Hoodie Allen’s Cruisin’ USA Tour hits Philadelphia

By Corey LaQuay
Copy Editor

Sitting in traffic on I-95, excitement was pouring out of the windows of the car, the lyrics of our favorite artist playing over the speakers, accompanied by the reciting of each and every lyric from the passengers. The night had finally come – the night of the Hoodie Allen concert. Ever since the summer of 2011, the man known as Hoodie Allen had been playing over and over on our iPods, our computers, our ear buds, and our minds, to the point where we had begun to develop a separate part of our brains dedicated to the ingenious rap lyrics of the man himself. With each high hat and piano chord, our heads bumped up and down to the rhythm of the music and ignored the questionable stares from other drivers. April 12 – it was a night that would go down in the history books.

Despite the recent warm weather trends of the past couple days, it was a breezy and chilly night – partially due to the fact that we were decked out in shorts and t-shirts, but no matter. It was not nearly as cold for us as it was for the girls in attendance however. As we stood in line, girls wearing shorts riding up past their belly-buttons and shirts that managed to show skin despite this fact began appearing from nearly everywhere.

As my buddy and I stood there, hands in our pockets, we anxiously couldn’t help but feel like a bunch of fan girls jumping up and down in the air because we were about to see Hoodie Allen in concert. Or was it to stay warm…? It was clearly prevalent that the girls standing right behind us couldn’t quite hold themselves back either as they nearly jumped out of their shoes – becoming a flailing, screaming, ball of hair and energy. Energy was in the air!

The venue that evening was an unfamiliar one – The Electric Factory. From the outside, it appeared to be a rundown warehouse. Add a marquis, an “Electric Factory” sign, trash everywhere, 10-15 dumpsters, some graffiti, and a parking lot filled to capacity, and you have the makings of a great time.

The inside was a complete mystery. Would the inside be what it appeared to be from the outside, a deserted wasteland with a stage and room for a few hundred screaming teenagers? It was time to find out.

After nearly an hour and a half of shuffling our feet as we slowly advanced in line, it had come time for general admission. A wave of excitement echoed down the line followed by people frantically fishing in their pockets for their golden ticket. Crumpled up into a tight pocket square, I carefully pulled out the print-out of the ticket, being sure that it was still in my possession. The line began moving faster, and I couldn’t help but smile.

“Make two lines! Two lines people! Come on now, ladies on this side, guys on this side. Keep it moving, it isn’t that hard guys,” said the security officer as people began splitting into their appropriate groups. After a quick pat down from security, we were on our way! Sprinting toward the front of the stage, we made our way to the cluster of people that had begun to form in front of the right side of the stage. Immediately in front of us were only three rows of people, with the guard rail within arm’s reach.

Being a tall guy definitely has its advantages. After coming to grips with my own senses and catching my breath in between heavy gasps, the sudden realization of my surroundings began to stand in front of me. As I craned my neck around, straining my calves as I stood on my toes, I realized just how phenomenal it was on the inside – nothing like my previous assumptions of a cold and empty waste bin. Bright fluorescent lights wrapped around the perimeter of the venue, with projectors producing intricate projections of a spinning turntable and a DJ flipping switches on a switchboard on a wall opposite of the stage. A slideshow of upcoming shows shuffled through in a loop.  

As time ticked away, anticipation began to build up as we waited for some kind of action. Anxiety mounted; anticipating a long opening act from some no-name, mediocre music group – we just wanted the main event. After a nearly two hour opening act with surprisingly good openers that included artists such as G-Eazy, Jared Evan, and Ground Up, it was now Hoodie Time.

Hoodie! Hoodie! Hoodie! Hoodie!”

A chant arose from the sea of people, beginning at a low volume with only a few muttering, stammering voices and then growing into a booming roar to the point where you couldn’t hear yourself speak. When it reached its peak, the beat dropped. Jumping out from backstage came the man himself, accompanied by his DJ, drummer, and guitarist throwing their hands in the air and getting the crowd hyped for an epic night. I turned at looked around at the expressions of those around me. Amongst the blinding flashes of strobe lights and color beams were expressions of pure joy and excitement. Arms bounced up and down to the beat as Hoodie pumped out the lyrics seemingly effortlessly.

Overwhelming excitement built up as the recognizable beat and guitar riffs were played. Being surrounded by people who shared the same passion for the same artist is the kind of experience that you only get to experience once in a lifetime. It’s just so much fun.

After playing about 10-15 songs, Hoodie thanked the city of Philadelphia for being so kind to him all night. Just like that, he was gone. “Encore! Encore! Encore!” Everyone in the crowd went wild and urged Hoodie for an encore. As he walked off the stage, he turned around, placed his hands on his hips, wiped the sweat from his brow, and walked slowly back up to the mic. Breathing heavily, he heaved into the microphone, “Think you’re still up for a few more songs?” The crowd went absolutely nuts, jumping into the air, pointing their fingers toward the stage.

After leaving the venue, we were met with an instant sense of exhaustion, deafness, and a loss of our voice. The sensation of having cotton-filled ears and a heavy heart was overwhelming. Shuffling down the street, me and my buddy turned to each other, exchanged glances, and concluded the night with a high-five.