After months of Gawker posts and mixtape hype, Chet Haze made his live performance debut at Northwestern Wednesday night in Cahn Auditorium. Chet, a sophomore in the School of Communication, performed as part of the Waa-Mu Fashion Show, a fundraiser for the annual showcase of original student theatrical work. Waa-Mu 2011: What’s Next?, the show’s 80th production, runs from April 29 through May 8 at Cahn Auditorium.
The students involved with this year’s Waa-Mu chose to hold a fashion show to promote the annual spring production. Jake Perlman, one of the organizers of the event, says Waa-Mu is a showcase for student talent, and they wanted to feature that same originality in the fashion show.
“The idea of the fashion show was to get a lot of student groups involved,” says Perlman, a School of Communication sophomore. “We thought it’d be a great idea.”
Students from various sorority chapters modeled the designs of Weinberg freshman Zoe Damacela, who met President Obama in 2009 after becoming a winner of the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and who has also been featured on The Tyra Banks Show. Damacela says she put a lot of work into the show, and it will be beneficial for both herself and for Waa-Mu.
“It was great promotion for both of us,” Damacela says.
Along with supporting their Greek chapters (the one with the most members in attendance received 15 percent of the night’s proceeds), many students in the audience were eager to see Chet. Freshmen Juanita Andersen and Ashley Balcerzak say they are “big fans” of Chet and were interested to see what his live performances are like.
“I’ve only ever heard ‘White and Purple.’ I’ve never seen it in person,” says Balcerzak, a freshman in Medill. “I think it’ll give it another dimension.”
Chet was welcomed onstage by loud applause and cheers from the audience. He opened with “Ain’t Too High,” but it didn’t take long for him to break out the “White and Purple.”
“When I’m walking around NU, I notice people have a lot of pride for these colors,” Haze said as he introduced his best-known track.
As he performed, Chet attempted to raise the energy of the already enthusiastic crowd. Some audience members danced and sang along to his performance. At one point, Haze left the stage and briefly headed into the audience to shake the hands of some of his fans, including Andersen and Balcerzak, who sang along to “White and Purple.” Haze ended his set and the show with the aptly-chosen “Adios Motherfucker.”
Weinberg freshman Chloe Lansdale was impressed by Damacela’s collection and, although at first she didn’t know what to make of it, Haze’s performance, too.
“The music was indescribable,” Lansdale says. “It was really engaging, I have to say.”