“Y’all better clean that up right now,” said the giant, official-looking man in black who was pointing to the people behind us in line whose brown-bagged wine had just fallen and smashed on the concrete below. I turned to my friends and shrugged, wiping wine off of my freezing cold legs and being slightly proud that my cowboy boots had earned another stain.
As anticipation was rising, it only seemed to get colder during our chilling hour-long wait to get into the doors of The Fillmore in San Francisco.
Chegg, College Battle of the Bands, and Live Nation sponsored a free concert for college students in northern California, headlining the Philadelphia natives Chiddy Bang, featuring The Cataracs’ prodigy, Dev.
As I walked through the doors, the venue seemed like your average club: muffled bass tones in hazy hallways.
Though it wasn’t easy making my way through the hordes of couples sloppily groping each other and the groups of frat boys shouting their Greek letters, I was determined to make my way forward. I finally found myself in the third row, surrounded by sweaty bodies, all of which kept pushing and shoving in all directions, hoping to be a little closer to the stage than everyone else.
The stage crew cleared the set of unnecessary equipment, and left the DJ table two bottles of champagne. The crowd seemed to pause as the DJ walked upstage to his mixer, only to nonchalantly drop several single blasts of unannounced, ground shaking bass.
This simple, yet intense moment created incredible hype in the audience, as people realized this was going to be worth a lot more than what we paid for. Colored lights zoomed left, right, up and down, making a dramatic entrance for Dev as she sauntered up the stairs to the stage. “WHAT’S UP, BAY AREA?” The crowd went wild.
Dev looked like an ROTC member that had been on the set of Castaway: With her torn black dress and ripped army green pull over, her outfit accented by her thigh high leather boots.
A girl standing next to me (or on me, rather, seeing as though we were so close together) asked me, “Who is this?” I replied, obviously, “Dev!” Not knowing quite how to respond to her puzzled look, I said, “Uh…Like A G6?” It was as if a light bulb went off in her head, and she continued to dance as though Dev was her favorite artist.
Towards the end of the set, as things were starting to get awfully humid, Dev’s DJ rips off his shirt, plays “Like a G6,” grabs a bottle of champagne, and proceeds to douse the few front rows of audience in bubbly as Dev sings, “Poppin’ bottles in the ice, like a blizzard…”
Yet again, the crowd went insane. Aside from the rowdy crowd I found myself in, the music was great; my personal favorite in Dev’s set was “Sunrise,” which my roommate played for me the day before.
Dev’s music has a club vibe—definite dance music—with a Bay area twist. The bass in her songs drops pretty hard, and Dev carries herself with “swagger.” From her Medusa piercing (when the piercing is in the sunken part of the upper lip) to her “screw you” attitude, Dev exudes a fierce amount of star power that left the audience in a near riot as she left the stage.
Right as I was wondering when Chiddy Bang would come on stage, I found myself thrust forward into a stranger’s sweaty back, meaning the duo had arrived.
Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin walked across the stage, seated himself behind his drum set, and began to play.
I felt like an idiot at this point, as I had listened to Chiddy Bang before and had never thought I would be experiencing live percussion at this concert. Though an idiot, I was an impressed one at that, as this group had just gained an entirely new level of respect from me. Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege came to the stage, wearing a black tee shirt with simple bold, white lettering on the front stating, “Reading is Sexy,” which was very appropriate for this college student event.
Chiddy Bang revealed themselves further as truly talented musicians when Chiddy proved himself to be an impeccable freestyle rapper, taking suggestions from the audience for a freestyle rap. From “the symphony” to “smoking weed,” Chiddy created verses with ease, only to have the crowd erupt in awestruck appreciation.
The duo concluded their set by telling all of us in the audience that they too are only twenty, would be juniors in college and to, “Believe in your dreams and do you.”
With that note, they played their MGMT remix “The Opposite of Adults,” to which most everyone in the audience sang along.
Not only was this experience a beyond decent free concert, it opened my eyes to a music scene I thought I knew so well.
To most people in the audience, Dev will no longer be the girl who sings “Like A G6,” and Chiddy Bang will be respected not only as a couple of young guys making music, but authentic talent.
Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta
Scene Editor: Tamar Kuyumjian