On Monday, March 3, the Music Entertainment Committee MEC announced that indie rock band Local Natives will headline the MEC Spring Concert on April 5 in the Lion’s Pause.
“The Local Natives are a strong up-and-coming rock band,” said Connor Petersen ’14, MEC Coordinator. “They’re gaining a strong festival presence, and MEC members thought that they’d be a group that students would like to see.”
Local Natives is a Los Angeles-based group that gained notoriety after the U.S. release of their first album, “Gorilla House,” in 2010. The band’s popularity grew after they toured Europe with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and they have performed at a number of festivals including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. Their second album, “Hummingbird,” was released in January of 2013, and the band has since toured both on their own and with other rock-scene favorite Kings of Leon.
At the request of Local Natives, one of the openers for the concert will be Aero Flynn. Additionally, MEC will be coordinating another competition for campus bands and musicians to play before the concert. A similar contest was held for this past fall’s concert, headlined by Andy Grammer.
“We are always excited to give this type of opportunity to a campus band,” Petersen said. “It has an added bonus of getting many different bands’ names out there – not just the group that plays at the actual spring concert.”
MEC sponsors two large-scale concerts each year, one each in the fall and spring. The concerts aim to bring a diverse range of musical talent to campus, offering students the opportunity to see a variety of musicians across numerous genres over the course of their college careers. Past musical acts have included Ben Folds, the Black Eyed Peas, Amos Lee, Emerson Drive, Nickel Creek and OK Go. This fall, concert headliner Andy Grammer played a well-received show, and Petersen has no doubt that Local Natives will accrue a similar positive reception.
Determining who will peform at the two major concerts is a long process. First, the entire MEC committee holds a brainstorming session in which names of bands or requests for certain genres are gathered. After narrowing down a list, MEC members vote for the performers that they believe would most interest the student body. This year, Local Natives was one of the most popular potential acts among MEC members.
After accumulating a few potential acts, MEC members reach out to artists’ booking agents and check for both availability and whether the act in question is within the group’s budget. Local Natives had the availability and affordability that MEC looks for in potential acts, so the committee made an official offer to the agent, which was then accepted. Over the next few weeks, the committee will continue to be in communication with the band’s agent to coordinate technical and hospitality requirements for the performance.
“After planning a show for months, it is an unreal feeling as a committee to watch our work come to life as the band walks on the stage and the crowd screams in excitement,” Petersen said. “It makes all the work more than worth it.”
Tickets for the concert went on sale to students on Wednesday, March 5 and will go on sale to the public on March 17. The first 300 tickets were sold at a reduced price.