Headlining the 2015 Charter Day concert at William & Mary Saturday night, Grammy Award-winning rapper Ludacris brought students to their feet, with singer-songwriter Andy Grammer as the opener.
Although the concert didn't start until 8 p.m., students and members of the Williamsburg community began waiting in line for the doors to open starting at 6 p.m. Alma Mater Productions (AMP) and the Student Assembly sponsored the event, directing students to their seats as they waited for the concert to start. More than 3,300 people attended.
According to AMP Music Committee Chair Arvin Alaigh '15, planning for the concert began last semester with students from AMP and the Student Assembly coming together to decide on logistics, from the overall budget to who would be performing and when.
"We started sending emails in November," said Alaigh '15. "Essentially how it works is, we send emails to agencies, and the agencies respond. We compile a list and talk it over. For this particular concert, Student Assembly funded us a lot; they fund every Charter Day Concert so they get a say as well."
Students sang and danced along as Grammer performed "Fine by Me" and "Keep your Head Up." Grammer also performed songs from his newest album Magazines or Novels including "Honey I'm Good," "Miss Me" and "Holding Out."
After Grammer and his band left the stage, it was time for the main event. Anticipation built as students began chanting Ludacris' name and the lights began to dim.
"I've been a fan of Ludacris since I knew what rap was," Taylor Lynch '16 said. "I'm excited to see him perform all of my favorite songs."
Ludacris performed many of his hits, including "Act a Fool," "Money Maker," "How Low" and "My Chick Bad."
Although mainly excited to see Ludacris, Taylor Jasper '17 noted that the different genres of music that Grammer and Ludacris performed allowed all students to enjoy the concert.
"I think it's good because it appeals to the student body," Jasper '17 said. "People don't feel ostracized or not interested in the concert; it's good to have a mix."
After seeing the performances by Grammer and Ludacris, AMP Music Committee Member, Greg Packer '16 said he enjoyed being able to go behind the scenes as much as the concert itself.
"It is awesome being able to go backstage. I was able to meet Andy Grammar and take a picture with Ludacris," Packer '16 said. "When you're backstage you're able to see what goes on with the artists and their crew that the audience does not see."
Students chanted for an encore as Ludacris left the stage. Although they didn't get one, Ludacris's DJ kept the crowd going with various dance club songs.
Ludacris released his first album, Back for the First Time, in 2000 and has since sold more than 20 million albums in the U.S. and 7 million abroad. His music has earned him multiple honors, including 17 Grammy nominations and three Grammy Awards. He is also an accomplished actor who has appeared in TV shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and movies, including Crash, Hustle & Flow and several of the Fast and Furious installments, the latest of which will be released April 2015.