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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    McKale glows in the dark

    Concertgoers cut through a dimmed McKale Center during Kanye Wests show last night. Fans opened their phones after West became emotional while singing Hey Mama, which he dedicated to his recently deceased mother.
    Concertgoers cut through a dimmed McKale Center during Kanye West’s show last night. Fans opened their phones after West became emotional while singing ‘Hey Mama,’ which he dedicated to his recently deceased mother.

    Kanye West helmed the biggest concert on campus in more than a decade last night, and the rap superstar came through.

    With flashing lights and glow-in-the-dark gear littering the crowd, the concert was an experience even frequent concertgoers will never forget, said Matt Cichon, a business freshman.

    “”It was way better than I expected,”” he said. “”It really was a great show.””

    Although West is often known to push the limits during concerts, he upstaged even himself during this stop on his “”Glow in the Dark”” tour by presenting his most creative show style yet, said Daniel Polanco, a Canyon Del Oro High School freshman.

    West, sweat flowing down his face, performed with three screens narrating a journey through space and back to Earth in a spacecraft. A fusillade of multi-colored lights joined jolts of fire that shot from the stage, itself projected as pocked with craters.

    “”He’s my favorite artist, and it was the best concert I’ve ever been to,”” Polanco said.

    The magnitude of the moment was not lost on officials from the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, who organized the event.

    “”This was easily ASUA’s biggest event of the year,”” said Jessica Anderson, executive vice president. “”It’s completely unprecedented, and it really speaks to the innovation of everyone (who helped).””

    ASUA is slated to lose as much as $150,000 from the event, according to a contract between the student government and West’s representatives, as well as figures provided by student government president Tommy Bruce. West received $220,000 to appear, as expenses approached $500,000.

    Officials could not provide exact figures of money earned last night.

    Preparing McKale Center for the event was no small matter, as it required the help of 50 ASUA volunteers and an additional 200 club workers, Anderson said.

    “”It is the most work, effort and organization that we’ve ever had to go through,”” Bruce said. “”And it was a massive success.””

    One lucky fan, UA student Chase Barnes, treaded where others only hoped to go, as she was pulled onstage to sing alongside accompanying act N.E.R.D.

    “”They were really, really cool and appreciative that I knew their music,”” said Barnes, a public health graduate student. “”I just got up there and was like, ‘I’m on stage with N.E.R.D.!'””

    After her on-stage encounter, Barnes was invited backstage, where band members gave her their autographs, she said.

    For Lily Stevenson, a University of Utah freshman, 16 hours in Tucson was enough. She flew into town yesterday afternoon specifically for the concert and will fly back this morning.

    “”My cousin called me up Friday night and said she had two tickets,”” Stevenson said. “”That was really tight.””

    The concert was hopefully the start of a tradition of ASUA bringing big-name headliners to campus for many years to come, Anderson said.

    “”We could see that everyone was really into it,”” she said. “”We really want to see this project through.””

    Country star Garth Brooks was the last musician to play McKale Center, drawing 13,500 fans in 1996.

    Last night’s show drew 8,083.

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