R&B singer PartyNextDoor headlined VCU’s annual Ram Fest homecoming concert at the Richmond Coliseum on Thursday Nov. 12 with supporting acts Bad Rabbits, JMSN and Rae Sremmurd and nearly 3,200 guests in attendance.
The process for this year’s lineup began in June withVCU’s homecoming director Shaunice Grier and APB director Arshelle Carter.
“PartyNextDoor was selected as the headliner due to the fact that the VCU student body has asked for PND for over the past 4 years,” Grier said.
Grier said the committee sold more than 1,000 tickets more than the spring 2015 concert. She added the concert attracted alumni, faculty, staff and a diverse pool of students and some of the surrounding Richmond community.
“Bad Rabbits and Rae Sremmurd brought the lively and hype energy that we needed for the show. JMSN and Partynextdoor had the smooth, chill, yet entertaining factors that we needed for the show,” Grier said.
While doors opened for the event at 6 p.m., lines began as early as 4 p.m. To begin the festivities, VCU sponsored a Ram Fest Pre-Show at the Richmond Coliseum Plaza.
The pre-show event featured tables with food, drinks and party favors and was hosted by Radio One and DJ Gringo.
“The crowd for the show itself was a small group of dedicated fans. That being said, there was a good hundred people waiting in line listening in,” Gringo said.
When doors opened, attendees were greeted with glow sticks and wristbands and were treated to a performance by local Richmond hip-hop group LTC.
In addition, the concert’s official host and DJ, VDot and DJ Lan, were introduced and proceeded to get the crowd hype for the show’s performers.
At 7p.m. the show’s official opener, Bad Rabbits, performed an hour-long set. Hailing from Boston, Bad Rabbits is a band whose music infuses several genres including funk, rock and R&B.
At 8 p.m. R&B and soul singer JMSN appeared on stage for a 30-minute set and performed songs from his two studio albums. Also a songwriter, JMSN has worked with rappers J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and The Game.
Hip-Hop duo Rae Sremmurd began their set promptly at 8:50 p.m. Backed by their platinum-selling singles, “No Flex Zone” and “No Type,” the duo’s debut album, “SremmLife” has sold more than 120,000 copies.
The Atlanta-based group performed a medley of their hits throughout their hour-long set, which included the Nicki Minaj featured “Throw Sum Mo,” “This Could Be Us” and their latest single “Come Get Her.”
During the show, the group’s two members, Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy, threw water on the crowd and enjoyed themselves so much they wanted to party with VCU after the show.
“Where the after party tonight? Tweet at us and we’ll pull up!” Swae Lee said. True to their word, the two indeed showed up at a local Richmond club to party with VCU students.
“My favorite part of the night was definitely Rae Stremmurd’s performance, for sure. They had the place lit,” said Jamal Price, a freshman.
For Price, Ram Fest was one of the many homecoming events he appreciated and in fact, his first ever concert experience.
“There has been a good amount of events on both campuses throughout the week. The concert was definitely icing on the cake,” Price said.
After Rae Sremmurd’s energy-filled performance, all of the candidates for homecoming court walked on stage to hear announcement of homecoming prince and princess.
After recognizing each participant, the homecoming committee crowned Issmeal Anany and Krystal Pham as the winners.
Pham, a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, was delighted to be crowned homecoming princess.
“I’m glad I won the title on behalf of my organization. Every woman on that stage deserved to win,” Pham said.
A little after 10 p.m., PartyNextDoor opened with his song, “Welcome to the Party.” Signed to rapper Drake’s label OVOSound, PartyNextDoor is an R&B singer from Mississauga, Canada who has worked with many successful artists including Meek Mill, Travis Scott, Big Sean and of course, Drake.
In the midst of his performance, PartyNextDoor invited a lucky fan from the front row on stage and proceeded to sing his song “Let’s Get Married” to her.
While seated in a large chair, the fan seemingly enjoyed his serenade and screamed to him, “I love you Party!”
Senior Rakeb Teshome, who was in the front row, is one of PartyNextDoor’s biggest fans for this reason.
“Party’s music is really sexy and current,” Teshome said.
After performing a few more songs, the singer concluded his set with fan favorite, “Muse”.
“Our main focus for Ram Fest was presenting the VCU community and the Richmond community with a great and quality show,” Grier said.
Online News Editor, Muktaru Jalloh
Muktaru is a senior double majoring in english and political science with a minor in media studies. In his role Muktaru creates, assigns and writes stories pertaining to VCU and the greater Richmond area. Topic areas Muktaru enjoys covering include music, sports, pop culture and politics. // Twitter | Facebook