MAB announces Summer Breeze acts

By Matt Zakosek

The Major Activities Board (MAB) decided this year’s Summer Breeze show will feature Julie Roberts, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and Nas. The show will be held in Hutchinson Courtyard at 6 p.m., and doors will open at 5 p.m.

First act Julie Roberts is a country singer whose self-titled debut garnered praise from Vanity Fair, People, and Glamour. She attended the University of South Carolina before moving to Nashville to pursue a singing career. She took a job at Mercury Records to support herself, without letting her co-workers know she was a singer/songwriter. Before long, however, Roberts’s talent was discovered, and she found herself with a recording contract. Despite her similarities in name to a certain movie star, Roberts has proved her uniqueness among the “cool country” set that includes other artists like Gretchen Wilson (a Country Music Awards Top New Artist nominee with Roberts) and Big & Rich.

Second act Teo Leo and the Pharmacists has long been an indie favorite, particularly on the east coast, but industry insiders say the band’s latest effort Shake the Sheets is poised to be their breakthrough hit. Ted Leo has always shown a cheeky sense of humor—his online-only cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” has become a hot download. For Shake the Sheets, Leo paired with producer Chris Shaw, who has worked with Bob Dylan, Dashboard Confessional, and Public Enemy, among others. While Leo’s own music may not yet span many genres, his pop-rock has found a favorable reception among a variety of audiences.

Many critics believe third act Nas has yet to live up to the potential of his debut, Illmatic, not an easy album to surpass. Between follow-up It Was Written to Illmatic sequel Stillmatic, Nas has had his hand in a number of different projects—several MTV videos, acting in the Hype Williams feature Belly, setting a song to the Sopranos theme (“Got Ur Self A…”), and most recently his public feud with Jay-Z. On January 8, 2005, Nas married singer Kelis of “Milkshake” fame.

In a change from years past, special guest DJ Blockhead will spin between set changes. MAB members said they believe he will provide smoother transitions from one act to the next and add to the party atmosphere.

Advance tickets are $12 for students and $17 for faculty, staff, and lab school. The day of the show, prices will increase to $15 and $20, respectively. Tickets may be purchased from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Reynolds Club Marketplace beginning May 9.