Mike Posner kicks off the Fall Concert Series
Saturday night, students streamed into Levin Ballroom in anticipation for the first show of the Student Events Fall Concert Series, featuring pop/hip-hop singer Mike Posner. The show actually marked the second time Posner performed at Brandeis—he was last here to perform in 2010. Posner, who is famous for his 2010 Billboard Hot 100 single “Cooler Than Me,” performed an energetic 50-minute set to an energetic crowd.
The stage in Levin Ballroom opened up that night with a shorter set by DC, an emerging local hip-hop artist. DC has “played at several reputable venues in the Boston area” and was accompanied by “other artists from his independent ‘STR’ label,” wrote Student Events Director of Concerts Benji Bernstein ’15 in an email interview with the Justice.
Though the doors opened at 7 p.m., Posner’s set didn’t actually start until about 9:30 p.m. The crowd was beginning to grow restless by the time he walked onstage and started his show with the song “My Light” off his 2014 album Pages. Posner was all smiles, and didn’t look too unlike the students in the crowd. Wearing a white T-shirt, jeans, a button-down shirt tied around his waist and a Boston Red Sox baseball cap, his stage presence felt very relaxed. He went on to play 14 songs in total, ranging from his first single, 2009’s “Drug Dealer Girl” to hits off his first album, 31 Minutes to Takeoff (2010) to his new songs from Pages.
At the concert’s peak, Levin Ballroom was filled to capacity with 750 students in attendance, according to Bernstein. Concert tickets actually sold out by Friday, Sept. 12—just over a week prior to the show.
Traditionally, the fall concert has been a single event; Bernstein described Student Events’ motivation for separating the fall concerts into a series this year. They wanted to “turn it up a notch this year, and bring even more popular live music to campus,” he wrote. Posner was chosen to perform first in the series, followed by the emerging band MAGIC!, who will come to campus in November. Bernstein explained that Student Events booked MAGIC! first, just after hearing their now-hit song “Rude” on the radio. When booking on a budget for concerts like this one, Bernstein wrote, Student Events has to “decide early on about whether we think an artist is going to get big or not,” and it seems that they made the right choice. Posner was actually voted to the top of an “artists you would like to see” category in a survey Student Events sent out to students earlier in the semester, Bernstein wrote.
BABY, PLEASE DON’T GO: Concertgoers moved in close to Posner and took plenty of pictures while he performed.
Bernstein further expanded on the concert’s planning process, describing it as exciting but “filled with logistical challenges.” One of the main obstacles is actually booking an artist, whose schedule can change in a single day; “an artist could be available for our predetermined concert date one day, but then when we attempt to book him the next day he is all of a sudden booked for the entire fall on tour,” explained Bernstein.
As Posner ended his set with debatably his two biggest hits, the 2010 tracks “Please Don’t Go” and “Cooler Than Me”—U.S. platinum and double-platinum songs, respectively—the crowd sung along and bounced around, seeming to really enjoy songs that were more familiar to them.
Tickets will be on sale for MAGIC!’s November show at the Brandeis Ticket Booth soon—keep an eye out for the second part of the first-ever fall concert series.