Feb 082011
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

The Lory Student Center will beam with American pride tonight as former “American Idol” contestant, U.S. Marine and country artist Josh Gracin takes the stage in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom at 8 p.m.

Many know Gracin from his fourth-place finish on the second season of “American Idol.”

On the show, Gracin excelled not only because of his talent but also his good ol’ boy, U.S. Marine charm.

“I always look forward to shows in Colorado. The mountains and snow are an obvious bonus, but mainly, there’s always a great crowd!” Gracin said. We’re going to have a blast.”

It has been two years since the Association for Student Activity Programming, ASAP, has put on a country concert at CSU.

In RAMweb surveys used to gage student interest, country is usually not selected as the concert genre of choice.

One of ASAP’s main goals, however, is to offer a wide range of entertainment, so they decided it was time to give country another shot.

“We weren’t reaching the Ag (agricultural) community, and we wanted to fix that,” said Loren Martinez, concert coordinator for ASAP.
ASAP had their choice of country artists, but they chose Gracin because they felt he offered a broad appeal to CSU students.

“Gracin was on ‘American Idol’ when most CSU students were in high school. They have grown up with him,” Martinez said.
Martinez assures Gracin is an artist who will appeal to all concertgoers.

“There are tons of subcultures within country, and we felt Gracin was more of a modern, pop country artist. We think he’ll appeal to all students, not just country fans,” Martinez said.

While student fees do constitute a portion of ASAP concert spending, collaborations with sponsors, such as FarmHouse, allow for bigger overall concert budgets and more expensive acts.

Gracin’s concert will be one of the biggest of the semester, with one of the biggest budgets. ASAP contributed $12,700 to the event and the agriculture-oriented fraternity FarmHouse contributed $8,360.

“Collaborations get us bigger names,” Martinez said.

Planned for May is “Ramstock” –– reminiscent of 1969’s Woodstock. This will be an outdoor, multi-stage multi-band event, Martinez said.
“I feel like (Gracin) will bring a different type of musical presence to CSU. Plus, he’s not too shabby to look at,” said sophomore business major Alexis Muench.

Tonight’s concert will take place tonight in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.

Tickets are being sold at the Lory Student Center Box Office and www.csutix.com. They are $10 for students and $19 for the general public.
So far about 600 tickets have been sold, and Martinez expects the final count to reach about 700.

ASAP, FarmHouse, ASCSU and Scene Magazine all helped to sponsor the concert.

Staff writer Colleen McSweeney can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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