As part of Blue Demon Week, DePaul brings a performer to campus to entertain students.
This year, the university welcomed rapper Sage the Gemini to the Student Center last Thursday for DePaul Activities Board (DAB)’s annual event Polarpalooza.
Sage the Gemini is a rapper, songwriter and record producer best known for his songs “Gas Pedal” and “Red Nose,” which the crowd knew well.
Sage’s second studio album, “Bachelor Party” is planned to be released later this year. His fast raps and dance music lend well to college students. It’s no surprise that he was a prime option to visit DePaul. Olivia Peera, the lead organizer of Polarpalooza, began working on the project in September and enjoyed working with Sage’s team.
“He was interacting with the crowd and pulled a bunch of people up on stage, which the crowd responded to,” Peera said.
During the concert, Sage invited students onstage to dance with him. About ten students hopped over the guardrail separating the stage from the crowd and Sage let them dance for one song. Afterwards, he asked for a new group of people and the same thing happened again.
Sage spent some time talking with the crowd and joking around. As a young 24-year-old, it’s no surprise he can relate to college students.
“Sage was nice enough to take a tour of the Student Center and even take pictures with students,”Peera said. “Overall, he put on an amazing show and could not have been more kind. Also, he took a video for the DAB social media pages that gave us an extra boost in attendance, so I am beyond grateful for that.”
This was the first year Polarpalooza took place inside the Student Center’s 120AB rooms instead of Lincoln Hall.
And while having a concert in the Student Center may seem off putting for some, with a quality light show and large stage, DAB effectively put together a unique show for this year’s concert.
“This year, we had Polarpalooza on campus instead of Lincoln Hall, so a large component of planning was determining how we would be able to transform the space we had to a proper concert venue,” Peera said.
Beginning in 2011, DAB’s annual events started boasting a vast repertoire of well-known artists: New Politics, Walk the Moon, Fun., Matt and Kim, We The Kings and Chicago native Chance the Rapper. This year’s performer Sage the Gemini was a surprise for many students but a nice throwback to songs many students haven’t heard in a few years.
“It was a good time,” DePaul student Kim McEvilly said. “I was in the back so everyone was kind of hanging out in the back, but different sections were more lit depending on where you were.”
Sage’s song “Gas Pedal” garnered the most attention and was the literal showstopper. After playing “Gas Pedal” the lights came up and, after a few minutes, Sage made his way down to the crowd. Relatively new to the rapper, McEvilly tried to study up to the best of her ability in order to know the songs before the concert.
“I heard ‘Gas Pedal’ and a week before (the concert) I listened to his other songs, but I mainly come for Gas Pedal,” McEvilly said.
Different from the past performer’s exits after the show, Sage the Gemini shook DePaul students’ hands as he made his way out of 120AB to the coat check area, and a line quickly formed to meet him. As students crowded around the rapper, many students thanked him for his performance and asked if they could take a photo with him.
M.C. Corey and Julia Callahan were two students who were able to meet the rapper and get a picture with him.
“He’s very nice,” Callahan said. “He shook everyone’s hand after the performance, which was weird, but it was nice.”
Corey and Callahan were not Sage fans before the concert, and only knew
the infamous song “Gas Pedal,” but still enjoyed the lively crowd.
“I only knew two of his songs, but either way I just like live music,” Callahan said.
For Corey, the concert couldn’t have come at a better time because it served as a nice break in the middle of a homework congested quarter.
“It was a nice debriefer after midterms week,” Corey said. “‘Gas Pedal’ was a song that everyone knew and everyone could rally behind, so there was a lot of energy.”
For others, the biggest enjoyment of the concert was not only the fact it was on campus but that it was free as well. In a city that is filled with concert venues, prices can be a little steep depending on the artists.
“It was nice that DePaul could do this for free,” Callahan said. “A lot of times concerts in Chicago are not that cheap.”
Peera, along with the rest of the DAB team thought the entire event went as planned. From the looks on the faces of the crowd to Sage the Gemini’s performance itself, Polarpalooza was not only a success for Peera but also a reminder as to why DAB hosts such an event every winter.
“The best part of Polarpalooza for me was to see students having a good time,” Peera said. “There is a very long run-up to the main event so it is extremely satisfying to see all of your hard work culminate into a fun night for students.”
With midterms over and finals approaching fast, Peera thought it was satisfying to give students a little enjoyment and reminder of the fun opportunities DePaul can bring.
“With DAB, our main goal is to brighten a student’s day and give them the opportunity to make a memory of their time in college,” Peera said. “I hope that Polarpalooza did just that.”
“I am really happy with how the concert turned out,” Peera added. “The crowd was really lively and they seemed to really enjoy our artist. I had an awesome team supporting me and they were the key to the show’s success.”
And as for what Sage the Gemini thought of the concert?
“It was amazing, there’s a lot of beautiful women,” Sage said. “There was lots of energy out there, I’d definitely come back again.”