LIVE: AT&T Nation’s Football Classic Kickoff Rally featuring Miguel and Mack Wilds [DC]


Photos: Sneakshot Photography

I had the pleasure of attending AT&T Nation’s Football Classic Kickoff Rally at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC this past Friday, September 12th. This free concert event celebrated the annual college football game between rivals Howard University and Morehouse College. The event was hosted by Elle Varner and Fonzworth Bentley, with special appearances by R&B artists Miguel and Mack Wilds, and included rousing opening performances by Howard and Morehouse’s drumline and cheerleaders.

After the drumline and cheerleaders, Mack Wilds came onstage for an energetic set. Known mostly as the young actor who played Michael Lee in the HBO Series The Wire, and later 90210, he kept the young crowd entertained with a selection of songs from his debut Grammy-nominated album, including “My Crib,” “Henny”, “Remember The Time” (Michael Jackson cover), and “MaGic!!!” A surprise cover of “Say Yes” by Floetry elicited some screams from the audience, then he segued into “Don’t Turn Me Down” and finishing off his set with the funky hit “Own It.” He had great stage presence and seemed to really enjoy himself and interacting with the crowd.

After a quick changeover, it was time for the headliner…Miguel. During a dynamic and spirited 45 minute set, he was dancing all over the stage, doing splits and microphone tricks like James Brown and Prince. He screamed and serenaded the ladies and teased them by lifting his shirt and giving them a peek of his rock-hard abs a few times. The screams were deafening! You could tell he loved the response. His tight 4-piece band was great! Throughout his set in between a few songs, he would shout “H.U.!” and the mostly Howard crowd responded enthusiastically with the response: “YOU KNOW!!” Being from California, he laughed and said “I just learned that yesterday!” while smiling and laughing at the enthusiastic crowd response. He also talked to the students about never giving up on your dreams, mentioning that he was turned down by every label executive when he was younger, but look at him now! The crowd was not ready for him to leave the stage so soon when he ended his set with his mega-hit “Adorn,” but they were clearly pleased by the well-produced show.


Miguel’s setlist: 

The Thrill
Simple Things
Sure Thing
All I Want Is You
Power Trip
Lotus Flower Bomb
How Many Drinks (mixed with “Simon Says” by Pharoahe Monch)