At 9:15 p.m., opening act Isaiah Rashad peeled off his shirt and lit a cigarette in the same place Meryl Streep received her honorary doctoral degree from the University a little more than a week ago.
Within the hour, Union Board’s official Little 500 performer ScHoolBoy Q would be performing at the IU Auditorium. Men in bucket hats and basketball jerseys and women in crop tops screamed in anticipation.
He came on stage close to 10 p.m. and after introducing himself, opened with his popular single “Hands On The Wheel.”
“Excited is an understatement,” freshman Melissa Broaddas said before the show.
Before getting on stage he tweeted from his account, @ScHoolBoyQ, “Bout to Hit da stage!!!!!! Go #HOOSIERS.”
Freshman Kersea Gable came to the concert with a high school friend, Tommy Green.
“We kinda freaked out,” Gable said. “We were sitting there waiting in front of the computer until the tickets went on sale.”
During the concert, ScHoolBoy Q played other songs such as “Collard Greens” from his 2014 album “Oxymoron” that debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart.
It sold 139,000 copies in the week ending March 2 and was the largest debut album since Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP 2” came out in November of last year.
The auditorium was nearly sold out for the concert. The venue can hold about 3,300 people. IU Auditorium representatives said they sold all but some seats of the “obstructed view” seating in the balcony.
Freshman Shantanece Ellis and Broaddus said they bought their tickets half an hour after they went on sale.
Opening acts for the show began at around 8 p.m. starting with all California-based acts, Audio Push, Vince Staples and then Isaiah Rashad.
They performed samples of their own music as well as covers of Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
Throughout the concert, fog floated up to the ceiling and a Technicolor rainbow of lights shined out into the crowd and onto the organ pipes on the walls, making the room resemble the Kilroy’s Sports Bar dancefloor more than the IU Auditorium.
As part of the Oxymoron World Tour, ScHoolBoy Q has visited several other college campuses in the last month.
He is a member of rap group Black Hippy with Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul.
Sophomores Sid Suresh and Jason Garza said they didn’t know very much about ScHoolBoy Q before he was announced as the Little 500 performer, but they bought tickets anyway.
“They always choose good music,” Garza said. “I’ve yet to find a concert I don’t like, and there was time to learn his music.”