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Brent Faiyaz and Diana Gordon at Union Stage

Miguel Wilson

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Time for story time again! My newest installment involves a homeless man, Diana Gordon, and the ever-changing qualities of friendship.

Most recently, I have found college life to be, for lack of a better word, tumultuous. Let‰’s just say it‰’s been a bit messy! To summarize, in February alone, I‰’ve wound up in the hospital, dodged a third grader‰’s throw up, and suffered through a couple‰’s cruise (very single!). Lest we forget to mention the jarring experience of breaking up a fight between two 5th graders (I love my job).

Yes, a lot has changed since my glaringly optimistic portrayal of my birthday month, but alas the show must go on. What better way to stir up some excitement than a concert?

My new friend Annie and I embarked on our trip Last Friday to the Brent Faiyaz concert at Union Stage. Of course, we almost got lost in metro. I‰’m told my rendition of a trout swimming upstream on the escalator that was going down was A-1. We also arrived 3 hours early because Annie was worried we wouldn‰’t be first in line. Safe to say we were the first ones there.

At around T-2 hours people started arriving. Annie had gone to the SZA concert earlier that week and ironically recognized a group of people she had met that day. While chatting with them, we also made friends with a girl that had the unique story of facetiming SZA after she walked in the Sephora that her friend worked at.

An hour before the show was supposed to start, hunger began to set in. The kind that makes you rationalize possibly eating the plastic flowers that adorn the microphone. Thankfully, we made even more friends and got to rap out “Get Money‰” by Junior Mafia (literally the only song I can rap to) not once, but three beautiful times.

When Diana Gordon, an artist I had never had the pleasure of knowing pre-show (she wrote Beyonce‰’s “Sorry‰Û), graced the stage I almost fainted. The whole lack of food thing might have played a hand in it. Nonetheless, Ms. Gordon was nothing less than a stunning performer. She captivated the entire audience with her great vibes, authentic songs, and trying stories. Between each song she managed to connect with all of us, discussing the struggle of never knowing her father, raising her own brothers, and managing to take time out for herself. Sadly, most of her music catalogue is yet to be released. I, like many others, look forward to her future music.

One of the unforeseen perks of being practically on the stage is stealing the musician‰’s water bottle. I‰’m sorry, again, delirium was setting in and water was a safer bet than the fake flowers that were now off the menu; being stowed away to make room for Brent‰’s equipment.

Another solid set of bootleg, bored audience karaoke rolls by and it‰’s finally time for the main act. I‰’ve already stated that Sonder Son was one of my favorite albums of 2017 and its live interpretation did not disappoint. Faiyaz did all the things. He sang, he took someone‰’s gum, and it managed to take a second to sit on stage and marvel at what a following his music has garnered. His band was on point. The transitions and mix of old and new music were perfect. No complaints here.

After the concert, I contemplated leaving early. Annie had a meet and greet band. Me, the ever-frugal hermit, opted for the cheaper tickets. Miraculously, an angel sent from up above just happened to see me, and handed me their unwanted band. It sounds like such a cute exchange, but the reality was me frantically prying off one those paper bands—that are impossible to remove—off of a complete stranger. S‰’cute.

Long story short, we met Brent, made more friends, and got autographed CDs! We then made our trek back to campus. Our perfect night was capped off with a homeless man doing impromptu karate and roll tucks in the metro, accompanied by a guy selling assorted tattoo paints. A sign? A metaphor? I‰’m not sure. Onward and upward!

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Brent Faiyaz and Diana Gordon at Union Stage