‘Cool’ concert rocks the TAC

April 30, 2009

by Eboni Jaggers

The Cool Kids brought a cool breeze to the Thomas Assembly Center April 23 during Union Board’s annual spring concert.
Opening the show were California natives Thriving Ivory and Tech’s own Heavens to Betsy.

Clayton Stroope, lead vocalist for Thriving Ivory, said the TAC is the largest venue the band has ever played.

“It is more challenging and fun that we’re in an arena,” he said. “I was sound-checking just because it’s so much fun because the place is so big.”

Drew Cribley, guitarist for the group, said playing in front of a college crowd is very reminiscent of the band’s humble beginnings coming up in Santa Barbara, a city that he says is dominated by some 20,000 college students.

“It reminds me of the old days, playing in front of nothing but college crowds,” he said. “We have to be more on our game.”
As for mixing their pop-rock genre with The Cool Kids’ rapping styles, the group agrees that diversity and variety in a show is always a great thing.

“People get more excited when different acts are [performing],” Stroope said. “We’re doing a show in Memphis in May and Snoop Dogg is going to be there, and Korn and Saving Able perform right after us.”

Daniel Flowers, president of Union Board and a senior biology major, said though the acts did not disappoint, the turn-out of the concert was not what he had projected. The TAC, an arena constructed for a maximum of 10,000 people, was filled with only around 250 concert-goers.

“All three [acts] did well in engaging the crowd,” Flowers said. “Each of the groups [was] very entertaining. I enjoyed putting three [different] genres together, but of course [Union Board] had hoped for a larger crowd.”

Flowers said he is always searching for different activities and performers that will entice the student population, but he cannot succeed without their help.

He said he sent out letters to each of the 160 campus organization presidents asking what they would like to see at this year’s concert and only two replied.

“[The responsive students] are the only ones that will get what they’re asking for,” he said. “I am not disappointed with any of the performances – all performed great – and I am not mad at Tech students for not [attending] because they’re not going to come see something they don’t want to see.”

He said he can only hope for an increase in student participation for future activities.

“We have a great Union Board staff and I appreciate their support,” he said. “Hopefully students will help us find out what they want [to see].”

Brandon Watkins, a graduate student of architecture, is a Cool Kids fan and he said he thought The Cool Kids put on great show, despite their 45- minute delay.

“Obviously, it was cool,” he said. “[The performance] was amped. Bravo-bravo, touché-touché to the Cool Kids. [The show] was refreshing. It’s not all that bang-bang ‘shoot them up.’ It’s something different for Ruston.”