” But some of his lesser-known songs like “i miss the old u” and “gucci linen” did not receive the same excitement from the crowd.
Blackbear could not pep up the crowd with some of his songs because students did not appear to know the words. The overwhelming base music behind the singing also drowned out some of the lyrics, making it difficult for students to hear the words.
Recognizing a lack of enthusiasm, Blackbear began talking with the audience and asked one student in the front row for a Juul to hit.
He closed the night at about 10:30 p.m. with one of his most popular songs, “do re mi” – the song students had been chanting for all night. Blackbear moved to the side bleachers to perform the song, and several students swarmed around him to capture close-up videos of the performance.