As the announcement approaches for this year’s Campus Activities Board concert choice, students are anxiously waiting to hear that their favorite artist will make the trip to Vermillion to serenade USD. Students have the opportunity to choose which artist they want, and more than 1,000 votes have been cast. The options range from current Top-40 artists like DNCE, to country star Hunter Hayes and acoustic soloist Christina Perri.
None of these artists were on my personal playlist, so who better to objectively review these musical choices than yours truly? These musicians don’t really represent my favorite genre — indie stuff, one might say — so this took a bit of research on my part.
Christina Perri: She has a silky smooth voice, especially on her single “Jar of Hearts” which earned her plenty of mainstream fame in 2011. Her ballads are heartfelt and powerful, right for an angsty breakup or a cheesy tear-stained night drive, but for a huge CAB concert and a ton of money? I can’t imagine there would be a wealth of ticket sales for an acoustic artist like her.
MKTO: This duo plays simple, agreeable pop songs such as “Classic,” which a few of my peers seem to know, so I suppose that’s a good sign. Another song of theirs, “Thank You,” has a fun sound to it. Most of their stuff is just innocuous pop music that we could all get along with, so I imagine they would be an alright group to have here.
The All-American Rejects: This band has a somewhat apropos name, as they are a power-pop-punk group that makes music about being love-stricken teenage kids. No one seems to point to The All-American Rejects as their favorite band, as they are nationwide radio rejects. That being said, this would be a great group of people to have here. Even I admit that I will (ironically, of course) belt out the lyrics to their best-known song “Gives You Hell” with my friends when it comes on.
All Time Low: Attention USD Students: please don’t vote for this band. I’m sorry, but I really hate the pop punk genre — it’s terribly catchy and headache-inducing. I tried to give it a listen, but I just don’t like it. The music has emotion to it, which is what you want to hear, but the pop punk formula is just so similar no matter what the lyrics are or the chords or the tempo — it all just blends into one big terrible pop punk mess. Sorry.
Dustin Lynch: I tried to listen to some of his music and I must say I’m not much of a fan of country music. A lot of the music that gets played around campus doesn’t often fall into the country category either, so it must not be a well-liked genre in Vermillion. I think country belongs more to SDSU students than USD students. Next artist.
Iggy Azalea: First thing’s first, I don’t know why or how Iggy Azalea would come to South Dakota unless we dropped a large sum of Coyote Cash on her. Although it would be fun to rap along to “Fancy” in the audience, and there would be the potential of meeting her before or after the show, I don’t think she would be right for USD compared to the rest of the list. I also bet that she didn’t get a ton of votes from USD students, probably because she is a white, female artist in a genre that is dominated by men of color. Frankly, I’d rather have Iggy Pop than Iggy Azalea.
Hunter Hayes: This guy has been in South Dakota a few times. I believe he was at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls sometime in 2015 and then he was at one of the Sioux Empire Fairs — I remember hearing about some classmates throwing their bras onstage for that concert. I’m sure a show of his would receive similar enthusiasm here. His song “Wanted” certainly makes the ladies and a few gentlemen swoon, but I don’t feel it. He’s been to South Dakota already and I’m sure he will come back soon enough anyway, so maybe don’t vote for him for that reason.
SoMo: This guy is really smooth. I’ve heard about him coming to South Dakota before too, but I hadn’t listened to him before writing this review. I bet he got a lot of votes from fans of his soul/R&B smoothness; however, this is another artist whose music is just too slow and sensual for an exciting sort of CAB concert that everyone can enjoy a taste of.
Niykee Heaton: I’ve never heard of this woman before, but her music is decent. She has a voice like Christina Perri but with the soul of an R&B artist. Sadly, this is yet another artist whose music is too chill and slow for an exciting CAB concert.
T-Pain: I don’t know much about rap, but I at least know that T-Pain is a big deal. How did he get on this list and how does CAB plan to get him to play in South Dakota? He has to have received a lot of votes but I just don’t know if I can see him making the effort to come here. It would be cool if he did, though — I’m sure he would put on a good show. Who can pass up such hits as “I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper)” and “Booty Wurk (One Cheek At A Time)”?
Charlie Puth: This falsetto-singing sweetheart only has one album. How did he get on a list with T-Pain and A$AP Ferg? He must be a new artist so he might not have gotten many votes from students. He has kind of a quiet, high-pitched voice to him, and I don’t think he would make for a very exciting concert. My apologies, Mr. Puth.
Jesse McCartney: Where has this guy been for the last 15 years? I remember fangirling over him when I was a young lass listening to Radio Disney or whatever was cool back then. What is he doing now? Probably not coming to USD. But, it would be hilarious if he did. Please vote for him.
DNCE: Everyone loves their (only) song “Cake By The Ocean,” and if you don’t love it, you must be lying to yourself. It makes no sense whatsoever, but it’s dangerously catchy. They have very similar poppy high-pitched songs too, you just can’t go wrong there I guess. And, surprise: did you know DNCE had Joe Jonas in it? I didn’t know until I did some research. #BringTheJonasBrotherToVerm2K16
Mike Posner: This guy has that “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” song that everyone played all summer long. Right off the bat, this man is trying to be a bad influence for students, encouraging his listeners to take un-prescribed pills. Posner only has one song it seems, so don’t vote for him unless you really love that single. The vibe of the music is fun though, very electropop epic feels to it. Not my genre, but I can see students enjoying it and it would make for a fun concert.
A$AP Ferg: I’ve taken a bit of a secret poll and it seems that a lot of students think A$AP Ferg would be “lit,” as the kids are saying these days. His brand of East Coast rap gets a lot of airtime at parties and on those dance vine sensations. I even enjoy it, as someone who normally doesn’t understand rap. His song “New Level” has a lot to say about the state of being black in America right now, especially with all that is going on in the news in terms of racism and police brutality. I imagine CAB would have a hard time getting him to come to USD, though, but I can see this being a really good concert. Of all the options on the list, I think this one probably got the most votes.
I wish CAB would open up to a new option: Later Babes. They weren’t on the list of concert options, but they are a group of local artists who play electropop ripoff hip-hop rap remix music, so they could easily mix up all the songs that students want to hear from this list of artists while still putting on a really exciting show filled with bass and lighting design. That’s just how this reviewer sees it.
Students, it’s your civic duty to vote now. Hold your Campus Activities Board accountable. Rock on.