For those of you on campus who still aren’t aware, last Friday night was the annual fall concert featuring the band Train. Now I’m sure many of you are either asking yourselves, “What’s Train?” or “How could such an event have passed me by?” Either way, let me recap – the band was excellent while the turnout was nothing short of embarrassing.Before I even left for the concert, one of my friends – the only other person I knew going – and I made jokes for well over an hour about how few people would most likely attend. The sad part is that we were right. I even overheard a student worker commenting on the fact that there were more of them than audience members. Even of the community members who attended, few were under 40.I thought the band would overlook the poor showing. But Pat Monahan, the Diesel-clad lead singer, made a few comments including the fact that he felt like he was performing at a high school talent show where he had nothing to lose except perhaps the risk of disappointing 30 to 40 people. At that time, bassist Charlie Colin corrected him and he changed it to 20. Not only as an audience member, but as a member of the UR community, I felt like garbage and wanted to personally apologize to Train. It’s too late now, but there are a few things that the Concert Committee, UR Concerts and Campus Activities Board should consider in the future.First of all, I want to make clear that I am not insulting Train as a band because they are extremely talented, but rather the choice of Train for a campus such as ours. I’m not ignorant – I am aware that bands are expensive. But I cannot even fathom a group of people choosing Train as a concert and being excited about their decision. Who honestly thought that this concert was going to be successful? Train is not necessarily what one might call a “diverse” group. If the university is going to make diversity a priority, then perhaps a musical genre that appeals to more people should be chosen. The past few bands for semester concerts and D-Day have ranged from alternative to as limited a genre as emo. I would suggest trying a hip-hop artist for a change. Not only will students attend, but community members will as well. I already have my tickets for Kanye West at the Rochester Institute of Technology. A band must be found with a balance of fanatics and what one may refer to as teenybopper front-runners. Guster was an excellent choice because they are a college band and have a strong enough following. One must remember that college students aren’t going to pay $20 for just anyone. The band needs to satisfy those who will be first in line for tickets at the activities fair and those who are willing to pay the money based on the band’s radio hits. Finally, Train doesn’t necessarily play songs that would get any crowd moving. I constantly searched the benches to see if people were standing, but I guess they purchased seated tickets for a reason. The event should have been moved to a smaller venue on campus and/or have been changed to an acoustic show. The concerts that come to this campus should be something that brings the campus together and that the students are excited about. Neither bands nor students are going attend future concerts knowing that no one ever shows up. I urge students to join the Concert Committee’s mailing list via their non-updated Web site and bring artists to campus as diverse as the students themselves. Reyhani can be reached at mreyhani@campustimes.org.



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