Yesterday, the Major Activities Board (MAB) announced the musical performers for its annual fall show at its first annual volunteer meeting. The show, scheduled for November 13, will feature indie up-and-comers: the Walkmen as an opening act, and alt-country rocker Ryan Adams as headliner.
MAB is responsible for planning and executing many of the concerts that appear on campus during the school year. Students will remember the incredibly popular Ben Folds and Ben Lee concert that MAB put on at this time last autumn. MAB intends for this year's show to be equally successful.
The Walkmen are a five-man group of New Yorkers whose debut album, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone, dominated by the presence of moody piano and bright, jangling guitar riffs beneath vocals, came out in 2002 to critical acclaim. The band's newest album Bows+Arrows, which came out this past February, has been equally well received.
Ryan Adams has several albums, the latest being Love Is Hell. The prolific songwriter got his big break with his love song to New York City, "New York, New York," which appeared just after the events of September 11. Adams has a reputation for being abrasive, and has been known to storm off stage if the crowd decides to "confuse" him for the similarly named Bryan Adams and shout "Summer of '69!" in reference to the latter's famous song.
Though both Ryan Adams and the Walkmen have garnered great critical acclaim, it is the opinion of the student body that is matters most to MAB. "We try to ask around looking for people's opinions," said Erica Cerulo, chair of MAB and a fourth-year in the College. "We also check out The Facebook [for people's] favorite band listings; Ryan Adams came up a lot in our research," she said. "In addition, we knew we wanted a good indie band for this show, and the Walkmen were available and in our price-range."
Many students, like third-year in the College John Paul Jewell, are ecstatic about the fact that this year's playbill features Adams. "I'm thrilled. I've never seen Ryan Adams before but I'm pretty sure he'll make it a great show," said Jewell. "Chicago is his first stop on his tour, and he hasn't toured in awhile."
MAB receives its operating capital from the University, which it uses to promote and pay for shows. "We sell tickets at loss," said Cerulo, "We're in debt after every concert. Our goal is to provide everyone with good entertainment, not to make a profit."
Maroon Voices Editor Andy Marchesseault met the news with both excitement and trepidation. "I have followed the Walkmen for a little while, and I feel that they are really a band on the rise," he said. "Their second album is excellent, a definite improvement on the first, and, playing with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse, they were the best band to play this summer's Q101 Block Party. However, I'm a little wary of Ryan Adams. I saw him in concert last December, and he looked like a total hack on stage."
Maroon Associate Voices Editor Brad Heffern, while a fan of Adams, also had some reservations. "I can't believe they actually got [Adams]," he said. "Too bad he'll probably get drunk and miss the show."
Tickets will go on sale next Monday, and for the first week will be sold out of the ticket booth in front of Mandel Hall, located in the Reynolds Club. After the first week tickets will be sold in the Reynolds Club Marketplace in front of Hutchinson Commons. Slightly less than a thousand tickets are available and students are encouraged to move quickly.