Dual Pop Headliners for Spring Weekend Concert

GrouploveBy Connor Ryan

After months of tight-lipped planning meetings, the rumors (which at various points favored the likes of Ruben Studdard and JoJo) were put to bed Wednesday morning when Fordham’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) announced via video that indie band Grouplove and pop newcomer Andy Grammer will each have headlining sets at this year’s Spring Weekend concert.

This marks the first time in recent memory that CAB has booked two headlining artists to perform during Spring Weekend. Pat McCarren, GSB ’13 and concert committee co-chair for CAB, said he hopes that having two headliners will peak the interests and tastes of a variety of students.

“We thought it was a good idea because you have over 7,000 students and everyone has different music tastes and different opinions, so to bring two artists really gives you [the ability] to open up to more people,” McCarren said in an interview Tuesday night.

In total, the Saturday of this year’s Spring Weekend (April 27) will feature four different musical segments. Before Andy Grammer and Grouplove each perform one-hour sets in front of Martrys’ Court, a student band and Saints of Valory (the band that has opened for Grouplove on tour) will open the concert.

The Jane Doze is slated to be Friday night’s DJ.

Lara Moseley, GSB ’14 and concert committee co-chair for CAB, said that after securing Grouplove, the committee had money left in the budget to book Grammer. The funds used to secure the two headliners would not have been available had CAB hosted a concert in the fall like the board has done in previous years.

Grouplove is a five-member band that formed in 2009; the band’s music has been described as alternative rock and indie dance. The group’s debut album, Never Trust a Happy Song, was released in September of 2011.

“Tongue Tied,” the band’s most popular single to date, secured the number one spot on the Modern Rock radio chart last June. (It has also been featured in an Apple commercial for the iPod touch.)

Grouplove has performed on various television shows, including “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Today Show,” among others.

In contrast to Grouplove’s breezy California sound, Grammer’s cheerful lyrics earned him a spot on Billboard’s “2011 Artists to Watch” list months before he released his self-titled debut album.

While he strives to pick up mainstream name recognition, Grammer has boasted 10,000 hours of musical practice on the streets of Los Angeles before landing a record deal, according to his website.

Billboard has described him as a cross between Maroon 5 and John Legend.

Grammer’s most popular single, “Keep Your Head Up,” debuted in 2010 at number 94 on the Billboard Hot 100. It has since moved to near number 50.

He wrote the optimistic single “as a letter of encouragement to himself after he’d spent an exhausting day street performing and had little money to show for it,” according to his website.

McCarren and Moseley said they began the long, and often seen as thankless, process of planning this spring’s concert last May.

Neon Trees, fun. and Passion Pit were among the artists CAB tried to book, but were unable to secure because of either scheduling conflicts or budgetary restraints.

CAB organizers said they tried to secure Macklemore, most recently known for his chart-topper “Thrift Shop (feat. Wanz),” as a headliner, but he “didn’t get approved, content-wise [by administrators],” McCarren said.

“There is almost no shot in getting a rapper — just being realistic — as far as content and approval goes,” McCarren said. “The artists are supposed to be within Jesuit principles and talking about sex, drugs, alcohol, stuff like that, is just not really tolerated at all. That’s not on our end; that’s more on the administrative end.”

After an outcry from students erupted following the announcement of Jay Sean last year, CAB president Gina Meltzer, FCRH ’13, said she expects unavoidable mixed reactions among students.

“What I’ve said to [McCarren and Moseley] all year [is], regardless of who we have, people are always going to have something to say,” Meltzer said on Tuesday. “So I’m sure tomorrow we’re going to hear both positive and negative feedback, but it is what it is and we’re happy with our decision.

While this year’s artists may not have the recognizable name Sean carried with him, Moseley said she believes students will appreciate the music and the atmosphere of the day.

“I feel like even if people might not know the name, they will really convey how they feel on the day [the artists perform] and the day after,” Moseley said. “I feel like when that day comes, people are going to truly enjoy it.”

CAB declined to disclose details of their budget and the asking prices of the artists that are scheduled to perform.

Jenn Lackie, the concert committee’s advisor, declined to comment for this article.


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