Waldo Black Returns To THON, Gives BJC Much-Needed Energy Boost

There are many things that remain constant at THON. Exhaustion, constant reminders to drink water, the line dance, bands desperately trying to keep people up at 5 a.m., and the list goes on and on. Add Waldo Black to the that long list, as the performer made another triumphant return to the Bryce Jordan Center following last year’s jam session that opened THON 2019.

He opened up with a couple of originals, including “I Just Want To Love,” a song that quickly caught on among those in attendance. Black’s overall message of positivity and ~good vibes~ was something the everyone in attendance could get down with. After a long wait between performers and 1 a.m. staring everyone in the face, his brief set was sorely needed.

Black continued to plow through originals, getting everyone to move and groove while he tore apart the THON stage with some swaglicious dance moves. He even throw in a little “cha cha slide real smooth” in there, and while he didn’t say it, it certainly was “time to get funky.”

While last year’s performance was more structured and went on for far longer, Black made the most of his time up there. The BJC was dragging before he came up on stage and it was clear that he was getting everyone back into the swing of it.

Black ran through more originals, once again, different from the more cover oriented set he ran last year. But the overall message stayed the same, the mantra of self-love and tolerance Black has pushed out for the entirety of his musical career.

“Love yourself everyday, that’s the plan,” Black said to a very receptive BJC crowd.

This year also marked the return of the “swag surf,” a Black trademark. Everyone put their arms over each other’s shoulders and swayed with the music, a visual representation of that unity Black sings about.

Black finished things off with the first and only cover of the set, “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. THON 2020 got loud, obviously relishing in the song’s first appearance this weekend. Black would peace out after that final song, his exit as brief as his set was. But while it wasn’t as long or as dynamic as last year’s opening was, it still got the job done and the next Line Dance was the most energetic one of the night.

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About the Author

Matt Paolizzi

Since graduating from Penn State in 2021, Matt is (hopefully) manning a successful job and (hopefully) living a happy life by now. In a past life, he was a writer for Onward State and remains a proud alumnus of the best student publication in the country. Check out Podward State too, Onward State's official podcast, that he co-founded alongside Matt Ogden and Mitch Stewart in 2019. It's his baby, give it a wave and make sure it's doing okay. Thanks to da king Sam Brungo and everyone who follows, it most definitely is.

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