My night at the T-Pain concert

Story by Faryal Zubair

For someone who has never been to a concert before, the thrill of this night was beyond any expectation. James Madison University’s Convocation Center, screaming fans, and lots of energy are some of the few things that T-Pain’s concert had to offer. The biggest attention-grabber was of course, T-Pain.

I arrived at the Convocation Center at approximately 7:30 p.m., where I met Jenna Cook, vice president of marketing and communication at JMU. She took me and three other photographers inside what could simply be described as a velvet room. Cook explained to us that we’d only be allowed to take pictures for the first four songs, as instructed by T-Pain’s management. Also, the only person to get an interview with the big star would be from JMU’s student newspaper, The Breeze.

Although I was disappointed about not getting a chance to meet T-Pain, I was still excited to watch him perform live. The first to perform was the opening act, DJ Diplo. At 8 o’clock, Diplo was mixing music together, but the Convo Center was far from filled. As time kept passing, more people poured in. While some were dancing to Diplo’s beat, others were waiting restlessly for the main man to take center stage.

Unfortunately, before the night even began, tragedy struck. Well, not exactly tragedy, but it was a sad situation. I lost my precious phone. No, I didn’t misplace it. I lost it. I was seated toward the side of the stage on bleachers. I was looking at my cell phone to see the time so that I could be prompt while writing this article. This is why I know that my phone slipped through the cracks at exactly 8:28 p.m. While I was panicking and thinking about how this night could get any worse, Cook jumped to my rescue. She managed to climb down and save the night!

On a much more pleasant note, at 9:35, when the crowd was getting incredibly impatient, strobe lights filled the arena and caught the eyes of many fans as T-Pain finally awed them. He made the audience dance along with his catchy hits such as, “U and Dat,” “Buy U a Drank,” and “Low.”

For the most part, the concert was definitely a people-pleaser. Although I was surprised that T-Pain didn’t make it on stage until almost an hour after his scheduled appearance. By the end of the night, it didn’t seem that T-Pain’s punctuality, or the lack thereof, made any difference.

After the show, I caught up with Jeremy Paredes, a JMU alum. Paredes enjoyed the concert and said that he has been going to be JMU concerts for a while, and that he thought that people were very upbeat tonight. “I’m definitely a [T-Pain] fan,” said Paredes.

While Paredes was satisfied with the concert, I was having different thoughts. Even though the night was filled with live music, dancing and a tragic phone accident, I felt that it wasn’t quite complete. I still wanted my chance at talking to T-Pain. After all, I had driven all the way to Harrisonburg and had wanted the chance to talk to him ever since I realized I’d be covering this event. As the night came to an end, and my hope of talking to T-Pain turned into fantasy, I left the Convo feeling a bit displeased.

In spite of the disappointment that arrived toward the end of the concert, it was still one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Besides, the next time I go to a T-Pain concert, he will have no choice but to do an interview with me.

 

Faryal Zubair is an Augusta Free Press intern and a sophomore at Waynesboro High School.

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