As the Local Natives took the the stage, 40 John Brown University students sat captivated in the audience, listening to a band they would not have otherwise seen on campus.
On Oct. 5, JBU student activity group, BLUE, or Bringing Live Unplugged Entertainment, took 40 students to a Local Natives concert at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa.
The On the Road concert was the first of its kind for the team. BLUE Director Jon Estes wanted to give students another opportunity to hear live music from an artist, but this time at an off-campus music venue.
“On the Road was a test to see if it could work, and it wasn’t to replace anything. It was just to add more,” said Estes. “It turned out fantastic; it was a huge success.”
The new idea was not built overnight. The planning for an off-campus event was a tedious task for the team.
“It was a complicated process,” said Estes. “It took me three weeks to get everything lined out: transportation, food, all of that stuff.”
Students who attended the show paid $25 and in return received a t-shirt, pizza dinner, concert ticket and transportation to and from the event.
Freshman Devon Schmidt thought the price for the event was extremely reasonable.
“I would have paid $25 dollars just to see the show,” Schmidt explained.
Estes said they released 40 tickets for the trip and ended up selling out on the first day.
“There was a great representation of all the classes on the trip,” said Estes. “It was really inclusive to everyone.”
Senior Matt Gwartney, who also attended the concert, said the idea to take students off-campus to another venue was a great experience.
“When the concerts are on campus, it can limit what groups are brought in-due to having to appeal to the community members of this area and their taste, so it was cool to have an opportunity to go to a concert that a group of us really wanted to see,” said Gwartney.
The Local Natives were described as extremely interactive with the crowd, making the concert that much better for the students that attended.
“The three songs they played in their encore were the best,” described Gwartney. “Everybody was clapping and singing at the end of their last song, and they ended coming back out and played three more for us.”
Some students not familiar with the group prior to the concert left the concert wanting more of the band’s music.
“Some of my friends had never heard of them and afterward said it was the best show they had seen and wanted to start listening to them,” said Schmidt.
Though BLUE will continue to bring new artists to the campus, Estes hopes to see more specialized On the Road concerts offered to students in the future.
“Hopefully in the future it will be much larger, possibly taking even hundreds of students,” said Estes.
“It was without a doubt in the top three concerts I’ve seen,” said Gwartney. “It was kinda hard to pass up.”