Cleveland Birthday Celebration Has its Ups and Downs

Kid Cudi attempting to fight a fan that jumped on stage during his set
  • Kid Cudi attempting to fight a fan that jumped on stage during his set

Ohio Homecoming's first attempt at a musical celebration of Cleveland's birthday had its successes. A huge crowd showed up, filling Mall C to the brim with thousands of energetic high schoolers and college students alike, many draped in “I Am Ohio” t-shirts that were provided by the Cleveland-based clothing company Fresh Brewed Tees. The concert showcased many of Cleveland's up and coming artists during a night that was dedicated to shining a positive light on our city. The backdrop was picturesque, with the orb of the Omnimax Theater and Cleveland Browns Stadium looming over the stage while the calm waters of Lake Erie could be seen off in the distance. The energy was palpable, while the crowd anxiously awaited the arrival of its hometown hero, Kid Cudi.

But the energy of the performers, save one or two, didn't meet the energy of the crowd. And while each opening act only had the opportunity to perform one or two songs because of time restraints, it hurt the flow of the concert, giving the show a sporadic feel, as many times it seemed the next performer was unsure of when to come up on stage. A 96.5 Kiss FM DJ even got one of the performer’s names wrong when he attempted to introduce them. Machine Gun Kelly's energetic set woke up the dormant crowd for a few minutes, but the energy that was floating around at the beginning of the show seemed to have diminished, so much so that Kiss FM’s DJ E-V needed to play a set of his own to get the energy level up before Cudi could come on stage.

When Cudi finally came out, the crowd burst with excitement as Cudi got into three tracks off of his upcoming sophomore album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. But even Cudi, wearing an old school WMMS ‘The Buzzard” t-shirt, didn’t seem to be at his best, and allowed himself to be distracted by a few unruly fans who attempted to get on stage with him. Cudi laughed off the first trespasser, but when a second fan got a bit too close for comfort, Cudi shed his earpiece and ran off stage in the middle of his finale performance of “Pursuit of Happiness,” in an attempt to fight the perpetrator. Cudi reappeared on stage a few minutes later to apologize, but it ruined the climax of the show.

All in all, Cleveland’s birthday celebration had its ups and downs. But it showed off the rising talent Cleveland keeps within its neighborhoods, and for one night all of Cleveland’s big names in entertainment came together to celebrate our city’s birthday. And that’s pretty cool.

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