Hip-hop group N.E.R.D kicked off homecoming weekend with an entertaining show that excited the students in attendance. Artist Bobby Ray, formerly known as B.o.B, opened the concert, showing his versatile musical skills as he rapped, sang and even played the guitar. His unique music proved a good opening act to complement N.E.R.D’s upbeat and pounding sounds.
“N.E.R.D was very entertaining and they exceeded my expectations,” senior Nina Sasson said. “Bobby Ray was a great opening act because he got everyone excited and he was a fantastic singer, his voice was really nice.”
In October, N.E.R.D added a new member to their group, Rhea, who handles the vocals alongside Pharrell Williams. Rhea and Pharrell’s styles complimented each other nicely; Rhea’s strong and harmonious voice works well with Pharrell’s smooth style of singing. Backup vocalist Shay Haley excited the students by continuously bouncing all around the stage. The crowd seemed to feed off his energy, as he was the only band member dancing for most of the concert.
Pharrell disappointed everyone when he announced that he couldn’t put on his usual high-energy performance because he was suffering from a migraine headache. However despite his migraine, Pharrell still managed to entertain the crowd.
“That was a great concert, it was fun and both [N.E.R.D and Bobby Ray] put on good performances” said Billy Cistone, a student from San Jose who was at the concert with his USF friends. “I didn’t expect the concert to be as fun as it was, it was definitely worth it.”
From the actions of the crowd, it seemed that everyone in attendance enjoyed the show. During the show the band had to tell the crowd a few times to take a step back from the front of the stage. The crowd was jumping around and dancing to the music but their excitement caused the people in front of the stage to be squished into the barricades; no one was hurt though.
N.E.R.D performed all of their hit songs including, “Spaz,” “Everybody Nose,” “Lap Dance,” and “She Wants to Move.” They even performed some of their new songs off their upcoming album Instant Gratification, which were all well received by the audience. For the entire two and a half hour concert, Bobby Ray and N.E.R.D managed to keep the crowd upbeat and into the show, providing everyone in attendance with a great homecoming concert.