By Allie Taylor and Klaudia Balogh
This year’s Eaglepalooza set the bar up high for the Florida Gulf Coast University Programming Board and was an exciting show at Germain Arena. Lines began to form as early as 5:30 p.m. as students with floor tickets lined up to save their spots right by the stage.
Doors opened at 7 p.m., and floods of people filled the arena, passing by the table for a free t-shirt while DJ Rifik played his set pumping up the crowd for the following acts.
Harrison Mellul, freshman at FGCU, couldn’t wait to see J. Cole perform, so he and his friends got their tickets as soon as they went on sale.
“It’s my first time [at Eaglepalooza], and I’m so pumped,” he said. “We stayed the night over and even camped out for the tickets.”
Freshman Kellianne Miekle came to Eaglepalooza with her friend from FSU.
“We’re most excited to see J. Cole,” Miekle said. “We’ve been planning to come to this for a while.”
Huey Mack and DJ Yemi were the first to perform. Joseph Dalton Michael, known by his stage name Huey Mack, is a hip-hop artist from Morgantown, West Virginia. Mack started writing his music at the age of 14 as a “joke.” By the age of 18, he had released his first mixtape “Wish Me Luck” followed with a top charting mixtape “A Boy Named Hue.” Mack’s set had a great response from the crowd. He covered Outkast’s song “Roses” for one of his final songs.
They’ve done about 90 shows in the last year alone and had four Florida shows.
“It’s a little smaller fan base here, but it’s building,” Mack said. “I definitely want to come back, I had fun out there.”
Rapper YG came onstage after Huey Mack and performed his set including two of his more popular songs “Who Do You Love?” and “Don’t Tell ‘Em.” The crowd was going crazy as he added audience participation to keep the energy up.
YG is from Compton, California. He created Pu$haz Ink record label with DJ Mustard (from California, as well). “Toot It and Boot It” featuring LA singer Ty Dolla Sign became YG’s breakout hit, launching his career.
“I had a good time, I know they had a good time, and that is all that matters, nothing else matters,” YG said.
The final performance was saved for J. Cole. He had the stadium loud and kept everyone jumping with full of energy. He performed his well-known hits such as “She Knows” and “Crooked Smile” off of his most recent album “Born Sinner.”
He even threw it back to “Work Out,” an older song from his “Cole World: The Sideline Story” album, which debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.
J. Cole took it home with a great finale as he thanked FGCU for an amazing night.