Costumes are the Real Show at Sean Kingston Concert

On Saturday, October 29, Colgate students dressed in their Halloween finest and flooded into Colgate’s Cotterell Court for the most anticipated event of the weekend: a private concert from rap and singing sensation, Sean Kingston. 

Opening for Kingston was the famed a capella group, The Colgate 13, dressed in costumes ranging from cowboy flannels to Freddie Mercury-Esque white tank tops, skinny jeans and slicked-back hair. Unleashing classic tunes such as CeeLo Green’s “Forget You” and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” the dulcet-toned Adonises whipped the crowd into a frenzy, expertly warming them up for Kingston’s act yet-to-come. 

As Kingston took the stage, the audience erupted in cheers. Dressed in a varsity letter jacket emblazoned with his initials and a variety of ghost patches, Kingston was perfectly on theme for the Halloweekend event. Around his neck, Kingston sported one of his signature chains spelling out his last name in a blinding array of silver and diamonds.

In the audience, students were similarly dressed for Halloween, albeit less subtly. In the front rows, a veritable zoo of students in blow-up animal costumes boogied and bounced around the crowd, their costumes in a constant state of deflation and re-inflation. Added to the throng was droves of construction workers, pixies, sailors and Teletubbies, engaged in a dance party of epic proportions. For one night only, vampires and werewolves, cats and dogs, firefighters and policemen, Coke and Pepsi had all come together as one, united by Kingston’s music. 

One of Kingston’s first songs of the night was the 2007 hit, “Take You There.” From the moment the song began, Kingston implored the audience to “put their hands up,” repeating this demand throughout the song. Every other lyric was accented with the words, “Shawty, put your hands up.” While the audience went along with this at first, they soon began to improvise, raising festive accessories such as little bo peep’s crook and the grim reaper’s scythe. Once this improvisation was made, it wasn’t long before the excited crowd began to raise fellow students into the air as well.

Seeing the needs of his peers, one enterprising student even held up a sign reading “Shoulder rides at no cost! FREE!” Clearly, this offer was too good to refuse because within moments, there was a line of interested students waiting their turn and a half dozen costumed heads bobbing above the crowd. Inspired, a brotherhood of hotdogs hoisted themselves onto one another’s shoulders.

Kingston’s next tracks, “Replay,” “Fire Burning” and “Beautiful Girls” came in rapid succession and sent the audience into an absolute frenzy as these songs were by far his most well-known. 

To the left of the stage, Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off head banged with a trio of nuns. To the right, Thing One and Thing Two mingled with a troupe of girl scouts, a blue Tetris brick and a milkman. And at dead center, Buzz Lightyear, Mountain Dew and a banana all swayed in unison. 

One character, in particular, a blue, inflatable shark, showed off some serious moves while in the throng. “These concerts are such positive, unifying experiences,” said sophomore Ryan Derrico, the man behind the shark. “I’m not sure how many more concerts I’ll go to dressed as a shark, but hey, you never know!”

Perhaps one of the most memorable moments from the show took place as Kingston was performing his 2009 hit, “Fire Burning.”As Kingston sang the classic lyric, “Somebody call 9-1-1, Shawty fire burning on the dance floor,” a student dressed as a firefighter, as if hearing their calling, flung their fire helmet onto the stage, proclaiming: “I got you, Kingston!” and narrowly missed the artist himself. This student was promptly reprimanded and no additional objects went airborne for the remainder of the show. 

Another unforgettable moment took place during “Beautiful Girls,” when Kingston encouraged the audience to turn on their phone flashlights to help him “better see all the beautiful people in the audience.” Within moments, the venue shone with the light of a thousand tiny flashlights. As the audience swayed and sang along, Kingston alternately paused the track so that only the audience’s voices could be heard. 

The song was especially moving for SAA entertainment committee director, sophomore Elsa O’Brien, who had worked for five months to help plan the event. “The moment I heard “Beautiful Girls” was the moment that I finally relaxed and really focused on enjoying the music,” said O’Brien. “When you work on an event for such a long time, it’s hard to finally let go and relax. In that one moment though, I could tell that our months of hard work and collaboration had truly been worth it.” 

Following this smash hit, Kingston signaled to the DJ to bring down the music so that he could address the audience. “Colgate, I want to take some pictures,” announced Kingston. Fans didn’t realize it at the time, but these were to be Kingston’s final words of the night. Quickly panning his camera over the audience, Kingston and his entourage then swiftly exited the stage with the music cutting out soon after. While students were initially surprised by this abrupt departure, the silence was soon filled with the chatter of students as they alternately belted out song lyrics and cemented plans for the rest of their Halloweekend. Leaving a trail of empty shooters, flattened clown noses and mangled fairy wings in their wake, concert-goers filtered out into the night, energized and ready to take on Broad Street.