Martin’s inauguration concert suffered from lack of promotion, not lack of talent

Jonah Williams and Rachel Brody | Contributing Writers

It was less than 20 minutes before Agnez Mo was supposed to step onstage as the opener for the inauguration concert in honor of Andrew D. Martin becoming Wash. U.’s 15th chancellor. The audience consisted of no more than three people. DJ Malski’s voice boomed across Mudd Field as he riled up the handful of people that had shown up, his clear enthusiasm and personal engagement with the crowd drawing in a sizeable audience of roughly 50 people by the end of his set.

Grace Bruton | Student Life

Washington University students gather to watch Agnez Mo and DaniLeigh perform at the inauguration concert Thursday night in honor of Andrew Martin becoming the 15th chancellor.

Then, it was Agnez Mo’s time to take center stage. Agnez Mo started strong with her song “Coke Bottle” accompanied by lively dancing from her two backup dancers. Her vocals and the dancers electrified the crowd and drew more attention to the concert venue. One of the most memorable parts of her set was her passionate performance of her hit song “Overdose,” in which her vocal talents shined and were complemented by impressive dance routines. After she finished singing “Overdose” herself, she invited the audience to sing a small portion of it with her. Throughout the show, both Agnez Mo and her DJ enthusiastically interacted with the crowd, inviting them to compete in dancing and singing competitions. Agnez Mo closed her set with an energetic rendition of her song “Diamonds,” giving her section of the concert a strong conclusion.

Now with a relatively large crowd gathered, it was time for DaniLeigh to perform. While it was clear that DaniLeigh put her all into the performance, it was also clear that she was not used to playing for smaller crowds. She began her portion of the concert with “Can’t Relate,” with both her and her backup dancers giving their all to the number. The momentum DaniLeigh built from her first song continued throughout the night with several performances of unannounced songs off her next album including “Diamonds on Me.” Her energy had members of the crowd fervently dancing by the end of the night. DaniLeigh closed with a passionate performance of “Easy,” part of which she danced and sung from the middle of the crowd.

Once DaniLeigh thanked the crowd and took her leave, Chancellor Martin appeared onstage to close the show, surprising the audience with fireworks. He also assisted the Social Programming Board (SPB) in announcing the Fall 2019 WILD artists—rapper A$AP Ferg as the headliner, and singer-songwriter Kiiara and electronic artist MindChatter as the two openers.

Despite the talent of both Agnez Mo and DaniLeigh and their popularity on Spotify and other social media, very few people initially showed up to the concert. This was due to poor promotion on the part of SPB. The event was primarily promoted via Facebook, a website with a declining youth userbase, and emails distributed shortly before the date and time of the performance. Most of these emails were sent to the student body on the day of the concert, leaving little time for students to plan ahead and make room in their schedules to attend the event. SPB staff made efforts to draw more people into the concert, doing laps around the Danforth University Center and asking people to attend, but to little effect. SPB’s poor promotion tactics resulted in meager turnout. Luckily, the efforts of DJ Malski’s lively quips and audience interaction remedied this issue, bringing in a small but enthusiastic crowd that did their best to make the singers feel welcome.

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