B.o.B. and Jason Derulo give midterm relief

August 20, 2010 – Lexington, Kentucky, USA – Martha Groppo, Features Editor of the Kentucky Kernel. (Credit image: © David Stephenson)

Tonight was about the ladies.

The pre-show act shouted out to “all the sexy ladies.” Jason Derulo searched the audience for “a very special lady.” Then he took his shirt off for all of the ladies. B.o.B.’s lead singer elicited screams from all the ladies. He sang “Nothin’ On You” about the ladies.

Then the ladies dropped him when he tried to crowd surf.

The Student Activities Board’s sold-out performance of Jason Derulo and B.o.B. started late, but no one seemed to mind. The crowd sang and danced and gave a mercifully enthusiastic reception to the pre-show act.

Then the dancing began in earnest. Jason Derulo glided on stage using eye-popping isolations and freezes. Throughout his show, dancing didn’t just support the act—it carried it. Though the first notes of his hit songs “Ridin’ Solo” and “Watcha Say” sent visible waves of excitement through the crowd, the show’s real emphasis wasn’t on the music.

At one point in the show, Derulo invited a random “very special lady” pulled from the crowd to the stage. The “special lady” may have gotten more than she expected: Derulo caressed her face for a while then transitioned to  dance moves that made some audience members blush. Throughout the show, Derulo was accompanied by four dancers: two men and two bra-clad women. Derulo eventually joined the more scantily clad members of his cast and took off his shirt to the delighted screams of his female audience members.

This part of the  show brought to mind the adage “sex sells”–at least it does when you are Jason Derulo.

Once the steam had cleared and everyone had their clothes back on, B.o.B. took the stage. B.o.B.’s performance centered more on the music than Derulo’s. Audience members remained enthusiastic, but the music itself generated more participation than the activities of group’s performers. “Magic”, “Nothin’ On You” and “Airplanes” had the crowd ecstatic. Lead singer Bobby Ray Simmons generated enough excitement to attempt a running leap into the crowd standing around the stage. A few of his band members looked concerned when he completely disappeared from sight. The crowd soon mustered enough strength to heft him back up to proper crowd-surfing glory, however.

Audience members appeared to be pleased with the performance, though they really just seemed happy to be cutting loose post-midterms. Students spontaneously danced down the isles, and UK basketball players wandered the halls giving hugs and posing for pictures with girls lined up far into the hall waiting for the bathroom. The singing, dancing, cheering, skinny jean and stiletto-clad spectators chanted “C-A-T-S, Cats, Cats, Cats,” as much as they screamed for airplanes, called for one more song or yelled in approval of Derulo’s physique.

No one even seemed to notice repeated references from the stage to “tomorrow’s game against Georgia.” It was only Thursday, but for the crowd gathered at Memorial Coliseum, the weekend had arrived.

Martha Groppo is a journalism and history junior. E-mail [email protected] and follow Martha on Twitter @KernelGroppo.