By Gabriela Laracca
Arts & Entertainment Editor
On Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. the MSU Advisory Board hosted Kutzstock. The free concert for KU students featured student artists as well as two major headliners, Taylor Bennett and MadeinTYO, in MSU 218.
Lasting until a little after 8 p.m., the performances shook the building while attendees entered through a series of security measures including a handful of armed police officers, security guards, bag checks and metal detectors.
After enduring security measures uncommon to most KU campus events, we received lime green wrist bands and entered the auditorium to heavy bass-lines, club music and a colorful light show.
With Kutzstock featuring a series of DJs and audio-technicians, the ever-growing crowd danced and swayed to the music emanating from the speakers. Attendees continued to shuffle into the auditorium throughout the course of the concert.
The first student artist featured was KU sophomore Renato Sanabria. Not only did his vocal range astonish the audience through performances of several songs including “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul, he also played guitar phenomenally and confidently. This talent aided him in his performance of an emotional original song about heartbreak featuring lyrics like “You try to get in my head” and “You make me feel like I wasn’t good enough.”
The most emotionally-enriching performance however was his cover of “What a Wonderful World,” a song that people rarely pull-off.
“I had such a great time performing at Kutzstock,” said Sanabria. “Being the only acoustic act was cool because I was able to vibe out with the crowd a bit and it’s pretty much my musicianship stripped down to the basics.”
The next act featured student artist Derick Knox, a rapper. Although there appeared to be some audio technical difficulties where the bass drowned out the artist’s voice, the performance had very high-energy with a Lil Yachty/Logic vibe. Knox’s performance got the crowd up and jumping. The artist himself even called two friends as back up dancers and vocalists on stage. One student reiterated every last word of each of Knox’s lines while the other just hyped the audience up with dance.
Next up was student artist Noelia Cabrera. In the most shocking performance of the night, Cabrera proved to be a true alto with the lung-capacity of Christina Aguilera.
While at first the deafening music emanating from speakers engulfed Cabrera’s vocals, she quickly adjusted in a fight with the music, which she won. The entire auditorium filled with blissful, soulful vocals that moved the audience. She also gave an inspirational tid-bit of advice toward the end of her performance -“You’re valuable and you can do better,” a line that went along with the theme of many of the songs she sang.
Last but not least of the opening acts was student rapper, Mostly.Dylan, another high-energy performance which was a much different pace than Cabrera’s before him. With two co-rappers backing him up (Cat Rembore and Jermie Falcone,) he performed an original song called “Girls Back Home,” which he said was popular on SoundCloud.
Following Mostly.Dylan was first headliner and rapper Taylor Bennett, brother of Grammy award-winner Chance the Rapper. He started by noticing the overwhelming audio raging throughout the auditorium. Instead of letting it drown him out and risking a poor performance, he had his on-set DJ, DJ Jamal Knight, turn off the music.
He then began to free-style rap acapella. After this he performed several songs including “New York Nights,” “Outro” and “Broad Shoulders.” The two audience-favorites seemed to be “Outro” and “Broad Shoulders” – “Outro” because it resonated with the classic, drunk college-party lifestyle and “Broad Shoulders” because it featured Chance (who was not present).
After Bennett left the stage, DJs appeased impatient fans waiting for MadeinTYO to arrive with throwback party songs reminiscent of a middle school dance. More than fashionably late, MadeinTYO took the stage dawning KU apparel. The rapper performed his Billboard Hot 100 hitter, “Uber Everywhere” to the screaming fans. He not only commanded the stage with his impressive lines but got everyone moving and singing.
A disruptive student was escorted out by three Kutztown police officers after arguing and harassing MadeinTYO mid-performance to which the artist responded, “Peace, love and positivity” and “It ain’t that deep.” The commotion got the remaining crowd cheering in support to which MadeinTYO then responded if you are passionate about something, “chase that s—” and “go hard with it, go 1000 with it.” Following the performance, MadeinTYO and management declined to be interviewed.
After exiting stage, club music continued to blare out of the sound systems as students exited the auditorium into the crowded MSU lobby where free Kutzstock t-shirts were being handed out.