Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., started a Facebook group months ago in hopes of securing the top spot in the Be the Campus Rockstar contest sponsored by Dell and Microsoft. Who would have thought a school of a little less than 6,000 would beat out schools of more than 40,000 students? Two students, Kayla Burch and Gregory Steimel knew Truman could do it. They sent out Facebook message after Facebook message begging for people to join and assist Truman in winning another concert from a big-name band. Ben Folds previously played at the University in October.
Two stories were printed in the University’s newspaper, the Index (trumanindex.edu), about the event and the turn out was amazing, especially for it being on a Thursday night.
The crowd received T-shirts that read “OneRepublic Rocks Truman” on the front and delluniversity.com and the Windows logo on the back. The T-shirts were free and a definite keepsake. The University should be proud that they won a concert that major school across the country were fighting for. The concert was said to have cost at least $100, 000 and was sponsored by Dell and Windows. The only responsibility of Truman was distributing tickets and promotions.
The concert itself was one of the better live performances I have seen. Although, Dell and Windows commercials played on the two large screens to the left and right of the stage leading up to the band’s entrance, it was surprisingly less of a giant advertisement than I thought it would be. Yes, Student Activities Board, Haley Ray, did come on stage and thank the sponsors and talk about the concert and yes, multiple commercials for the sponsors played on the screens and yes, there was a Dell and Windows table set up and yes…oh wait…maybe it was a giant marketing ploy. Who knows. I give credit to One Republic for taking a break from their West Coast tour to visit the countryside of the Midwest. Lead singer Ryan Tedder said the band was thrilled to visit Missouri and that they took pictures the whole drive from Kansas City to Kirksville and were fascinated by the countryside. Tedder also said that this concert will be their last in Missouri for at least another year while they produce their new album. One thing that took me by surprise is that they played at least two covers of other people’s songs during their show. I don’t have a lot of concert experience, but I have not been to a cover show yet, either. I do say, though, that I loved their versions of the songs we all know so well.
Something else that I can compare to the Ben Folds concert is that my attention was kept throughout the entire show, which says a lot because I knew all of Folds’ songs and I only knew about three of OneRepublic’s. They were able to keep the energy up in the crowd and on stage enough to where I never got bored. I will say that during the Ben Folds concert, I always laid my head down because I was that tired. I don’t know if it was the fact that I had heard the songs so much (& previously saw Folds in Columbia) or that OneRepublic’s show was more interesting and entertaining to me. Maybe a little bit of both.
OneRepublic did not seem to mind that they had to fly from California to Missouri and back to California in 24 hours. I was alloted a press pass and able to meet the band and they were wonderful to the press as well of the concert members. I noticed a lot of people videotaping and taking pictures of the people taking pictures and was a little confused on what their purpose was and if they worked for the band.
I would have to say that my favorite song is “Apologize,” as cliche as that is and I know we’ve heard it on the radio 1,000 times (to quote the sound board operator), but the live version of any song is 100% better than the album version. So much more emotion is felt and one can really connect with the audience as they sing at the top of their lungs. I learned tonight that Tedder writes most, if not all, of the songs he sings and when watching him sing, you can tell that he puts his whole heart into what he sings every night when he steps out onto the stage. Yes, OneRepublic is a cliche boy band with sad, emo lyrics and belong in the mainstream popularity where their songs are played on a repeat radio cycle and we all get bored with them eventually, but don’t knock the band, any band, until you see them live. It’s a whole other experience definitely worth trying. I have over 200 pictures of the night, including more shots of each band member if anyone is interested in seeing more. I will be getting a chance to have a phone interview with the band, which will be able to be read at trumanindex.com next Thursday, Nov. 20. Thanks for reading! Until next time, listen to OneRepublic and be on the lookout for their new album being released summer 2009. 🙂 Goodnight.
– Boles –