On the first day of spring break, I sprained my ankle. After weeks of midterms and papers, my reward was a bulky cast strapped over my right foot.
I had been looking forward to my return to Manhattan, my spiritual safe haven. Yet I was immobile — ranting and lamenting on overdramatic FaceTime calls to anyone who would pick up. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I had an excuse to catch up on sleep and order in from the city’s countless delivery options, a lovely change from South Dining Hall.
My real qualms began on Wednesday when mindless scrolling through Instagram led to a discovery of last-minute tickets for an Aminé concert the following night. He was making a two-day stop in Manhattan on the “Best Tour Ever.” The price was reasonable and the venue was only a few minutes away, but my ankle was still throbbing. The doctor had advised against active use for two weeks, but oh, how I loved his music. My qualms were short-lived, as I immediately purchased the tickets.
With my friend in tow, I hobbled my way — cast and all — to Terminal 5, greeted by an eager crowd lined up around the block despite how early we got there.
“Shirts for only 30 bucks. For you, I might just make it 10,” said a man who approached me with what were clearly knockoff merchandise t-shirts (later featured on Aminé’s Instagram story). The fake merch was an indication to me that this would be a good concert.
The anticipation of the venue was rising and bustling with energy. Aminé had three opening acts, and I must confess, while AJ Tracey, Cochise and 454 amped up the crowd, I became increasingly impatient to see the rapper I had come for. Then, nearly 90 minutes later, he took the stage.
Aminé’s energy was wild. The man bounced around his set — a recreation of his hometown Portland, complete with a 10-feet statue of his dog — for hours on end. He delivered impeccable live performances while making sure every single person in the venue was enjoying themself. “You’re beautiful,” he would exclaim between numbers, to which the crowd replied, “I know!”
The attentively-curated setlist treated us with fan favorites from his albums “Good For You” and “OnePointFive,” as well as tracks from his mixtape “TwoPointFive” which was released in November of last year. When performing one of my favorites, “Shine,” Aminé prompted everyone to turn on their phone lights. It was a stunning experience, comparable to the bright lights of the very city we were in. His inarguably largest hits, “Caroline,” “Spice Girl” and “Reel It In,” finished off the setlist.
Unfortunately, my ankle situation meant that as soon as he called out for the crowd to “open up,” I shuffled to the sidelines as I knew what was coming. I watched as spirited fans immersed themselves in one of the liveliest mosh pits I had ever seen, and Aminé even came down to the floor during his encore performance to partake in the crowd’s energy.
Aminé’s performance was riveting, and his engagement with the audience had everyone yelling along to the lyrics. By the end of it, my voice was nearly as sore as my ankle.
Miraculously, I’m feeling perfectly fine now. I give full credit to my transcendent revitalization at the “Best Tour Ever.” After all, there is no cure like a spontaneous concert and reciting the “Caroline” chorus at the top of your lungs.
Tour: “Best Tour Ever”
Location: Terminal 5 in Manhattan, NY
Date: March 10, 2022
Favorite performance: “Reel It In”
Shamrocks: 5 out of 5