UF presents The All-American Rejects for free

The University of Florida held another spectacular event this past Friday, November 5 at Flavet Field. The best part of it all is that it was free and open to the public. If you were to read the following lyrics, would you automatically guess who it’s by?

“I’ll keep you my dirty little secret (dirty little secret) don’t tell anyone, or you’ll be just another regret (just another regret, hope that you can keep it) my dirty little secret”

YES. You’ve guessed it; I won’t keep it my dirty my little secret (see what I did there). The Student Government Productions did it again and brought another great band this fall semester to our beautiful campus. One of the biggest rock bands of the 2000s, The All-American Rejects, were here at Gainesville and performed to hundreds of people. I was lucky enough to be in the crowd and interview a hardcore fan, too!

Stephanie Dhuman, 24, is a masters student here at UF, and she made sure to take time off of her busy schedule to go see her all-time favorite high school band perform. If you missed this experience, I’m sorry, but read the interview below that I had with Dhuman, so you could imagine how the concert was like based off of her experience.

Q. How did you hear about The All-American Rejects coming to UF?

A. I saw the event on Facebook and a few of my friends said they were interested in it, and I remembered how much I liked them in high school so I clicked the “interested” button.

Q. What was your favorite part of the concert? 

A. When they played “Move Along” at the end because everyone was jumping and screaming. It was really cool to see everyone jamming out to a throwback together. There were hundreds of people there.

Q. Did you go alone or with friends? How was the interaction?

A. I went with one friend. We didn’t really talk to anyone else. Everyone seemed to be in their own world and in their own little groups, but it seemed that they were having fun all together.

Q. What were your emotions/feelings during the concert?

A. I had like all the feels from high school. Really reminiscent of the end of middle school and high school years, and it just brought me back to that moment. I didn’t think that was going to happen but it did.

Q. On a scale of 1 to All-American Rejects, how would you rate the concert and why? 

A. All American Rejects! They were definitely in their moment and having a lot of fun up on that stage.

Q. Describe the concert in one word

A. I want to say high school, but that would be two words. Maybe, throwback. It was a lot of fun, but it was definitely a throwback of years ago.

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Fans singing along to “Move Along” at Flavet Field. It was the penultimate song and everyone jumped up and down and  waved their hands non-stop. Photo by: Carmen Arce

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Students sing and dance at Gator Growl 2016

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Fireworks at the end of Gator Growl. Photo was taken through Snapchat using its geotag. Photo by: Carmen Arce

As Homecoming Week came to an end, the major event that everyone awaited finally arrived: Gator Growl!

Held on Friday, October 14 at the Flavet Field, Gator Growl started promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Gator Growl is a rooted tradition at the University of Florida, and it has captivated the Gator Nation for over 90 years. It is a University of Florida tradition that marks the culmination of Homecoming Week, and the amount of student participation that goes into an event like this has given Gator Growl the right to call itself the largest student-run pep rally in the nation.

For nearly 40 years, world renowned artists have given their performance at Gator Growl. This year, Passion Pit; Timeflies; Maddie and Tae; and Waka Flocka Flame took the stage on Flavet Field.

The event started with American female country music duo composed of Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye, both of whom are singers, songwriters and guitarists. Because it was one of the first performances, there were not too many people present. However, these two young women had the audience, mainly females, singing along to their well-known hit “Girl in a Country Song.”

As the sun set, and the night got darker, more and more individuals arrived. No matter the direction you stood or stared, Flavet Field was filled with young, energetic individuals eating recently bought food from the food trucks and singing along with the performers.

By the time of the third performance, a lot of the people in the crowd were extremely hyped, especially when it was announced that Queens-bred, Atlanta-based rapper, Waka Flocka Flame, was up next.

The riotous rapper has undergone an artistic transformation since his 2010 debut of Flockaveli, and he continues to experiment with his sound, but always with the focus on growing as a rapper.

Flocka, who penned hits like “O Let’s Do It” and “No Hands,” had everyone in a #trance that evening. His high energy, which permeated through the field, is the sole reason he has earned the nickname “Turn Up God.”

Speaking of which, his EDM album Turn Up God will be released sometime this year, so for you Flocka fans, be on the lookout!

Like every other good thing in life, the show came to an end. However, it was an unforgettable evening. The loud booms and colorful flashes filled the air as fireworks exploded continuously. For a Friday evening on campus grounds, the individuals seemed very satisfied based on their body language, facial expressions and comments among each other.  I wonder who will perform in our beautiful campus next year. Until next time, my fellow Gators!