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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    No 99 problems here

    Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Last Smash Platinum Bash concert at Arizona Stadium Wednesday night.
    Mike Christy
    Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat Last Smash Platinum Bash concert at Arizona Stadium Wednesday night.

    Splinters in Kelly Clarkson’s feet, ticket sale conspiracy theories and the largest gathering at Arizona Stadium since Willie Tuitama took his last snap in Tucson – this must be an ASUA concert.

    About 12,000 spectators flowed into the stadium Wednesday night to watch what Associated Students of the University of Arizona officials are calling one of the best concerts the university has hosted.

    “”It was really, really fun,”” said Gabriel Atjian, a Tucson High freshman. “”You can really see the performance personality and interaction with them.””

    The night started out slow, as opening act Ryanhood attracted a modest crowd of a few thousand speckled along the west side of the stadium. The spectators gathered together in a makeshift pit when The Veronicas took the stage.

    There was a noticeable jump in attendance just before Third Eye Blind began playing that resulted in about 10,000 singing alongside Clarkson.

    When Jay-Z took the stage at 10 p.m., though, it was clear who the crowd had come to see, as concertgoers filled nearly the entire side of the stadium.

    The rap superstar’s set had a decidedly political feel to it. Jay-Z started out with a tribute song to President Barack Obama with news headlines from November’s Election Day flashing on the 50-foot television screen behind the rapper.

    For the next few songs, the images of Obama were replaced by video of such historical events as Tiananmen Square, John F. Kennedy’s presidency, Vietnam and Martin Luther King’s “”I have a dream”” speech.

    While Jay-Z’s performance turned political, Clarkson’s approach was much more playful. The pop star often took time between songs to joke with the audience about bra preferences, her “”lightweight”” stature with alcohol and the stage giving Clarkson splinters.

    Following the performances, ASUA media relations director Charles Wollin was quick to call the show a success.

    “”It’s really exciting to boast this eclectic mix of different genres for the first stadium show in 30 years,”” Wollin said. “”It brings concerts back to Tucson. It puts Tucson on the map.””

    While ASUA did not know the exact ticket sale numbers as of Wednesday night, the final numbers should be available by tonight, he said.

    Ticket sales for the event have been the subject of secrecy ever since the student government began selling them on March 27.

    ASUA officials would only give rough estimates as to how many tickets had been sold leading up to the concert. The most recent ambiguity came earlier this week when ASUA President Tommy Bruce would only say that they had sold more than half the tickets.

    Speculation that ticket sales may have been struggling began about a week ago when ASUA started selling tickets for half off – an act that rubbed some fans the wrong way.

    Jeremy Smith and Jessica Fletcher bought their upper level tickets the day they first went on sale.

    When ASUA began selling tickets at discounted prices, the two felt their eagerness to see Jay-Z in concert had cost them heavily, as they paid $90 each for their tickets.

    “”We figured a lot of people were going to buy tickets (right away),”” said Smith, a physiology freshman.

    “”We were wrong,”” said Fletcher, a political science freshman.

    Of the $1 million in expenses used to put on the show, Jay-Z was paid $750,000 for his appearance, according to documents obtained by the Daily Wildcat via a public records request.

    ASUA is expected to at least break even on the concert thanks to revenue generated from ticket sales, merchandise and sponsorships, but it is unclear whether the organization will be able to deliver on its promise to create scholarships from the profits.

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