GC’s upcoming Homecoming Concert will include performances from Moon Taxi, JoJo and Champagne Lane, creating a fresh contrast of genre to the past years’ inclusion of mainly rap artists.
This year’s Homecoming Concert chair Victoria Fowler said the process of choosing the artists begins as soon as school starts up in August. The SGA president puts together a committee of students who find the artists who perform at the following year’s concert.
“It’s really the students that have the decision-making power behind acts, and the staff is just there to support them,” Fowler said.
The committee works with a booking agency to develop a list of potential acts that work within a budget set by student fees. The total cost for the this year’s two main performances totaled around $60,000, Fowler said.
This year’s committee chose Moon Taxi as one of the main acts due to their previous popularity among students when they opened for Waka Flocka at the 2015 Homecoming Concert.
“The people who went had fun, but they said Moon Taxi put on a better show,” Fowler said.
This indie-alternative rock band group was formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 2006.
Tyler Ritter, the band’s current drummer, met Trevor Terndrup, Spencer Thomson and Tommy Putnam at a house party where he struck up a conversation with them and found out they were looking for a drummer. They played shows together throughout the Southeast, eventually completing the group with Wes Bailey askeyboardist.
“About a year later, the four of us meet Wes at yet another house party,” Ritter said. “Thus, the rocking quintet that you now see before you emerges into the world around 2007.”
Their first album, “Cabaret,” jump-started their career in 2012, gaining a wide range of attention across media platforms.
“‘Cabaret’ had a lot of great material on it that helped us grab some big TV spots,” Ritter said. “‘New Black’ was on a BMW commercial, for instance.”
In 2018, they released their fifth album, “Let the Record Play,” and the band’s success has skyrocketed. Their single “Two High” hit the top of the streaming charts with a running tally of over 100 million listens on Spotify.
Moon Taxi’s fusion of alternative-rock percussions, catchy pop hooks and gripping vocals have combine to create a unique, transitional sound.. Ritter said their sound allows them to explore pathways for “all of the audiences.”
He said they hope to continue making strides in the modern music atmosphere by keeping up with the fast-paced demand for more content across all platforms.
“We try to stay as current and visible as possible in these instant gratification days that we live in,” Ritter said. “In order to do that, we need to be generating new content, whether it’s a new song or a video, throughout each year.”
In contrast, 28-year-old pop artist JoJo will bring some throwback jams to Homecoming.
Her recent 2018 album, self-titled “JoJo,” remains true to her style of R&B vocals over fast-paced pop beats, a quality that gained her initial success with her most popular single “Too Little, Too Late” in 2006.
Though the bulk of JoJo’s musical popularity took place in her early career, her current three million monthly listeners on Spotify prove her to be a worthy comeback artist.
However, before Moon Taxi and JoJo take the stage, GC’s battle of the band’s champion Champagne Lane will perform as the opening act, as part of their prize for winning the competition.
Champagne Lane is comprised of Jackson Welch on vocals, Jake Rogers on guitar, Gregory Griffin on bass and Andrew She on the drums. Their diverse musical backgrounds have kept them from being stuck in one specific genre, Rogers said.
“I’d say it’s hard to pinpoint a specific genre because we try to take elements from all different types of music,” Rogers said. “But I’d say it’s like modern funk or whatever jam bands call their music.”
Performing for such a large audience and sharing a stage with Moon Taxi has put Champagne Lane on a pathway for greater future success. Humble yet grateful, the group said it is anticipating the best out of the opportunity.
“We are a little nervous but super excited to share a stage with a band like Moon Taxi who many of us have been listening to for years,” Rogers said. “Our goal going into Friday is to give the best show we’ve ever put on.”
Since Centennial hosts the homecoming basketball games the day after the concert, there will much work to be done once the shows are over.
“All of this is going on while the production company comes in and takes down the stage so people will be there until at least two or three in the morning,” Fowler said.
No two years are the same in regards to the performances and the flow of the Homecoming Concert processes.
“You never know what you’re gonna get every year,” Fowler said.
GC student tickets are on sale now in the Campus Life Office. student Activities Center.
Scan the QR code for a 2019 GC Homecoming playlist
Top Photos courtesy of Harper Smith
Bottom photo courtesy of Jake Rogers