The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 37.0°F | A Few Clouds

Live Will Headline 2004 Spring Weekend Concert

By Pon-Pon Yeh

Rock band Live will be the main event at MIT’s annual Spring Weekend Concert this year, with rap artist Slick Rick as the opening act.

This year’s concert will be held on Saturday, April 24, in the Johnson Athletic Center.

The concert is open to MIT and 15 other colleges around the area, though the focus is on a “predominant MIT audience” said Jacob A. Wronski G, Spring Weekend Committee co-chair.

Survey helps select bands

A Spring Weekend Committee of about 17 students selected jointly by the Undergraduate Association and the Graduate Students Council has been planning Spring Weekend since fall. The committee “started the selection process with a survey,” said Wronski. The survey asked students to rank their music genre preferences.

The ‘rock’ genre topped the results of the survey with about 40 percent of survey takers indicating it as their favorite, said Wronski. ‘Hiphop’ was the second most preferred genre.

These results were used to make a list of about 40 bands. This list was then narrowed down to five bands based on the Spring Weekend budget and the ability of the name of the band to draw a large enough crowd, Wronski said.

For the opening act, the Spring Weekend Committee preferred a hip hop act or group because they “really wanted to acknowledge that hiphop was the second most popular genre on the survey” said Wronski.

In addition, hip hop was chosen to offset the predominantly rock music of Live because the committee “wanted to give a balanced show” said committee member Neha R. Bhooshan ’04.

According to Bhooshan, the decision to bid for Live was made in January, and confirmed before the end of IAP. Earlier, the committee had put out a bid for the hip hop group Dilated Peoples, but were unable to strike a deal. The bid for Slick Rick went out about two weeks ago, and was confirmed earlier this week.

Groups have produced many hits

The name Live “came from a dream where Chad Taylor [lead vocals] saw a ‘live’ on a hat,” said Live drummer Chad Gracey in an interview with The Tech. From those humble beginnings, Live got their first record deal in 1991 and have been churning out hits ever since such as “Lightning Crashes” and “All Over You.” The band’s music is an “intense, passionate, basic rock ’n roll” said Gracey.

Live has been “resting currently” said Taylor, but they intend to tour this summer starting with a mini-tour of the north east covering Cambridge, New York, and Atlantic City.

Live is excited about performing at a small venue such as MIT, Gracey said. “Small venues are more intense. Everyone is more close together and the music is more intimate.”

Slick Rick, born as Richard Walters and better known as Doug E. Fresh’s vocal partner in the Get Fresh Crew, has made a career on such hits as “The Show” with Fresh and his own 1999 album “The Art of Storytelling.” Slick Rick has frequently appeared in songs with other artists such as Jam Master Jay, Aaliyah, Outkast, and The Rock.

Other events planned for weekend

In addition to the Concert, other Spring Weekend Events include the International Fair, the Alpha Chi Omega Lip Sync, and barbeques in Kresge Oval and Sidney-Pacific Graduate Residence.

Wronski said the committee is in the process of planning other events which may include a movie night under the auspices of the Lecture Series Committee, a carnival on Kresge Oval, a Habitat for Humanity work day, and dance seminars.

Students react positively to choice

Several students expressed excitement about the lineup for the concert.

“I'm pretty psyched about Live playing here” said Kartik S. Lamba ’04, “and I hope they play a lot of their older music.”

Gregor B. Cadman ’06 was also excited by the news: “That’d be awesome. I really like Live. When can I get tickets?”

While tickets are not yet on sale, Bhooshan said she expects the committee’s Web site (http://web.mit.edu/spring/www/) to go live and vend tickets within two weeks. Prices will be $10 for MIT students and $12 for non-MIT students.