Big Boi and The Knocks Give NYU Freshmen A Night to Remember.

There’s a strange vibe at a concert full of NYU students, mostly freshmen, many of whom have been in New York City for just over a week. It’s an auditorium full of kids who don’t have to report home to their parents for the first time in their lives. The crowd was beyond excited and had just as much fun between sets as they did when Big Boi took the stage.

I arrived just in time to catch the end of indie rock band Dr. Dog’s set. NY production duo The Knocks DJed between sets. Aside from a wannabe fratboy (there are precious few real fratboys at NYU) yelling “Daddy Fat Sax” from the balcony, the crowd showed no sign of impatience and was more than happy to groove to the dance-pop sounds of The Knocks for an hour.

The duo had full control of the crowd, effortlessly getting their hands up and eliciting a roar of approval with every song. Steve Aoki’s “Pursuit of Happiness” remix got one of the biggest responses of the night. A girl decked out in NYU gear screamed all the words in my ear and never put her hands down.

Big Boi took the stage with Blackowned C-Bone as his hypeman and Cut Master Swift on the 1s and 2s. He performed a mix of classic Outkast and new material and traversed the stage as if it were his living room.

“General Patton” hit especially hard (“Get the South dick up out your mouth!”) and C-Bone pulled up a dozen shapely NYU girls for “The Way You Move.” Half the crowd seemed to only recognize the hits, but they had fun with all of it. The dance-happy crowd was a little lost when Big Boi slowed it down for “Elevators.”

Surprisingly, “Kryptonite” got one of biggest responses of the night. The aforementioned fratboy even got on stage and did a few laps. Upon C-Bone’s instruction, he threw up the A.

After Big Boi left the stage, the crowd demanded an encore. Big Boi returned to perform the opening verse of “You Ain’t No DJ,” stopping before what would have been a memorable appearance from Yelawolf were he not in Atlanta. The fired up mass of students spilled out into the street, looking for lecherous activities to use up their accumulated energy and then undoubtedly update their Facebook statuses.

Special thanks to Cathy Mastrangelo for juggling two cameras to take these pictures and tolerating my taste in music.

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