Hip-hop artist Fetty Wap put on an electrifying show as the headlining act of SUBOG’s 2016 Spring Concert on Thursday night at Gampel Pavilion.
Wap, whose eponymously titled debut album hit number one on the US Billboard 200 chart upon release in Sep. 2015, took the stage with his Remy Boyz crew and ran through a lengthy list of hit songs that lit up the raucous crowd in attendance.
The show began with brief performances by various Remy Boyz affiliates, while the crew’s DJ pumped up the crowd with popular tracks like Future’s “March Madness” and Adele’s “Hello.” Members of the UConn men’s basketball team, including players Sam Cassell Jr. and Sterling Gibbs, even made a brief appearance on the stage
Then, opening act Cozz stepped up to the stage to play his set. Cozz, a rapper from California signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records, helped to bring the crowd to his side with an energetic rendition of “I Need That.”
Cozz turned introspective after that, imploring the crowd to “put their lighters in the sky” as he played his tracks “Grow” and “Dreams.” “Dreams” sent shockwaves throughout Gampel Pavilion with its booming, pulsating bass line.
Cozz moved on to his biggest hit “Tabs” after that, spitting dense packets of rhymes in a performance that contrasted strongly with the act set to take the stage next. After he finished “Tabs,” the crowd became restless, chanting Wap’s name in anticipation.
“One more,” Cozz pleaded, before playing a final track. Then, he left the stage, a Fetty Wap banner rose from beneath and it was time for the main event.
With his entire crew behind him, Wap took the stage to a thunderous shower of cheers. “I go by the name of Fetty Wap,” he said. “How y’all doin?”
Wap began with “Boomin,” which isn’t a hit, although it probably should be. Every Wap song sounds like it should be a hit – his vocal melodies are that infectiously catchy. He followed with strong renditions of “D.A.M.” and “RGF Island,” proving he could reproduce his trademark singing whine in a live environment.
He played a few more album cuts after that, including emotional love track “Again,” which may be his very best song. “I know my lifestyle is driving you crazy,” he sings in “Again,” directed at the mystery woman who colors many of his anthems.
Wap’s right-hand man Monty took the reins for a few tracks, which slowed the show’s momentum as he played lesser known tunes. The crowd wasn’t quite into it, but stayed engaged with the promise of Wap’s biggest hits to come.
Taking control back from Monty, Wap talked to the crowd about the importance of bringing your crew along when you achieve great success. He clearly meant it – the sheer joy onstage as the Remy Boyz crew danced along was palpable. Coming from humble roots in Paterson, New Jersey, Wap had made it big time, and he was obviously thrilled to bring his friends along for the ride of a lifetime.
And with that, it was time for the powerful one-two punch of “My Way” and “679,” which have both charted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The crowd sang along with jubilation, as Wap led the charge and Monty laid down a pair of excellent guest verses.
Wap teased his original smash “Trap Queen” throughout the night, playing the track’s famous introductory chant of “1738” after other tracks ended and even asking a member of the crowd to “be his trap queen.” He built anticipation late in the show with smooth performances of “Jugg,” “Jimmy Choo” and “Time.”
When the time finally came, he ran through the first and last verses of “Trap Queen” a capella as the crowd provided backing vocals of their own. To finish off the show, Wap went back to the beginning. Streams of people filed out of Gampel, presumably sensing there were no more hits left in the tank.
But that wasn’t quite it. Wap performed a new song after that, and by the sounds of it, it could be yet another hit. It was noticeably different from the tracks on his debut album, hinting at a possible musical progression.
Wap gave one last encore of “Trap Queen” after playing his new song, and with that the show came to an end.
It’s unclear where Fetty Wap’s career will take him next, but he clearly has the talent and performing chops to accomplish greater things. For now, he’s enjoying life in the limelight, soaking up love on the Gampel Pavilion stage alongside the crew who stuck by his side all along. It was certainly a night to remember in Storrs.
Tyler Keating is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.