We the Kings and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals keep UMass up late

By Acacia DiCiaccio

Courtesy Facebook

The University of Massachusetts’ First Week is always an exciting experience for students. It provides students a chance to get back into the groove of the exciting part of college. There is normally free food. Fraternities and sororities are seeking out fresh recruits. To a lot of freshmen, his week can be a crucial time to make friendships and overcome nervousness.

This year, UMass has bumped up its Fall musical standards and is throwing a concert only for UMass students, featuring We the Kings. As seen by the Spring Concerts of years past, our student body knows how to have a good time, and this year it should be no different.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals will be the opening act. The band, which released its first album in 2005, is up-and-coming on the indie scene and has been featured in “Grey’s Anatomy” and even on the cover “White Rabbit” on the Alice in Wonderland soundtrack. You may also recognize the band if you saw Dave Matthews Band in 2008; they opened for three shows in Massachusetts and New York.

At this show, they will be promoting their latest self-titled album, which was released in this past June. Grace Potter’s talent is impossible to overlook. Her incredibly soulful voice is reminiscent of the likes of Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, but is still relevant to today’s sound. The band, referred to as “The Nocturnals,” also contributes a variety of sounds – a mixture of rock, soul and blues. The songs on the album range from upbeat rocking guitar solos to exhibits of Grace’s pure, smooth, sexiness. This unique band should be a crowd pleaser even for those who have never heard of them before.

Headlining the show is power-pop band We the Kings, who found their fame via the Warped Tour scene. Their sound is similar to bands such as All Time Low and Boys Like Girls, and are well known for their hit single, “Check Yes Juliet.” We the Kings is currently promoting their latest release, “Smile Kid.”

Their romantic new single, “We’ll Be a Dream,” features Disney star Demi Lovato and promises to have the audience gushing. Most of their music is upbeat and encourages sing-a-longs, so attendees are sure to be spending ample time on their feet.

The concert takes place at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10 in the Fine Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at the FAC box office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. With ticket prices on the rise, seeing a concert for only $10 a ticket is inarguably a great deal. Just take note that the event is for UMass students only, and only you can purchase your own ticket with a valid student ID.

Even if you do not know the bands very well, the performance should definitely be an entertaining one and would be a shame to miss. It’s a great opportunity for something to do on a Friday  before the night really begins. If you are a freshman, this will be an excellent way to both meet new people and also take advantage of what is undoubtedly this year’s biggest First Week event.

Acacia DiCiaccio can be reached at [email protected]