From airplanes in the night sky to a plane in Mankato

The bonfire was canceled, but the concert carried on, bringing “Airplanes,” “Nothin” on you,’ and “Price Tag” to life on stage. To celebrate the 2022 Homecoming game, Minnesota State University, Mankato invited rapper B.o.B to perform. 

For students, the Homecoming concert can be a core college memory. One student that took advantage of the opportunity was MSU junior Taylor Ulman

“It helped create memories because I went with my boyfriend and best friends. B.o.B was kinda our childhood with ‘Airplanes’ and ‘Magic,’ so just experiencing our childhood again [created memories],” Ulman said. 

In fact, in 2010 B.o.B won Best Hook-Up song for the Teen Choice Awards. Beyond nostalgia, B.o.B caught the attention of the student events team with his stage presence. 

William Tourvillie, the Student Affairs and Activities advisor for the Student Events Team, stated, “I think B.o.B is probably the hardest working Hip Hop performer I’ve ever seen. He really takes over the stage and does a really great job.”

The original plan for the night was to have the concert immediately follow the bonfire. 

“We’ve moved the bonfire from Monday to Friday to help encourage alumni to come back as well and experience it,” Tourville said. “Actually, it’s gonna be probably cooler than years past. When you’ve got the big bonfire, then fireworks go off and then the second the fireworks are done we will be setting the stage.”

However, even with the last-minute change of plans, B.o.B pulled a large crowd that Tourville was sure would be something students would remember. “They’ll never forget it. It’ll be a once in a lifetime experience.”

Ulman definitely didn’t let it stop her. After losing several college and Homecoming memories to COVID her freshman year, she wasn’t going to miss more. 

“The concert was pretty good. I’ve never been to a rap concert, so I definitely thought it was interesting compared to country or pop.”

She also watched the football game Saturday, fully soaking in the spirit. 

In order to set up the concert, the Student Events Team starts their day as early as 8 or 9 a.m. and lasts until a few hours after the concert ends. 

“It starts that morning, myself and a team of students work with a vendor who brings in a stage, brings in all the lights, all the sound, all of that. While some of the students are setting that up, then we’re also getting ready dressing rooms, ticket offices, things that are out front of the stage,” Tourville said.

Yet, all the effort is worth it. 

“It’s one day — it’s a long day — but we have a lot of fun,” Tourville said.

Header Photo: Rapper B.o.B entertains MSU as the Homecoming concert artist. The event took place Friday, Sept. 23, the night before the big game, bringing songs from childhood back to students’ ears. (Dylan Long/The Reporter)

Write to Lilly Schmidt at Lillian.Schmidt@mnsu.edu

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