Kid Ink hits Zorn Arena




A UW-Eau Claire student said he was pleased the university continues to find interesting artists to perform on campus, but he said the variety of music played lacked diversity.

It was this realization that lead Paul Hetke, a junior, and Starbound, a local artist, to contact Kid Ink’s
booking agency.

“Kid Ink is on the rise to get where Big Sean is right now …” Hetke said. “So we decided if he’s on the rise and he’s well known, why not get him over here so we can open for him, and we did just that.”

He said the reason they invited a hip-hop artist specifically was because the genre has rarely, if ever, been covered on campus. While the turnout wasn’t as big as he had hoped, he said he thought those who attended the Kid Ink concert Saturday in Zorn Arena definitely enjoyed the show.

The artist himself said he agreed it was a surprisingly good concert given he had never been to Eau Claire before. In fact, Kid Ink said it was one of the bigger audiences he has seen in recent memory. He said his songs “Hell and Back” and “Show Me” were among the crowd favorites.

“I think the concert was amazing … and it definitely was one of the larger counts that I’ve had in the past couple shows,” Kid Ink said. “So it was good and fun to come out and it be a new area and it be a big crowd for somewhere I’ve never been.”

Kid Ink said he honestly didn’t expect such an energetic crowd from a smaller area. But the crowd on Saturday, he said, resembled his European fan base, exuding a “crazy” atmosphere compared to his usual laid-back audiences in
the U.S.

Hetke said he thought the artist did very well overall. When Kid Ink came on stage, the crowd was very receptive to the different songs being played, Hetke said. But one thing he said he would have possibly changed was the length of the artist’s songs.

“His performance, I thought it was awesome,” Hetke said. “Maybe he could have sang the whole song instead of a third of it but overall, I think he  did awesome.”

Event Services Coordinator Jason Anderson said he thought the concert went well overall. He said there were some challenges since it was Zorn Arena’s first hip-hop concert ever, but nothing they can’t work out for
next time.

“I would never be opposed to playing host to any kind of concert,” Anderson said. “Based on the combination of who the performer is and how we feel that presents itself to the campus, the community, the region at large as well as any security concerns are weighed as well. Our job is not to filter artistry … nor do we try to filter who we allow to use our venues.”

Hetke said this was just the beginning of bringing more hip-hop to Eau Claire. There are talks of asking another bigger artist to come perform eventually, although he said they aren’t sure who it will be.