The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Spring Concert a success despite smaller crowd than last year

Students let loose to Gavin DeGraw and David Nail at Program Council’s spring concert Wednesday
Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus
David Nail.

David Nail. (Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus)

Mcfarlin Auditorium roared Wednesday night as students let loose to the beats of pop artist Gavin DeGraw and his opening act, country singer David Nail.

Program Council’s spring concert drew a crowd of around 600 people although more than 1,000 tickets were sold, according to Matthew Bolaños, Program Council vice president of communications. Ticket sales for DeGraw were around one-half of the 2,000 tickets sold for Ke$ha last year.

Sarah Kazmi, who works at the Mane Desk in the student center, said they sold more than 200 tickets on the day of the concert. Additionally, more than 100 tickets were sold at the door. Tickets were free to students and $10 for all others purchased with an SMU ID (faculty, staff and guests).

Progam Council started working in September to plan this year’s concert.

William Vonderfecht, Progam Council’s vice-president of finance, noted that this year’s budget process was somewhat different since Student Senate budgets for the spring semester are not released until November now, which impacted the time frame for the bidding process.

In previous years, Student Senate allocated annual budgets at the beginning of the school year, which for example enabled Progam Council to secure Ke$ha well in advance.

This year’s concert is projected to cost around $80,000 according to Vonderfecht. It will be paid for by money allocated to Progam Council by Student Senate and EPIC funding. Program Council secured the maximum amount EPIC funding allows ($5,000) and used it to pay for agent fees.

SMU has been working with Drew Pompilio of D Buyer, Inc. for six years now to find suitable artists to bring to campus based on availability and budget constraints. Pompilio serves as a middleman between agencies who represent artists and SMU. He compiled a list of options and presented it to SMU.

Courtney Blake Warren is a sophomore communications and pre-advertising major who currently interns for AEG Live Nation. On top of that, she is also Program Council’s concert chair. She felt that bringing DeGraw and Nail to campus was a good choice because DeGraw brought a pop culture appeal while Nail catered to country music fans.

“That was the best option,” said Warren.

Program Council President Elise McDonald explained that DeGraw and Nail were a package deal. They were also less demanding than Ke$ha with respect to last minute requests such as C02 tanks for glitter cannons.

“This has been nicer because the process has been easier, but it’s still the same caliber of artist,” McDonald said.

Cooper Brown, senior from Teague, Texas, wasn’t too familiar with Nail’s music, but said she listened to some of his more popular songs such as “Red Lights” and “Let It Rain” before the concert. On the other hand, DeGraw is a household name.

“I’ve loved Gavin since I was in junior high,” Brown said. “I went to Ke$ha last year, but I’m actually more excited about this one.”

Both Nail and DeGraw made a point to engage the crowd, specifically thanking the students who organized the event.

Nail joked about his experience visiting NorthPark Center, comparing himself to Julia Roberts walking down Rodeo Drive in Pretty Woman. He went on to reference the new show on ABC, ‘GCB,’ saying he felt like a “good Christian b*tch” in jest and told the audience he refused to pay $48 for a pair of dress socks at Neiman Marcus, eliciting boisterous laughs from the audience.

DeGraw continued the theme of southern hospitality on stage by thanking a Program Council member who drove him to his Dancing with the Stars practice, singing a special happy birthday song to a girl named Cory and making his way through the aisles of McFarlin during his performance. He ended the night with his current hit “Not Over You”- No. 25 on‘s Hot 100 rankings.

“Overall the night was amazing,” said Courtney Cross, a senior sociology major. 

Gavin DeGraw. (Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus)

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