by Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer
Baylor students decked out in cowboy hats and boots flooded Waco Hall on Thursday for a concert performed by 12-year-old country artist Mason Ramsey. He became famous after a video of him singing a cover of “Lovesick Blues” in an Illinois Walmart went viral.
The event was hosted by Phi Kappa Chi and Pi Beta Phi, and all ticket sales went towards the two groups’ philanthropies I Love Orphans and Read Lead Achieve. Student Government and Baylor Panhellenic Council were also involved with the event.
Ramsey began the concert with “The Way I See It,” a song off of his recent EP Famous. He wore a large hat and sparkly jacket the whole show, performing some songs on guitar and some engaging with the crowd across the stage. Ramsey sang a mix of covers like “Ring of Fire” and his famous “Lovesick Blues” at the show as well as original songs like his hit song “Famous” as an encore.
Prior to Ramsey’s time on stage, an opening act titled Avenue Beat performed. The group was an all-girl trio, performing several acoustic tracks and covers of popular songs like “Shallow” from A Star is Born and “Breaking Free” from High School Musical.
Bee Cave freshman Anna Tabet appreciated Ramsey’s stage presence during the show and his willingness to interact with audience members and perform.
“Some of my favorite aspects of the concert were the moments when Mason would get flirty and funny with the audience—he’s very charismatic and just plain adorable so he definitely had everyone in the audience in the palm of his hand,” Tabet said. “I think Mason’s age, talent and attitude all separate him from other artists. It’s so crazy to see a little kid like him commanding the stage, and his voice is incredible too.”
Tabet said the environment of the show was full of audience involvement and an exciting, lively vibe amongst attendees.
“The atmosphere of the show was definitely very fun and lively,” Tabet said. “Everyone in the audience was waiting for Mason to do something quirky and fun and he knew it and thrived off of it. It definitely was never boring.”
Ontario, Calif., sophomore Payton Peauroi said she appreciated Ramsey’s stage presence and effort to make the show as entertaining as possible for those involved.
“Every single person around me was on their feet swaying to his voice the entire time,” Peauroi said. “I don’t even think there was a moment of silence in all of Waco Hall because of all the excitement. From the starting band to his final song Famous, I felt totally engaged and drawn to his stage presence. He is so genuine and you could tell he wanted to give us the best experience he possibly could.”
Colleyville senior Trent Bradley, a member of Phi Kappa Chi and the one who originally reached out to Ramsey via email, said he appreciated the event for its contribution to philanthropies using the money for useful causes.
“The coolest part about this event is that every penny we make will be donated to our respective philanthropies,” Bradley said. “Phi Chi’s philanthropy I Love Orphans is currently using our donated funds to support the Bukaleba Project, an architectural plan to build a community hospital, vocational center, children’s dormitories, dining facilities and classrooms in Jinja, Uganda. Pi Phi will also be donating their proceeds to Read Lead Achieve, their philanthropic effort that hopes to inspire a lifelong love of reading and to create a more literate and productive society.”
Bradley didn’t initially expect Ramsey agent to respond to his email but is glad that the concert was organized and that the hard work gone in to planning and executing the event has paid off.
“I wasn’t really trying to plan a concert when I reached out to Mason Ramsey’s agent. I was serving as president at the time and planning a concert wasn’t necessarily in my job description. I knew there would be a huge audience for this type of concert if we could land him—the virality of his original video made him a household name, at least amongst college students. If the yodeling boy comes to campus, you have to go,” Bradley said. “Trying to bring a big name to Baylor’s campus has been a lot of work, but knowing this concert will help thousands of individuals all across the globe has made it so worth it.”