Kaplan Arena was packed Saturday night as Grammy-nominated rap artist Wiz Khalifa performed live for the 2014 William & Mary Charter Day concert.
Although the concert did not start until 8 p.m., the arena began filling quickly when the doors opened around 6:30 p.m. Performing with Wiz Khalifa was fellow artist Chevy Woods and the Taylor Gang.
Alma Mater Productions (AMP) and the Student Assembly volunteers helped shepherd students onto the floor and into their seats as Chevy Woods prepared his opening act.
“It’s really great having a name people recognize,” said AMP volunteer Victoria Chaitoff ’15. “Having big artists like Wiz Khalifa makes a big splash around here. People really seem excited about the show, and we had really fantastic sales.”
Almost 400 people were packed onto the floor directly below the stage, and around 2 000 seats around the auditorium were filled.
“The floor sold out the first day,” said Jamie Blake, music co-chair for AMP. “We sold way more tickets than last year, and we were still selling tickets at the door.”
Students shouted and danced along to Wiz Khalifa’s hits, including “Work Hard, Play Hard,” and Grammy-nominated singles “Young, Wild & Free” and “Black and Yellow.” Wiz Khalifa also performed a song from his not-yet-released album “Blacc Hollywood” with Chevy Woods and the rest of the Taylor Gang. Students were brought up onto the stage as well to join them.
Sarah Paquette ’17 and Esther Kallon ’17 were both on stage with them.
“It was totally awesome,” Sarah said later. “This is the best concert I have ever been to! I can’t believe I got to go on stage with him!”
Christian Northover ’14 agreed.
“It was great music to dance to,” he said. “The crowd was really psyched.”
“We wanted someone more contemporary,” Blake said. “A name people would recognize who was more current to pop music. I think it was a really good choice, and a really good way to celebrate Charter Day.”Wiz Khalifa, in addition to having five Grammy-nominated songs, has also received the BET Awards’ “Best New Artist” in 2011, the Billboard Music Award’s “Top New Artist” in 2012, and has been nominated for many other awards, including MTV Europe Music Awards’ “Best New Act”, MTV Video Music Awards’ “Best New Artist” for his song “Black and Yellow” and American Music Awards’ “Sprint New Artist of the Year.”. His new album, “Blacc Hollywood,” will be released later this year.