Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Sporting AU gear, Cee-Lo rocks Bender Arena

Sporting AU gear, Cee-Lo rocks Bender Arena

AU students swarmed outside of Bender Arena Jan. 14 to see Cee-Lo Green’s sold-out performance on the basketball court.

Students waited for two hours outside while the Student Union Board set up the venue. The board organized the event and entertained the shivering crowd by offering two backstage passes to the person who correctly answered the question: “What was Cee-Lo Green’s first album?” (Answer: "Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections"). The crowd could not be distracted for long though and soon began chanting, “Let us in!”

There was definitely enough enthusiasm for the upcoming performance. “I traveled all the way from Pittsburgh to see this,” high school student Pat O’Toole said. In fact, he even missed some of his midterms for the concert.

Once inside, students and guests crowded the stage for the first act, Money Fame Love (MFL). The group consisted of five males and one female who switched on and off stage between each song. But the group was unable to please the crowd with their neon clothing and stage flailing — coming off as more of a failed attempt at imitating the Black Eyed Peas.


“Make some fucking noise!” the group yelled to open the act. Unfortunately, the group’s attempt at being “hip” failed in all areas. All of the songs consisted solely of indiscernible screaming and lots of banging to go along with their constant jumping up and down on stage. The only true cheer MFL extracted from the crowd came from one member — dressed in a neon baby blue sweatshirt zipped below his chest — who raised an American flag in the middle of a song for no apparent reason other than to warrant a response other than derision. Otherwise, the audience simply played along with the act, giving an occasional fist pump. MFL was then promptly booed off the stage after their final song.

“That was absolutely the worst performance I’ve ever seen,” said AU student Cameron Meindl, a freshman in SPA and a frequent concertgoer.

Due to technical difficulties, the intermission between MFL and Cee-Lo lasted much longer than the audience expected. Cee-Lo did not come on stage until a quarter before 11 p.m. And he didn’t start performing until later as he generously decided to come talk to the antsy students during the break.

Excitement quickly returned to the crowd as Cee-Lo’s undeniable stage presence reinvigorated hopes for a good show. The seasoned performer joked with the crowd, saying he wished he had some beer. He told students that he “might be able to pull some strings” for them as well. Then he unzipped his jacket slightly to reveal an AU t-shirt (AU gear was also worn by his band), which was met with loud cheers.

“I just enrolled here!” he shouted.

Finally, the main act began. Cee-Lo opened with a montage of songs from his Gnarls Barkley discography, including “Gone Daddy Gone” and “Crazy,” as the audience happily sang along. At the end of the performance, Cee-Lo promised that his next new album would be under Goodie Mob.

Cee-Lo knew how to work the crowd. He looked completely at ease on stage and always kept everyone laughing and singing throughout the performance. He filled the rest of the night mostly with songs from his newest solo-album, "The Lady Killer," and of course ended with his famous “Fuck You.”

Afterwards, students quickly left the arena after a long night of waiting for Cee-Lo Green. For many students, such as student Zach Morrice, a freshman in SIS, “It was a night well spent.”

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