The Baker University Center’s ballroom was packed with people, illuminated with colorful lights and filled with soulful sounds Saturday night. At 8 p.m, Stephen Kramer Glickman performed at Ohio University, uniting the students and people of Athens for his first-ever live concert.
Not only did Glickman purchase his first piece of OU merchandise, but he was able to experience the love and excitement many in Athens feel for him. Some came to OU this weekend for Dad’s Weekend, but some, like Scott Williams, an OU alumnus, and his daughter, Sammy, came specifically for Glickman’s performance.
Scott brought his daughter from Dublin, Ohio, because of her love for Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush, and they even arrived over an hour early to make sure they scored front row seats.
“I’ve been obsessed with Big Time Rush since it came out,” Sammy said. “I was there (for the) first episode.”
For many, Glickman’s performance was a time of remembrance and recollection of childhood memories. The night started off with an introduction from Riley Runnells, The Post’s culture editor. Together, The Post, the Campus Involvement Center, OHIO Live and University Program Council pulled off the event.
For Kaycie Tillis, a freshman studying psychology, this was a moment to see an idol of hers in-person.
“I literally invited Stephen Kramer Glickman to my graduation party,” Tillis said. “I’m very excited because he’ll probably recognize me. He commented on my TikTok.”
Glickman was joined by Marza Merophi Wilks, a Peruvian-born cellist, recording artist, educator and content creator. The duo started with the song that gave Glickman his TikTok fame: Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”
After the first song, Glickman went on to explain how he went through a break-up and, because he “couldn’t cut bangs,” he recorded his album, The Moving Company, to cope.
Every song performed had a story and a meaning to Glickman, and he could only hope some of his picks resonated with others as well. Glickman promoted the idea of how one should always be their most “organic self” and shared stories of his time as Gustavo on Big Time Rush and laugh-inducing encounters with other celebrities.
Other songs performed include Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever,” Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road,” a mash-up of Rihanna’s “Stay” and Justin Bieber and The Kid LAROI’s “Stay” and Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
Glickman asked for song requests from the audience, and an astounding number of audience members insisted on Big Time Rush’s “Boyfriend.” Glickman performed some of the song and claimed when the guys from Big Time Rush found out, they “were going to kill him.”
Throughout the whole performance, the audience was cheering constantly, and Glickman was in disbelief of their reactions. He kept repeating how the performance was “so much fun.”
To end the night, Glickman performed “Worldwide” by Big Time Rush. The song earned Glickman and Wilks a sea of phone flashlights waving in the air followed by a standing ovation.
Many went into the performance not knowing what to expect, such as Hailey Fisher, a freshman studying forensic chemistry. Although she was unsure about what would happen at the beginning of the night, Fisher said she absolutely loved everything about how it turned out.
“It was very fun,” Fisher said. “Hearing him play ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Worldwide’ from Big Time Rush, it's so exciting. I actually am going to see Big Time Rush (in concert) in September, so it feels like it completed the entire thing.”
Glickman was over the moon about how the night went, saying it “couldn’t have gone better.” Performance-wise, Glickman praised Wilks’ cello playing and the audience’s engagement and encouragement. He was thankful to have played somewhere like OU.
“My people are like the people that grew up watching me on television,” Glickman said. “If I can get them to accept me as this, then that would be great because then I can be both things; I can be a part of their childhood, and I can be a part of the music that they like in some way.”
After the performance, people who bought VIP tickets were able to meet and interact with Glickman and Wilks. It was full of smiles, conversation and food. All in all, the night ended with an impacted audience and a thankful Glickman.
“Music really became a huge, huge part of my life, which is awesome, but it was really nice having friends’ support and family support,” Glickman said. “And then being able to actually get on stage and do a concert and have a gigantic-like, packed-out room … it’s really rad.”