The weekend began on Friday at DC’s 9:30 Club with the Nations Classic Rally. Hosted by songstress Elle Varner and returning host Fonzworth Bently. A battle between two of the top HBCUs had begun as the Morehouse drum line took to the stage. The obviously big Bison (Howard University) presence made for an interesting performance. One had to wonder if the constant chanting of Howards “You Know” was getting underneath the Tigers skin. If so, they did little to show it, nor did their cheer leading squad.
Following the battle of the schools the first artist to hit the stage for the nights concert segment was Mack Wilds. I do like how he interacts with fans, his inclusion of tributes to artist who influenced him in his career and the fact that he was vocally consistent. Songs performed include ‘Henny’ and ‘Own It’. However, there was a feeling that something was missing from the overall performance, I just can’t put my finger on it.
Headlining the nights festivities was singer/songwriter, Miguel. I have not seen this gentleman live since he was opening up for Trey Songz and Usher during the ‘All I Want Is You’ days. You have not been to a show until you have experienced a Miguel show. You are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go check him out when he comes to a city near you. ‘Lotus Flowerbomb’, ‘Sure Thing’, ‘How Many Drinks’ and ‘Adorn’ are among the songs that he performed. The energy, the showmanship and the interaction. You can certainly tell how much work he puts into developing his stage show. It is an amazing thing to witness.
The next day, game day, began with AT&T Soundstage right outside of RFK Stadium. An outside concert series that began at 11 am with a number of vendors available for shopping, eating and free giveaways. AT&T did have a tent set up with phones displayed and charging stations for those patrons would be at the stadium for the duration of the day.
First to take to the stage was R&B newcomer, Adrian Marcel. When I tell you this boy can blow, he can blow. The single ‘2AM’ does not even do his voice justice. As a fan of R&B it is nice to see newcomers keep the essence of what they grew up listening to in their own music. He started his set with an Al B Sure classic, ‘Night and Day’. His performance was quite impressive and the steady rain did not seem to alter his performance any. He continued his set with a few songs from his mixtape and closed with his single ‘2AM’. I would not mind witnessing him grace a stage again.
Jeremih brought his Chicago swag to the DMV as he took to the stage. He is really laid back when it comes to performing. You can tell that it is not a lazy type of thing but that he is just genuinely relaxed on stage. The highlight of the performance was when he jumped off of the stage and proceeded to vibe with the crowd. Even busting into the Shmoney dance for a little while. ‘Down On Me’ and his new single ‘Don’t Tell Em’ were definitely among his set list. I overheard a good point about Jeremih from the crowd. He seems to put out a lot of singles, will there be an album coming soon? Time will tell.
Out of the 13,178 people in attendance, I doubt to many of them were surprised at the result of the game. Howard University took home the win with a score of 35 to 17. This makes their fourth year in a row winning against Morehouse.
Check out photos and videos of this weekends events below.