As I approached Bridges Auditorium last Friday night, I had no idea what was in store for me. I had been told I might get to interview Lupe Fiasco’s opening act, B.o.B, on his upcoming album, “The Adventures of Bobby Ray.” However, I had already been warned by his publicist, “B.o.B is a bit under the weather today, so the interview tonight will depend on how he feels after his set.” Regardless, I was invited to attend the concert, and a ticket had been set aside under my name. I had my game plan: check out the show, and then hope that there would be enough time for an interview. Little did I know I would end up getting a VIP backstage pass to see B.o.B and Lupe Fiasco perform live.
Soon after arriving at Bridges, I was escorted backstage by B.o.B’s manager. Right behind the stage was a small seating area hidden from the crowd. Soon more and more people began to file in. Stage crew, managers, and performers. Anthem, the first opening act of the night, huddled in a circle with band members and friends, their heads bowed down. Between sets the backstage crew scrambles to get the next performer’s stage set up as quickly as possible. B.o.B hangs around the stairwell before his performance, exchanging friendly hellos with various people walking past and watching the stage as the final changes are made. He takes the stage with a smooth confidence, interacting with the audience between songs. His catchy new single, “Nothin’ on you,” and his effortless ability to perform suggest he will be around for a while.
The backstage gets even more crowded before Lupe Fiasco comes on. A small group of girls dressed in shades of grey and black push themselves up to the front. Low cut dresses, lots of makeup and fake eyelashes. As Fiasco takes the stage I notice the familiar faces that have been hanging around for the past two acts are suddenly on the stage themselves, playing the drums or the guitar. The friends and family of the performers look on proudly. Fiasco begins to perform, the group of girls go wild with excitement—yelling and screaming every time Lupe moves closer to our side of the stage. Fiasco is clearly a talented artist, but his inability to connect with the audience on a more personal level limited his performance to some extent.
As the night continued, the backstage area only got more crowded, forcing me to stand my ground in order to keep my spot. At the edge of the stage people would move to the front, trying to take pictures with their camera phones. I sent one of my pictures to a friend. “So jealous! Do you think you could sneak me backstage!?”
B.o.B’s publicist has yet to email me back to set up an interview, but it’s all right, I’ll be daydreamin’ about this concert for a while.