This past Friday, childhood superstar Jesse McCartney made his way to State College, taking the stage in Alumni Hall of the HUB-Robeson Center.
The concert was hosted by the Student Programming Association, who in the past have brought other well-known artists to Penn State such as the Chainsmokers, Cheat Codes and Smallpools.
The line of people circled around the top of the HUB, wrapping all the way downstairs past Starbucks and the Student Bookstore. “There was one girl here at three, but the actual line started at five. There were so many people here that we had to start turning people away,” says SPA member and photographer Grace Puy. The concert was capped at 800 students.
The lights dimmed, and the show kicked off with a guitar solo from talented singer-songwriter and guitarist Dory Lobel, who is notorious for his performances in the house band on “The Voice.”
McCartney ran out on the stage shortly after, Red Bull in hand and rocking a white T-shirt and black leather jacket with “D.A.R.E To Resist Drugs And Violence” on the back, giving us major T-Bird vibes.
The show officially kicked off with throwback hit “She’s No U,” accompanied by McCartney on the drum pad. Despite the song being dropped 14 years ago, the energetic crowd sang along in unison to almost every single word of the song.
At the mid-point of the show, McCartney performed an acoustic cover of “The Stupid Things” by Robin Thicke. “I’ve covered it so much that I think I’ve just adopted the song at this point,” he says to the crowd. Not long after he started singing, he stopped abruptly. “Wait… does someone want to come on stage?”
The crowd went wild, girls screaming at the top of their lungs, some standing up on others shoulders, begging to be chosen. The lucky girl, a Penn State Food Science student named Kennedy, walked up onto the stage and took a seat on a barstool next to McCartney. “It’s just you and me,” he says, “and the rest of Penn State” as he resumed singing the song, serenading her Justin Bieber “One Less Lonely Girl” style. She swooned with her hands over her mouth the entire time as every person in the crowd watched, wishing they could be in her shoes. Kissing her on the cheek, he sent her back into the crowd.
The show continued with a cover of “Bleeding Love,” a song made famous by Leona Lewis which he co-wrote, unbeknownst to many. Following the cover, he sang more throwbacks like “Body Language” and “Shake.”
Closing the show, he performed his final song “Wasted,” his most recent single which he dropped this year. Running off the stage, the crowd started chanting his name, realizing that he still hadn’t performed his most iconic song.
Minutes later, McCartney ran back out on the stage. “Did I forget something?” he asked the crowd as a grin spread across his face. He ended the night with his debut single, “Beautiful Soul.”
She’s No U
How Do You Sleep
Just So You Know
The Stupid Things
Better With You