Apr 282009
Authors: Ian Mahan

Back by popular demand, Grammy nominated Emerson Drive graced Lory Student Center Theatre with their presence Tuesday night for the first time since April 2007.

The five piece band based out of Nashville, Tenn., by way of Alberta, Canada brought their country rock twist to campus and showed that even though most country songs are about heartbreak and losing a love, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun while singing about it.

From the moment they hit the stage, lead vocalist Brad Mates personified a child on a playground with the amount of energy he displayed on stage. For a musician not attached to an instrument for an entire concert, he captivated the crowd in an Elvis-like manner.

Though most of the crowd’s attention focused on Mates, fiddle player David Pichette helped to steal the show, quickly lending it over to guitarist Danick Dupelle.

Although well-rehearsed and extremely talented, Emerson Drive’s downfall was who they chose as the opening act.

Enter Jeff Allen, a native of Canton, Texas, who not only sang his raspy soulful voice out to the crowd at the LSC, but nearly stole the hearts of every girl in the audience who initially thought that they had come to see Emerson Drive.

Allen presented his music in a good ol’ boy fashion and expressed his affection for his mama and grandma in a way that made his music heartbreakingly adorable.

Although not accompanied by a full band, Allen’s songs taught lessons and honesty in a way similar to Dashboard Confessional and Secondhand Serenade, with a bit more twang.

His song, “Raised On Getting By,” tells of the importance of not having the nicest things in life, but having a will to show what one has inside, a song well received by the college-based audience in attendance.

Hosted by the Association for Student Activities Programming, the show can be claimed as another successful student concert, an exciting prospect that the student organization can continue to bring entertaining acts who make you want to listen to their life stories and experience the honesty that is presented through song.

Entertainment writer Ian Mahan can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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