There was glitter, freshly squeezed orange juice and music that slapped.
On the beautifully unseasonably warm Friday, Nov. 22, Fred’s in Tigerland opened its doors at sundown at 6 p.m. Gold balloons spelled out “Shaq Loves Fred’s” under an arch of purple and green globes and other purple and gold ones spread out across the tent. 1,000 free Papa John’s pizzas awaited inside for hungry people to devour them.
The atmosphere was chill until around 9 p.m. Fred’s employees ran around the premises in uniform candy cane striped shirts making sure everything ran smoothly while Fred the Moose danced around the patio and got a drink at the bar. On the other end, attendees wore colorful sunglasses, glitter and rave attire. People filled the venue through the hours as they settled in for the live entertainment.
DJ CMIX, a staple act around the University area, started the show with pumped up tunes, followed by DJ Diesel’s team of musical acts. One of the acts traveled to Baton Rouge from Los Angeles. Another announced that LSU stood for “Love Shaq University” that night before playing the LSU song. Performing Halsey’s “Without Me” and Kanye’s “All Of The Lights” among others, the acts kept the crowd dancing.
“Fred’s is my safe haven,” said LSU marketing junior and Fred’s employee Emily Rose.
Shaquille O’Neal a.k.a. DJ Diesel came on the stage around 11:30 p.m. wearing a comfortable white wife beater and what looked like sweatpants to delight the crowd with his self-described style of EDM, hip hop and dubstep mash up. The crowd let lose to the icon’s set. Unbeknownst to some, the beloved LSU alum and NBA legend has released four hip hop albums and he performs regularly as DJ Diesel.
The show was hosted by BeatGig and College Weekly alongside Acacia and Delta Chi Fraternities. There was a barricaded VIP area with a separate entrance and private bar encompassing the entire front of the stage and part of the left side for Acacia and Delta Chi members and their guests. The general admission area stood behind the VIP area.
“We have been planning out this event since early in the summer,” LSU Delta Chi president Taylor Stirling said. “There is a lot of behind the scenes work that most people won’t see, from picking the date and venue to negotiating with artists and booking agencies. We partnered with Acacia to help share some of the costs.”
If the free pizza, great memories, drinks, hours of dancing and crazy good music played by Shaquille O’Neal himself wasn’t enough to commemorate the night, the first 4,000 customers received a souvenir koozie of the event. Furthermore, there were 20,000 souvenir cups for guests to take home at the end of the night.