From some of the grumblings around campus, it seems as though quite a few people are upset about Gym Class Heroes playing for the Spring Fling concert. In some ways, this is completely understandable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the best out of it.
It is true that students have a right to be a bit upset – after all, Gym Class Heroes wasn’t even on the ballot; they haven’t had a CD come out since 2008; they’re not Phoenix. Yes, perhaps All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) could have done a better job informing the student body of the difficulty they were having booking any of the bands on the ballot. Perhaps those with concerns could’ve gone to meetings to suggest different options. Personally, I can think of a few bands that would’ve been more in line with what the campus voted for. However, ACE didn’t inform anyone about anything, so people are upset. Sure, I heard a few rumors that they couldn’t get Phoenix or Pitbull, but I thought that if these rumors were true, they would tell people. Part of the problem might be that some people don’t know much about ACE. Until this whole Gym Class Heroes thing occurred, I didn’t know anything about them. I never saw when or where their meetings were held; I pretty much thought that an ACE position was something you had to be nominated for. I had never heard of a listserv for it or anything, I just knew that its members occasionally put their names on posters for events.
It isn’t that ACE’s job is easy. In high school I put on a lot of concerts for class fundraisers. I understand how hard it is to book bands and negotiate prices. So I do understand how difficult it is for ACE to put together Spring Fling. However, by disregarding the votes and choosing a band that is nothing like the winning band (Gym Class Heroes is not a replacement for Phoenix), ACE has made people unhappy. This mistake could have been avoided if ACE had been more open with what was happening.
That all said, I love Gym Class Heroes. I’ve seen them three times in concert and stolen the set list from each show so I could have the group autograph them. I have pictures with every member of the band. Was I excited when I found out they were playing? Not really, as I wanted something new. I was disappointed at first, but after thinking about it a little more the choice started to make some sense. Mainly, ACE wants to put on a fun show. ACE wants people to dance and enjoy themselves. Arguably, people wouldn’t have been able to do this with some of the other choices on the ballot. Ben Folds puts on a great concert, but when I’ve seen him it’s usually been a sit-down affair, not the sweaty, dirty dancing experience that I want at Spring Fling. Also, no offense to the venues at Williams, but I don’t want to see The Flaming Lips in a gym. Yes, they’re amazing, but some bands are just meant to be seen in huge auditoriums with crowds of people.
So, when we consider Gym Class Heroes, it’s worth noting that they’re very good at working the audience no matter the venue. Whether it’s Warped Tour or a small Chicago bar, they give it their all. They’re going to put on a fun show and if you get over the fact that they’re associated with Fall Out Boy or Pete Wentz and just enjoy it, you’ll have a great time. Their concerts have provided some of my best memories, which range from Travis jumping into a crowd of eager fans to their death metal covers complete with blood capsule effects. And personally, I’ve missed the loud crazy concerts I used to go to back home and I’m excited to have that experience here. However, if you don’t share this desire, don’t go. Having a bunch of “Debbie downer” whiners isn’t going to enhance the experience for anyone.