The hype at John Paul Jones arena began to build Friday evening, with students filling the floor at the free event hosted by University Programs Council featuring acclaimed hip-hop artist Trippie Redd. Vape hits were mixed with smoke from the stage, smuggled Fireball shots were raised and the music had the crowd moving. However, when the clock struck 8 p.m., vibrations from attendees raised suspicions that the event was not going as planned.
Opening act Wayve had just exited the stage after garnering a fair amount of attention playing hits from artists like Pop Smoke and Drake. But the energy began to fade after the DJ was on stage long after Trippie Redd was supposed to appear. Students towards the back of the floor began to sit down, and one group decided to put their attention to flipping a plastic bottle.
Around 8:40 p.m., people began chanting for the artist and floating theories about his whereabouts. Trippie Redd had posted pictures on his Instagram of him exiting a private plane. Had he only just landed at the Charlottesville airport?
“I’m very upset,” fourth-year Commerce student Hunter Harris said as he waited for Trippie. “I hear he just landed actually, like five or six minutes ago. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I’m peeved. I’m peeved and pissed.”
Hunter was not the only frustrated fan. Fifty minutes after Trippie Redd was scheduled to appear, an organizer came out on stage to announce he was in the building. The energy quickly returned, but when another DJ was announced to come out to warm the crowd up, the messenger was met with uproarious boos. Patience was thinning and the people wanted Trippie. Sympathy had almost run out, even for an event that had been offered for free.
However, energy returned when Trippie finally appeared. Adorning a black hoodie and pentagram heart necklace, he calmly greeted the audience while sipping his tall can of Liquid Death water and started the show.
For the next hour, students were treated to some of Trippie Redd’s greatest hits. His vocals were fantastic throughout the performance, leading to a well-executed show overall that utilized the lights at John Paul Jones arena to great effect. An army of raised phones constantly captured Trippie delivering his emo-trap bars about heartbreak and pushing forward. For the entire performance, students in the stands and on the floor seemed to be enjoying the music and constantly changing light show.
Pausing at some moments gave the impression he was choosing songs as he went along, but each track was a fan favorite, even if some were cut short. “Topanga” got a massive reaction from the audience as many sang along, and other more aggressive tracks such as “Death” got the crowd moving to the signature rage that artists like Trippie Redd bring to trap concerts. While most of the songs he performed were his, he also included “F— Love,” an XXXTENTACION track he was featured on.
Near the end, one of his most popular tracks, “Miss The Rage,” led a large group of people to form a circle in the middle of the floor, ready for action. When the beat dropped, students flooded into the middle and began rapping along to the performance, jumping up and down while doing so. Facilitated by the fans themselves, it was a spontaneous and exciting moment to end the concert on.
After it was over, students seemed impressed by the performance.
“It was a great show,” Amirah Karamoua, second-year Engineering student said. “I would come again if I could.”
Despite also not being a fan previously, fellow second-year Engineering student Nandhini Kathiravan really enjoyed Trippie Redd’s music.
“I definitely had a really good time,” Kathiravan said. “It was a banger concert.”
Once “Miss The Rage” was over, Trippie dropped the microphone and immediately dipped off the stage, having done exactly what his fans expected of him. Even though he performed just under the amount of time students had to wait, the concert was a success. The event was packed with hits and excitement despite the issues regarding his arrival, leaving University students with a positive experience at one of Springfest’s biggest events.