About 70 students were involved in making the 2017 Fall Concert happen. Planning for the event began last spring, right after OH-Fest, according to Julia Falcone, president of the Student Association Activities Council. From building the stage to promotion, ticketing and crowd management, students gained real-world experience in putting on a concert featuring a Grammy-award-winning artist.
“My favorite part has to be when the artist gets on stage, because I know that everything we’ve been working up to worked out and turned out great.” --Julia Falcone, Student Association Activities Council president
Behind the scenes, SUNY Oneonta students were the stars of the show. After building the stage the day before the concert, a 22-member student production crew worked for several hours Saturday morning to help the production company set up lighting and sound equipment. During the show, Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members volunteered as event security. Chris Vasquez, a member of the Music Industry Club, said he’s going to be interning for a music production company this spring, so working side-by-side with staff from Hard Hit Productions to prepare for the Sean Paul concert was great experience.
“This definitely looks good on my resume. So far, I’ve been helping unload equipment and gear. I figured I might as well get a head start for my career someday.” --Chris Vasquez, music industry major
“I love behind-the-scenes work. We’re turning a gym into a concert venue in a matter of hours, so I think that’s awesome.” --Paige Pomerantz, music industry major
In addition to voting on the concert headliner, the student body selected the student opening band. To qualify, at least half of the members must be SUNY Oneonta students or alumni. Students viewed videos from six bands and chose a collaborative hip-hop group made up of Stoney Kev (Awele), DJ Enoch, Mani Mitch and Aoel.
After the student opener, Cincinnati-based, three-person pop group PUBLIC got the crowd excited for Sean Paul with an energetic performance and infectious melodies, including a cover of a popular Britney Spears song. The group recently released its "Sweet Lemonade EP" and gained popularity touring this summer with Twenty One Pilots.
With a crew of backup dancers and a large Jamaican flag hung onstage, Sean Paul brought the dancehall beat to the Alumni Field House. His distinct vocal style and catchy rhythms have won him a Grammy and other awards.
He started off the show with several of his most popular tracks, including “Get Busy,” and went on to perform more recent successful singles to which he contributed, including Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” and Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye.” He closed with fan favorites “Temperature” and “Gimme the Light.”
After the show, Sean Paul answered questions from the Music Industry Club, WONY radio and WIRE-TV.
Sean Paul talks about his musical influences and how he developed his unique style.
The full setup, show and breakdown
Two SUNY Oneonta seniors--computer art/music industry major Tyler Burke and digital & studio art major Gabriel Vargas-- provided event photography for the college. All of the photos featured in this story were taken by Tyler, with the exception of his own photo with Sean Paul (below left).