Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 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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