Up-and-coming artist and certified Twitter philosopher Jaden Smith rang in the new school year at this year’s A&O Blowout at the Welsh-Ryan Arena Oct. 5.
The 21-year-old emerged on stage with a panning shot of Los Angeles as his backdrop. He began with some of the top tracks from the album that just dropped this July, ERYS, including crowd favorite“Summertime in Paris”.
Taking advantage of the album’s varying tempos, he gradually transitioned from some of the slower songs on the album into ‘hype’-er bops like “Goku,” even breaking out the smoke machines to accompany “GHOST.”
Soon enough, a designated mosh circle began forming. Halfway through Smith’s set, some even fell (quite literally) victim to the sheer enthusiasm of their fellow moshers.
The circle dispersed, but the excitement that remained had the whole crowd on their feet for “Icon,” Smith’s last (and most popular) song of the night.
Smith’s announced arrival drew a varied audience, ranging from those who knew Smith primarily from his The Karate Kid days to the moshers chanting every line from the front rows.
SESP sophomore Nina Wetoska “just knew him from [The] Karate Kid and Pursuit of Happyness, and his verse in Justin Beiber’s “Never Say Never.”
After Blowout, Wetoska noted that “[h]is [Smith’s] music is actually pretty good.”
“I wish I knew it because I feel like I could’ve gotten really into it [Blowout] if I knew his music,” she added. “But it was fine that I didn’t, because I still just vibed on the other people.”
SESP Sophomore Milèna DeGeure was a casual listener of Smith prior to attending Blowout. “I knew what vibe it was, I knew what genre, but I wouldn’t say I was a fan,” DeGeure said
DeGeure was also impressed with SOPHIE, the electronic pop artist who opened for Smith.
“I’d never heard their music but I thought they were really good,” DeGeure said.
The fact that the tickets for this year’s A&O Blowout were free played a role in DeGeure’s decision to attend.
“I think if [the tickets] had been like five dollars and my friends were still going I would’ve gone, but if it was like fifteen or twenty or something — since I’m not a personal fan of his music — probably not.”