Arts

Annual 101 week kick-off event draws crowd of first-years

Photo: Marta Kierkus

The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa’s (SFUO) 101 Week is here again, and with that comes the annual kick-off concert—Fedstock.

The line up at this year’s concert, held at the EY Centre on Sept. 6, featured two French-language and two English-language acts to welcome every member of the bilingual student body at the U of O.

For the second year in a row, an opening act, this year being Canadian rapper Shad, managed to outperform the headliner.

Shad opened with his song “Hang On” before greeting the crowd, which had been steadily growing throughout the night, and went wild as the CBC Q host started his set.

Shad was the best performer of the night when it came to connecting and entertaining the crowd. He told stories of his time working at McDonald’s in 1997, when most of the first-years were born, and urged those who are of age to vote in the upcoming federal election before introducing his song “Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins).”

Shad also spotted a student breakdancing at one point during his set and invited him up on the stage to show off his moves. The ecstatic student danced for the crowd as Shad’s DJ played music for him and everyone cheered him on, while Shad stood at the side of the stage and let the student enjoy the spotlight.

French-language performers included, La Bronze, a singer from Quebec, who opened the night with her pop-rock French music that pumped up the crowd for the rest of the show.

After the first set was over, the UOSalsa club danced on the side stage, and gave a free lesson to the audience, as the crew set up the main stage for the next act.

Raffy, the second French act of the night, took the main stage at 7:30 p.m. After playing a few of their own songs in French, they switched it up and performed covers for the majority of the remainder of the set. Their renditions of the big summer hit “Cheerleader” by OMI and 90s songs like Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” and the Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” got the crowd jumping around and screaming along.

By the time A Tribe Called Red came on stage much of the crowd had begun to filter out. Although technically the headliners of the night, the electronic music group had a tough time following Shad.

Those who did stay for the last act of the night were still energetic and entertained by the group’s unique mix of traditional Pow Wow music and electronic dance hits. The group also made use of the projection screen on the stage and showed a mix of animated and live clips of Aboriginal people in movies and television shows.

Although the show ended with a much smaller crowd than it began with, Fedstock was a successful night overall. The SFUO’s choice for A Tribe Called Red as headliner may have been one-upped by the Shad’s lively performance, but the rest of the night seemed to run as planned, keeping the crowd entertained and starting off what is sure to be an eventful 101 Week.