Hoodie Allen delights and disappoints, no interruption

Steven Markowitz, known to his fans as Hoodie Allen, made his first appearance at St. Olaf as this year’s fall concert. Although his impressive resume includes a diploma from the University of Pennsylvania and a job at Google, Hoodie earned his spot under the limelight from his solo music career. Most of his work falls into the categories of alternative hip-hop and pop-rap.

Anticipation for the show began the first day of ticket sales. By Tuesday, Sept.16, the show was completely sold out. Desperate fans began bombarding the St. Olaf Extra e-mail alias with requests for a ticket. The prospect of exponential financial gains challenged the stereotypical assumption that Oles always act with selflessness and integrity. Although the Music and Entertainment Committee MEC originally sold the tickets for the low price of five dollars apiece, some students sold their tickets to their peers for as much as fifty dollars.

On Saturday, Sept. 20, a few dedicated Hoodie fans lined up for the concert a couple hours in advance, in hopes of securing a front row position in the standing-room only Pause Mane Stage. However, the Pause was less than half full when Megatherian Club – an on-campus band composed of Ben Marolf ’15 vocals, Elliott Tadanier ’15 guitar, Shane Allen ’14 keyboards, Samuel Benson ’15 bass, Jay Thomas Carlson ’15 percussion and Benjamin Lipson ’15 saxophone – opened the concert at 8:00 p.m. with its unique “psuedojazzprog” jams. The room quickly filled with enthusiastic fans, and Megatherian Club exited with accolades abound.

At about a quarter after nine, Hoodie Allen bounded onto the stage to the audience’s deafening shouts. From the moment he picked up the microphone, Hoodie’s high energy and engaging stage presence drew in the audience. The audience sang along with Hoodie as he performed some of his more popular songs, including “No Faith in Brooklyn,” “Fame is for Assholes,” and “Eighteen Cool.” Hoodie also performed some of the material on his new album, which was released Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Audience members seemed to be having a good time singing along with Hoodie. However, at some point during the first song it became apparent Hoodie was not doing much of the singing, or that when he was it was rather out of tune.

Additionally, the venue’s design, combined with the short stature of the performer, made it extremely difficult for some students who weren’t in the front to see.

Hoodie closed out his performance with a charismatic, although rather off-key, rendition of “No Interruption.” The crowd went wild, so much so in fact that many audience members didn’t realize Hoodie had left the stage afterward.

The DJ continued to spin a dance party mix for a few minutes, and then the lights came back on. Students didn’t request “one more song,” or chant for Hoodie to return to the stage. After the rather abrupt ending, students wandered into the still-early night.

Students seem divided over the performance. Some were frustrated with Hoodie’s lack of musicianship, distasteful lyrics, and general disrespect of women.

Others enjoyed Hoodie’s energy, the party beats and his “cool” presence. Although there were mixed reviews, Oles generally had a good time, and cannot wait to see who MEC brings in this spring.