Allen & friends play The Pageant

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Allen & friends play The Pageant

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The 27-year-old rapper and hip-hop artist Hoodie Allen was joined by other artists Marc Goone, Blackbear, and Superduperkyle at The Pageant for another stop on his nationwide “Happy Camper Tour.” Allen’s music has been dubbed with the tag “frat-rap,” describing white, educated, college-aged males. As a figure, Allen appeals to the suburban white teen who isn’t looking for anything resonant or particularly rebellious. Throughout his performance on Feb. 24, he was an adept performer and was able to hold the entire room in excitement the whole night.

Local St. Louis rapper Marc Goone started out the night with a solid set despite the complete lack of interest from an audience filled with teenage girls, who were clearly in attendance for Allen. Goone was a formidable and mature performer, so much so that I was absolutely shocked to hear later that he was only the ripe, young age of 15.

R&B/Rap artist Blackbear took the stage after Goone. This was the act I was most looking forward to, being a fan of Blackbear’s incredible talent as a singer, songwriter and producer. He is probably one of the best talents that you aren’t listening to, known for synth-pop tracks with an R&B soul and incredible vocals. It is a surprise that he isn’t more famous, considering he was worked with artists like G-Eazy and Childish Gambino, and even co-wrote “Boyfriend” with Justin Bieber. His actual performance was entertaining, and I very much enjoyed watching him sing some of my favorite songs, like “4u,” “Deadroses,” and “Idfc,” but overall it was a bit off. While he was certainly a talented performer, his whole set was a bit of a mess. The stage lighting was not up to par with the rest of the show, and that had a decent effect on the performance. Some of the things he said during his set came off as a bit trashy, which added to the entertainment value, but took a bit away from his professionalism. Overall, he was a fun act to see, but fell short on a few key factors.

Superduperkyle was an unexpected joy of the night. Kyle was joined by his rapping Superduper crew, and the stage was decorated with cutouts from the retro Super Mario Bros games.

They started their set by coming onstage mid lightsaber fight, then continuing to sing “The Force.” Kyle and Brick were the most fun to watch on stage, filling their time with synchronized choreographed dances.

The Crew’s overall vibe was happy, fun and stressed the importance of not taking life too seriously. Their quirky performance to “Sex & Super Smash Bros” had the crowd go wild and proved that these guys were born to perform. Between cracking jokes in the middle of songs, being incredibly interactive with the audience and just being an absolute pleasure to watch, I would say that Superduperkyle and his crew were the highlight of the night.

At this point in the evening, the crowd was thirsty for Allen to get on stage, so much so that some girls called out “we want Hoodie!” at various points throughout the opening acts. By the time he came on stage with “Introduction to Anxiety “ from his most recent album, “Happy Camper,” girls were going crazy and throwing their bras on stage.

He kept spirits up, despite it being 10 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and kept the audience on their feet.

At one point, Allen went to the back of the venue to sing amongst the screaming teenage girls before throwing cake into the crowd during “Cake Boy.” He even climbed into an inflatable raft and had security hoist him above everyone’s head to crowd surf.

Blackbear and Kyle came back onto the stage at the end to sing “Champagne and Pools” and “No Interruption,” and an explosion of confetti closed out the night. As a performer, Allen is top notch, interactive and humble. While some of his music leaves much to be desired, he is entertaining nonetheless. SLU students should make sure to catch him at the Chaifetz Arena this coming April.