CWRU crowds flock to biggest Spot Night of the year


photo credit Mary Kate Macedonia / Observer

Rapper Danny Brown performs at his explosive Spot Night show.

Charlie Topel, Staff Reporter

Last week, The Spot saw a night of rap, with three artists who each brought their own style to the stage.

This Spot Night was actually the second scheduled appearance for the headliner, Danny Brown, a rapper from Detroit who has released two critically acclaimed albums in the past couple of years. Due to the large expected turnout (and the rowdiness of the crowd when Brown had to cancel his first appearance), University Program Board ramped up security and brought out metal barriers. Even before the first opener took the stage, it was obvious that the crowd would be massive for the tiny venue.

The first act, ZelooperZ, took the stage without much introduction. His style of rap evoked Tyler The Creator and the OFWGKTA crew: loud production with weird-for-the-sake-of-weird aesthetics and lyrics. Most of his lines were delivered while he was walking around on stage, his gaze raised to the ceiling, giving the effect of white discs where his eyes should have been.

ZelooperZ’s act, as a whole, functioned well as an opener. While his lyrics didn’t turn any heads and his DJ seemed to be more enthusiastic than him, his short set helped set the tone for the night.

The second opener, C-Ro Del-Fresco, ended up being the biggest surprise of the night. His DJ, who I recognized from the crowd earlier, introduced Fresco and his crew with an incredible energy and an infectious chant of “FRES-CO,” which was popular enough to be started by the crowd between almost every song.

One of the most charming qualities of “Team Fresco” was their genuine enthusiasm for performance, which was apparent even before they took the stage. Fresco’s DJ went around introducing himself to much of the early crowd, expressing gratitude for everyone showing up to see Fresco, while acknowledging the fact that many were there just for the headliner.

Team Fresco, however, stole the show. Their passion and excitement about the music got everyone in the audience cheering. Towards the end of their set, they brought out a handful of students who were responsible for bringing them to Spot Night, and Team Fresco celebrated and danced with them. Even when faced with a heckler, Fresco and his crew responded with high emotions and had the majority of the audience on their side.

Once Fresco’s set drew to a close, he humbly introduced the headliner, the famous Danny Brown. Immediately, the crowd exploded in happiness, pushing against the metal barriers holding them back. Brown, being arguably the most famous Spot Night headliner of the year, drew a shockingly large crowd for the setting.

After the introduction, Brown wasted no time diving right into his unique style of rap: higher pitched vocals mixed with brutally honest—and sometimes silly—lyrics, assisted by high energy production. Brown was a hit with the crowd for the whole night, playing most of his popular songs with the crowd loving every minute of it.

While Brown was supposed to come earlier in the year, this felt like the perfect time for his Case Western Reserve University debut. The wait only got the campus more excited for Brown’s antics. All in all, the night of rap was a nice change of pace from the typical indie rock and pop that tends to dominate Spot Night. And judging from the huge attendance and the constant chants, I doubt it will be the last.