Scrolling Headlines:

UMass professor wins big on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 23, 2017

SGA president selects new vice president -

January 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball blows 15 point fourth quarter lead, loses in double overtime to George Washington -

January 23, 2017

UMass club hockey falls to NYU 3-2 in first game back from vacation -

January 23, 2017

Cyr: Expectations for UMass men’s basketball remain consistent throughout 2016-17 season -

January 23, 2017

The death penalty is not the answer -

January 23, 2017

Donald Trump is gutting journalism with his Twitter -

January 23, 2017

Winter break’s most overlooked releases -

January 23, 2017

Hardly anything in ‘Rogue One’ scores a direct hit -

January 23, 2017

Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

Nirvana by a 'Riverfront'

It doesn’t get much better than this for a music fan. The 2009 Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival had the perfect summertime festival vibe, taking place under warm, sunny skies; complete with blankets, coolers and red cups. Although the crowd probably still would have had a good time if the editors of The Daily Collegian had done a few songs, the performers of the day – Katie Herzig, the Sam Roberts Band, Eric Hutchinson and Fastball – only enhanced the festival.

The concert started at 2 p.m. with singer/songwriter Katie Herzig playing in front of a packed lawn. It was clear that most of the crowd had never heard of Katie Herzig, but her music has been featured on “One Tree Hill” and “My Sister’s Keeper,” among other movies and TV shows. Despite this, Katie managed a set that was pleasant and fit the laid-back vibe of the festival. At this point the concert still felt like a picnic, and the crowd had less energy than a La-Z-Boy convention.

Fortunately, the Sam Roberts Band was able to change that. A popular band in Canada, the Sam Roberts Band was next to take the stage. The band just looked like a rock band. From the energetic lead singer clad in tight clothes to the enigmatic guitarist, the Sam Roberts Band gave the audience a favorable first impression. Their set did not disappoint either, and a passion-drenched performance of “Them Kids” was particularly memorable. A throwback to an earlier era, the Sam Roberts Band is a lesser-known band that deservers recognition in an age where modern rock bands unfortunately sound very similar.

Even with the great performance by the Sam Roberts Band, it was obvious who most of the crowd had showed up for. When Eric Hutchinson took the stage, he looked more like the captain of Amherst College’s chess team than a performer. But he quickly erased any doubts, playing through his entire CD, “Sounds Like This.” Combining humor, musical talent and the ability to get the crowd to participate in his songs, Mr. Hutchinson is clearly a gifted performer. If you have not heard of him, he is an artist that you need to check out immediately. As he left the stage, a middle-aged couple whispered excitedly to each other, “He is the next John Mayer!”

Though Fastball had to follow Eric Hutchinson’s monster set, they took it in stride as they launched into their extensive catalog, including mega hits like “You’re an Ocean,” “The Way” and “Out of my Head.” The crowd was eager to participate in these bits of nostalgia, but much less so with Fastball’s new material. People who liked Fastball in the 90s may find something to like on their new album, but they are not likely to make any new fans with it.  Regardless, Fastball was able to close out a very successful day that seemed to have everything go right. Simply put, the festival was a small piece of musical nirvana.

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