An enthusiastic crowd got up close and personal with performers Kelley James, Mike Posner and Jason Derulo Tuesday night at the new arena.
“[Mike Posner] smelled like heaven,” senior nursing major Melissa Bak said after being serenaded during Posner’s “Drug Dealer Girl.” “He sang to me and I got to be his drug dealer girl.”
A few audience members got the chance to experience one-on-one time with the performers. During Posner’s “Bow Chicka Wow Wow,” he invited one woman on stage, sang to her and offered her a teddy bear, and Derulo did the same during “What If,” singing and dancing with a student who had been in the front row.
The opener Kelley James, a musician with an acoustic/hip-hop sound, was well received with the crowd.
“I liked Kelley quite a lot,” sophomore secondary education major Emma Devlin said. “His improv was great.”
Posner opened with his single “Please Don’t Go” and featured surprises throughout the performance such as a cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and pulling off his shirt to reveal a Bradley jersey underneath, which he tossed to the audience after his performance.
“I don’t really listen to him, but Mike Posner is amazing,” sophomore industrial engineering major Max Jones said.
Posner leaned the microphone into the crowd during his performance, allowing Jones and many others to sing along with him, and later jumped over the barrier to crowd surf.
“That was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Jones said. “Also, he was surprisingly light.”
The stage was cleared of any instruments before Derulo’s performance to make room for dancing, and he started his performance with fiber-optic gloves for
“The Sky is the Limit.” He performed well-known singles “Whatcha Say” and “Riding Solo” as well as covers like Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and Ray Charles’s “Georgia on my Mind.”
His encore performance was a crowd-pleasing “In My Head.”
The concert sold a total of 2,516 tickets, 1,748 of those going to Bradley students, faculty and staff.
“It was better than I expected,” Devlin said. “I’ve seen Jason Derulo live before and I love him. As a performer I thought Mike Posner was better, but Derulo had a better voice.”
Devlin and some friends took turns waiting in line to receive front-row tickets.
“My friend started waiting two days before so we could get those seats,” she said.
Devlin said the best part of the concert was the atmosphere.
“I was in the seats for Weezer, and it was so different being on the floor this time. I’ve never been front row at a concert before,” she said. “Plus, Mike Posner used my shoulder to get up on the crowd. That was pretty cool.”
Click on the photo to see more pictures from the concert.
All photos by Adam Moulton