Been There, Done That: WU Freshmen Flock to Pitbull Concert

and | Contributing Writers

Armando Christian Pérez, known by the stage name “Pitbull,” performs to a crowd, many of them WU freshmen. (Adel Cynolter)

First week of classes. Piles of syllabi. Hours spent in Olin Library. Navigating the chaos of the club fair. These past few days have brought on a whirlwind of emotions for the start of Washington University’s fall 2022 semester, especially for the incoming class of 2026. But, worry not — for everybody going through tough times, Pitbull has been there, done that!

At 8:00 PM on Saturday, Sep 3, 25,000 fans crowded into the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Missouri for Armando Christian Pérez’s, (who goes by the stage name “Pitbull”) “Can’t Stop Us Now” tour. A seemingly large fraction of these fans included WashU students, both first-year and upperclassmen, who crowded together on the general admission lawn. 

Student Life reporters felt as if every casual campus conversation prior to Saturday night was dominated by students’ plans to attend the concert. Regardless, the overall attendance count broke records for the venue, a fact later revealed to fans by Pitbull himself. 

Prior to Pitbull’s highly-anticipated arrival, Iggy Azalea took the stage to kickstart the night alongside her background dancers. Although most of the crowd only sang along to Azalea’s chart-topping hits such as “Fancy” and “Black Widow,” freshmen Ryan Hoffman and Lauren Speicher agreed that “her energy was top tier,” as Speicher said. Lastly, to conclude her performance filled with eye-catching outfits and explicit dancing, Azalea led the fans in a high-energy chant of Pitbull’s name to welcome him to the stage.

After a brief set change, Pitbull emerged onto the stage with his signature sunglasses and animated presence. Fans were very prepared for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the Mr. 305, Mr. Worldwide, considering the crowd’s enthusiastic shouting and singing. Pitbull definitely noticed his fans’ excitement for his performance. Hoffman also noted that her “favorite part was when he would smile after every song,” revealing just how proud of himself he was for invigorating the crowd with his music. 

In addition to performing all of his hits, such as “International Love,” “Give Me Everything,” “Timber,” and “Hotel Room Service” (to name a few), Pitbull also subjected the crowd to multiple inspirational speeches. As an inclusive Cuban American singer, he spoke about bringing people together from all different backgrounds. “Freedom isn’t perfect, freedom isn’t free, but FREEDOM is priceless,” he stated after one of his songs. 

“I liked what he said about always being in the moment and not being so caught up in phones and social media,” Hoffman said.

Alongside remixing cover songs, Pitbull was accompanied on the stage by Filmore and DJ Chino. Filmore, who is originally from Missouri and sang one of his top songs “USA.” He also wowed the crowd when he entered with a St. Louis Cardinals jersey — a favorite for a baseball-crazed city. 

The aftermath of the concert was no less chaotic, if less thrilling, than the actual concert. Students struggled to find rides back to campus, with some waiting for over an hour after the show ended. Others paid over $100 to catch a ride with Lyft or Uber. Those who encountered difficulties were not pleased. 

“We waited for an hour for an Uber, and it got canceled three times,” said freshman  Lauren Berkowitz. “But there was no other way to get back.”

“Uber was crazy and expensive,” said freshman Mercy Fey. 

Despite the transportation challenges, the concert was noted as a worthwhile experience by attendees from WashU’s Class of ‘26. “[Overall], Pitbull has a great stage presence and knows how to put on a cohesive show,” freshman Mischa Trainor said. 


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