Truthfully, it’s a little hard to find something fun and entertaining to do in Riverside. There simply aren’t that many venues that attract the type of activity craved by college students. However, this may all be about to change. The Fox Theater recently partnered with concert promotions company Live Nation, and this new partnership — which includes the Riverside Municipal Auditorium downtown — is most likely responsible for the lineup of artists scheduled to make an appearance here in Riverside. One of the first is rapper Kid Ink, and considering the large turnouts for hip-hop artists at events on the UCR campus and the local community, it made sense that the Kid Ink concert was such a huge hit.

Upon arrival, I was greeted with a line that stretched from the entrance of the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, down the side of the building and around the corner. A small VIP garden area with an open bar and a few tables allowed a few lucky fans to drink up before the show — maybe a little too much, I thought, as I noticed a girl getting taken away in a wheelchair after throwing up and being unable to stand.

As I entered the auditorium, I was bombarded with excited fans trying to get as close to the stage as possible. Packed at the bottom and semi-filling the balcony, hundreds of Kid Ink fans were ready for a great show. Aside from the large speakers blaring a slew of party hits, there wasn’t much activity on stage around the program’s start time of 6 p.m. Around 6:40 p.m. however, we finally heard a voice hyping up the crowd and encouraging the audience to get ready for Kid Ink.

But first, we had to witness the talent of his opening acts. First up was Bizzy Crook, a young up-and-coming rapper from Miami who indulged a curious crowd with fun, pop-infused rap songs and got a generous reaction from those closest to the stage. Though there was no denying his enthusiasm, Crook struggled to get the entire audience immersed into his set. This may not have been totally his fault, seeing that many were distracted by a mini brightly lit drone zipping around the room. There seemed to be no real purpose to the attraction. It made a few rounds around the room, flashing colors of blue, red and green before retreating to wherever it came from.

Next to take the stage was veteran rapper King Los, fresh from his departure from Bad Boy records. His appearance generated a far more energized reaction from the crowd as I noticed a larger amount of people mouthing lyrics, dancing and pulling out their phones to record. By the end of the set, attendees were begging for a freestyle from the word-savvy MC — and boy, did he deliver. Los cleverly spit rhymes at such a rapid pace that he had the entire audience in an uproar by the time he left the stage.

With the departure of King Los, we were left to wait. I glanced around at the packs of girls eagerly holding their phones up to take selfies, making sure to catch the stage in the frame, and watched as marijuana smoke wafted toward the ceiling. The two VIP areas located in the theater were bustling with movement as waitresses served drinks to relaxed customers. Kid Ink strategically left the fans waiting, almost as if he knew that the positive reaction of the crowd would be doubled if he built the anticipation. About an hour later, the frenzied activity in the crowd subsided, and around 8:30 p.m. Kid Ink finally appeared.

The crowd went crazy as he proceeded with songs from his hit album “My Own Lane.” Hands were in the air as Kid Ink performed “The Movement,” hits like “Show Me” and several other songs. He bounced around, exuding so much energy that not a single person in the room could’ve been left disappointed as he got as close to the crowd as possible. Kid Ink made sure to give the audience what they paid for and more by not only performing songs from “My Own Lane,” but also hits such as “Money and Power” from his previous mixtape. The noise was deafening as he lit a blunt on stage and smoked it while he continued performing. He proceeded with the song “Bom Bom,” a track from 2012 that kept the crowd waving their hands and bobbing their heads.

I couldn’t deny my own excitement and anxiousness throughout Kid Ink’s set, and the rapper definitely proved that he can put on quite the show. He ended up taking his shirt off, generating a crazed reaction from all the ladies in the room and displaying his enormous amount of tattoos. Kid Ink journeyed up and down the stage, spitting the lyrics to songs such as “Sunset” and “Time of Your Life.” He brought a new feel to the art scene here in Riverside — maybe this city doesn’t have to just be hot and boring. The large-scale, open floor and upper seating layout of the venue could easily be placed in the same category as an LA concert spot. Perhaps this is the start of a bigger movement that will attract even more large-scale events — and feature even more well-known artists.