Mary Washington students rocked out to the familiar tunes of The Plain White T’s at Rocktoberfest on Friday, Oct. 5. The band, which has a number one single with “Hey There Delilah,” was brought here by Giant Productions and Class Council.
Despite having to travel long distances to get here, members of the band were happy to be in a university environment. “We have played a bunch of colleges, they’re always fun to play, college crowds seem to be laid back and fun. We are likely to have some drinks and have a good time and everything,” said PWT guitarist Dave Tirio.
The Plain White T’s have been touring pretty much non-stop for the last 5 years. “We’ve been on the road every day in support of this album since Warped Tour last year,” Tirio stated. “Our time off just shrinks away into nothing because we have to tour as much as we can to get our name out there.”
For all of their long hours on the road, though, the PWT still know how to put on a good show. Their set was energetic and engaging and had all of Dodd Auditorium on its feet.
“Despite the concert not being outside, people were pumped and looked like they had a good time. We filled 80 to 90 percent of Dodd,” said sophomore Class President Chelsea Devening.
The Tees played for roughly an hour, over which time they played all the material that dedicated PWT fans know and love. As was to be expected, they ended the show with “Hey There Delilah,” successfully getting in stuck in the heads of every student who came out to the show.
Opening the show was Toronto, Ontario based ska outfit Ill Scarlett. Their set was energetic and danceable.
Ill Scarlett may have been too danceable, as one student complained, “How are they going to bring a ska band here and not have somewhere we can skank?” For Dodd auditorium, Ill Scarlett may well have rocked too hard.
After Ill Scarlett, pop rockers The Hint came on and gave arguably the best performance of the evening. Despite their relative anonymity, they managed to get the crowd into their material, and kept the crowd pumped up by engaging them time and time again.
Instead of just introducing the next song, band members joked about Facebook and their MySpace page while guitars were being tuned, and encouraged people to come see more of their shows.
Bringing The Plain White T’s to Mary Washington was no mean feat. Last Friday’s Rocktoberfest was the result of many stressful and time-consuming weeks for members of Class Council and Giant.
“The biggest problem was working with our budget because we have never had such an expensive band before,” said Devening. Class Council is also responsible for raising another $5,000 to fully fund Rocktoberfest. Giant Productions paid over $37,000 to get the bands.
First, attempts to keep the headlining band under wraps until two days before the event were only partly successful. “The point of keeping it a secret was so we could keep the show UMW-only show without having to check I.D.’s,” Devening commented. Plans to keep the show a secret were foiled partly by The Hint’s MySpace page, and the killer of all secrets, hearsay.
Beyond that, the event had to be moved at the last second from the Goolrick practice fields into Dodd Auditorium because of threatening weather. “With a 40 percent chance of rain on Friday, we had to go inside,” Devening said.
The move to Dodd meant that tickets were now necessary, as seating was no longer unlimited. Class Council made 1,200 tickets available to the student body. The tickets were given away for a donation of two non-perishable food items.
In the face of setbacks and stress, Class Council and Giant came through. Devening commented, “Even after having to move the show inside, Rocktoberfest was very much a success.”