Ace Hood at Common Ground Music Festival

Makenzie McNeill

The sun peered from behind a gray sky as hundreds gathered in front of the enormous stage complete with jumbotrons on each side alerting those too far back to see the on stage antics. Any regular Friday, it’s place to relax by the Grand River while resting in the greenery underneath the shadows of a nearby Burger King, Rally’s and an urban loft complex which reminds you, even in the park, you aren’t too far from the city. That week, however, Adado Riverfront Park transformed itself into the setting of Lansing’s largest music festival.

To complete the picture of this perfect evening in the park with all of your closest strangers was “Bugatti” singer Ace Hood. Although Big Sean was billed as the top performer for Common Ground’s Friday line-up, Ace gave life to the crowd in his own way. His set included fan favorites, calls to the crowd’s female members, and a beat boxing session. Always the gentleman, Ace offered the crowd a chance to see him take his shirt off and earn a dance with the rapper himself. Though he occasionally appeared to be there for the ladies, he gave his bros in the crowd love as well.

For their part, the crowd reacted like you would expect any to react in a hip-hop environment. Shouts of “turn-up” and inaudible screams bounced across the field which served as the house as patrons prepared to earn/watch people earn their scholarships from upcoming Juicy J. Although the grounds were no where near capacity, any late stragglers had a bear of a time getting to the front of the crowd for a good view. With elephant ear stands and other acts performing on smaller stages, many of those in attendance choose to walk around in the distance, bobbing their heads as they walked.

Despite the general music-themed carnival atmosphere surrounding his show, Ace did his best to provide an intimate experience with his outdoor show. Those that stuck around the stage packed close to get a better glimpse at him. This was certainly no Lana Del Rey concert. Intense enjoyment could be seen practically crowd-wide. Everyone’s hands were held up high and ready to bob with any beat Ace’s DJ laid down.

Compared to the Big Sean concert later that evening, Ace Hood was a nice warm up act. Sean commanded the park like a hypnotized army, unafraid to stop the beat and start over again if he didn’t get the response he needed. The cliché has always been quality over quantity and Ace Hood has improved vastly since his days of singing the one-time iTunes free single “Loco Wit Da Cake”. Those who shared the experience would likely agree.


Words by Colin Jackson