Roughly 1,100 USF students spent their Saturday night dancing and singing along to rapper Amine and R&B singer Tinashe at the Campus Activity Board’s (CAB) annual concert, Donaroo. The event was just 50 tickets shy of a sell out, according to Rich Dillon, a USF associate director and CAB advisor who helped students plan Donaroo. This was also the first year that Donaroo had a 21+ bar for students to buy alcoholic beverages.
Amine, sporting a huge smile, opened the night with his all-time most popular song, “Caroline.” A cartoonized version of the rapper’s face was placed on a yellow background and projected onto the stage. Amine danced around in a yellow vest to match the screen behind him, bouncing from one side of the stage to the other. At his request, the crowd turned on their phone flashlights and the once dark room lit up with the community of students. For one of his songs, Amine got his DJ to come out from behind the equipment and rap a verse.
The crowd danced and fed off of Amine’s contagious energy and lively set. Even a student throwing up in the middle of the dance circle posed to be only a slight inconvenience, as students continued to dance around the vomit until it was quickly cleaned up.
Tinashe, in an all white, rhinestoned ensemble, brought her sexy attitude and fierce, choreographed dance moves to the stage, along with her astonishing vocals and ever-glistening smile. With five backup dancers and a podium on stage, Tinashe’s set was just as extra as her outfit. She won the audience over when she sang her most popular hits, “2 on” and “All My Friends.” Bringing back fan-favorites, she performed songs from her first album, “Aquarius,” while introducing the crowd to her newer singles by promoting her second album, “Joyride.” When she wasn’t dancing in-sync with her backup dancers, she would crouch on the edge of the stage to get as close as possible to the students. At one point, she grabbed a student’s phone and Snapchatted a video of herself performing, leaving that student, John Gandara, shaking and the audience even more excited.
USF senior and two-time winner of the CAB DJ contest, Ani Bisaria, opened for Amine and Tinashe’s high-energy performances. Bisaria, who wore a “Rugrats” t-shirt and occasionally played a saxophone, was cheered on by his peers as he performed at Donaroo for a second year. Bisaria had a beat for everyone; he played anything from nostalgic ‘90s music to today’s hits.
Student dancers from VarCity also performed at Donaroo, just hours after performing at Illuminate, Vitality’s annual performance. Two standout dancers, Nathan Hyunh and Terrell Clarke, performed on stage with Bisaria during his set. With screams from the audience, the crowd stood amazed, staring at the two dancers with their perfectly choreographed moves. Other VarCity members formed a circle in the audience, dancing to music and taking turns being in the center, showing off their best moves. Between sets, VarCity danced on the back balcony of the gym, holding over the anxious audience.
Matthew Maulino was Donaroo 2018’s master of ceremonies. Sporting a man bun and Hawaiian button down, Maulino’s fun vibe and rowdy attitude melded perfectly with the energy of the night.
CAB made the concert special for students with walls of light, perfect for Instagram pictures, and a photo booth stocked with props for keepsake photos. With Tinashe and Amine added to the long list of crowd-roaring acts that have played Donaroo in past years, CAB is getting a reputation for bigger and bigger names on campus.
Photos: DJ BISARIA, senior USF student, gets the crowd pumped for the first ever double-header Donaroo. Miles Herman/FOGHORN