Dev dazzles diminished crowd
By CHRIS MARKHAM
“Filled” is hardly the term to use to describe the Anderson Center on the night of Nov. 20 when song artist and rapper Dev took the stage in front of a small, yet enthusiastic crowd.
Classic hits that many current University of Mary Washington students may recognize from their middle school and early high school days were performed alongside a dazzling light display in the later-than-usual fall concert.
“A lot of my friends were there so it was fun and the atmosphere was cool,” said freshman Alli Jakubek.
The abysmal crowd proved that the postponement of the concert from the traditional homecoming weekend probably diminished student interest in the event. Approximately 300 people attended the event, which is a significant drop-off from last year’s homecoming concert that featured Grouplove.
Though the concert is traditionally held on Homecoming Saturday, following the sporting events, this year’s concert was pushed back to late November, leaving those with little interest in sports to sit and wait.
“They should have had it on Homecoming Weekend when people are more hyped enough to do stuff instead of some random Thursday in November,” said Jakubek. “There were not a lot of people there and it felt like a middle school dance on steroids.”
Those who did go, however, witnessed a fantastic performance by one of the country’s best artists in her genre. The crowd erupted into joy when popular songs such as “Like a G6” and “Bass Down Low” were played, resulting in many grade-school dance flashbacks. The crowd enjoyed it so much that after Dev performed her last song and said her goodbyes, chants of “encore” echoed, demanding one last playing of “Bass Down Low.”
“The bands were very upbeat and very interactive with the crowd, which was fun,” Jakubek said.
Save the Arcadian and Mansions on the Moon were the opening acts for the concert. Save the Arcadian, which consists of many UMW alumni, drew huge support from the crowd due to their student ties. The up-and-coming band put on a great performance followed by adoration from the hometown crowd.
“UMW is our favorite place to perform because it’s our home,” said Save the Arcadian pianist and vocalist Russell Michelson. “It’s always a treat to get to come back and perform for the fans who’ve supported us from the very beginning. It was extremely heartening to have hundreds of fans come out early to see us open the show.”
Save the Arcadian, who recently released a new album, added Dev to a list of artists that the band has opened for, which also includes notable artists such as The Hunts, Gossling and Jukebox the Ghost.
“Similarly to our shows with those artists, opening for Dev presented us the opportunity to reach fans who wouldn’t have heard us otherwise,” Michelson said.
The reason for the low attendance is still up for debate, but many of the leading causes include timing of the concert as well as the choice of artist. Many UMW students did not think that Dev’s genre of music fit the preference of the student body.
“Something that more of us could relate to on a more modern basis, as opposed to something that came out in 2006 would have been a better fit,” said Jakubek.
UMW students can only sit and wait to see who is chosen as the spring concert act. While many students may desire a dramatic change in artist selection, UMW will be hard pressed to find a more talented act.