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Students await Spring Concert headliners Sean Kingston and NLE Choppa

April 12, 2024

Tonight, Bowdoin’s annual Spring Concert will feature double headline performances from rapper NLE Choppa and singer Sean Kingston in Morrell Gymnasium. The winner of last week’s Battle of the Bands, student band Part-Time Groove Society (PGS), will open the show.

Memphis-born Bryson Potts, known professionally as NLE Choppa, is, at 21, younger than some Bowdoin students. He first enjoyed widespread popularity with his 2019 single “Shotta Flow.” He was included in hip-hop magazine XXL’s famed “Freshman Class” in 2020. His most-streamed song is the lead single from his 2023 album “Cottonwood 2,” “Slut Me Out.” The track has since been remixed with “SkeeYee” rapper Sexyy Red.

Better known as Sean Kingston, Jamaican American artist Kisean Paul Anderson enjoyed the height of his commercial success in the late 2000s with R&B-inspired pop songs like “Beautiful Girls” and “Eenie Meenie” (featuring Justin Bieber). Anderson was sued in 2020 for an alleged gang rape after a 2010 concert. He has not addressed the allegations directly and settled the lawsuit out of court. In a recent interview, E-Board chair Alex Tesson ’23 said the E-Board’s booking agent cleared Anderson to perform at Bowdoin.

The Entertainment Board (E-Board), a student-run club responsible for organizing the spring concert and other entertainment events on campus, solicits funding from the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC). After Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) secured funding for the Spring Concert last year in place of the E-Board amid a budget dispute, the E-Board successfully submitted this year’s concert budget early and prioritized the Spring Concert over other events.

Last semester, the E-Board brought rap collective Save The Tour for a show in the basement of Park Row Apartments in lieu of a winter or fall concert. E-Board member Oliver Clachko ’26 said that the performance was intentionally budget-friendly.

“Save The Tour … was a cheap [winter concert] that we could pull out some money from the budget [for], and then whatever was left over, we could use for the spring concert. This year, we decided that we would want to go all out for the spring concert,” Clachko said.

Cora Dow
CONCERT SEASON: Singer Maude Latour opened for Social House at the 2023 Winter Concert, which was a spinoff of the once-beloved Bowdoin tradition of Winter Festival.

In the decision-making process for headliners of large concerts, the E-Board relies both on input from its members and from the student body via music preference surveys they send out at the beginning of the year.

“People are excited [about the concert], and I think that comes from the work that a lot of people have put into the E-Board. Getting diverse music voices has been really helpful, and that’s something that we’re going to think about going forward—good representation on the board,” said Clachko.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, E-Board concerts have largely featured rap artists like 2022 Spring Concert headliner IDK and 2022 Fall Concert performer Cochise. In light of this, Clachko said the E-Board wanted to incorporate other music genres like R&B and pop. Although they considered bringing an indie band to campus, the E-Board’s choice of Sean Kingston, whose music spans R&B, pop and rap was intended to appeal to students’ broader music interests.

“[Pop] is something that we thought would work well and that has been missing from Bowdoin’s campus,” Clachko said. “That’s something I feel like people would get excited for”

Although NLE Choppa and Sean Kingston are headliners, student opener PGS plans to carry high energy into their own set.

PGS saxophonist Luke Vazdauskas ’27 says that the all-first year group is planning to stick to their trademark sound as they prepare for the performance.

“We want to play music that people are gonna like. We’re not gonna go out there and try to cater to the same genre as these rap artists—that’s just not who we are and how we got to playing,” said Vazdauskas.

For Daniel Rivera ’25, the event will be his first concert. While appreciative of the artists, Rivera wishes the venue were different.

“I knew we have historically done the concerts in Morrell Gym, but I feel like we could find a different spot,” Rivera said. “I don’t know the logistics of it, but an outdoor concert would be cooler.”

PGS will launch the concert at 9 p.m., followed by NLE Choppa at 10 p.m., and Sean Kingston at 11 p.m. Admission to the concert is free and students may bring guests, but a OneCard is required for entry.


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