Whitties escape Walla Walla, hit summer concerts

caitlinhardee

Credit: Sloane

Though Whitman students may be stuck in the library’s silent reading room for the next couple weeks, there is a sound at the end of the tunnel: the end of the semester and the start of summer concert season.

Before escaping Walla Walla, students will have the opportunity to catch indie band Los Campesinos! with support act No Age  tonight,  May 6, in Reid. Post-semester, students will scatter across the country, and an infinite range of concert possibilities await.

First year Rachel Quednau is intending to hit up Chicago’s legendary music festival Lollapalooza, happening Aug. 6-8 in the Windy City’s Grant Park. Though enthusiastic, Quednau will have to make something of an odyssey to get there from her home city of Minneapolis, Minn.

“It’s like an eight hour drive,” she said.

Quednau is particularly stoked to see MGMT, but extolled the benefits of the festival environment, which allows attendees to catch a vast range of artists.

“It’s nice that you can just pay a certain amount and get to see a bunch of groups,” said Quednau. “And it’s not just the music; there’s food, shirts, stuff like that: and I find that you discover groups that you didn’t know before, because they just end up being there, and they’re smaller, unheard-of groups, but you just go to their show.”

Quednau, who does not have a car during the school year, is ecstatic to be returning to an urban music scene.

“I come from a big city, and there’s just music stuff happening all the time. And here, there’s nothing,” she said ruefully.

For more information on Lollapalooza and other major festivals, see the map (below, above / whatever).

Closer to home, a number of Whitties are waiting enthusiastically to see pop megastar Lady Gaga, appearing Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Tacoma Dome.

Sophomore Mehera Nori gushed over the artist’s impending appearance.

“I’m super excited,” said Nori, who is seeing Gaga in concert for the first time. “I love her.”

Nori, who proudly identifies as one of Gaga’s “little monsters,” explained the special qualities the popstar brings to her live shows.

“My favorite thing about her is that she’s always performing, and she always puts on a show,” said Nori. “So I’m really excited to see her perform musically, but also to see a show, a performance. Which is nice, because I’ve been to concerts where it’s just kind of dull, like you see them perform and it’s nice, but it’s a little boring to just watch them onstage.”

Sophomore Christa Heavey, also going to see Gaga, concurred.

“I just think she’s going to be a really exciting performer and really fun to watch,” said Heavey. “I’m going with a bunch of friends from Seattle.”

Heavey is also looking forward to catching the Goo Goo Dolls live in concert, on Sunday, May 30 in Kennewick, Wash.

“My sister and I have loved them since we were really young, so it’ll be exciting to finally get to see them play,” said Heavey.

For many students, the return to urban settings comes as a relief after months of limited options for musical entertainment. Nori expressed her feelings on Walla Walla’s musical offerings bluntly.

“Sad. It’s sad,” she said. “Being from the Seattle area, there’s so many options for musical performances, whether it’s a big performance at a stadium or just a small, local band playing in someone’s basement. We have Coffeehouse here, which is nice, but it’s not the same scene, it’s not the same atmosphere. So it’s really nice to go home for the summer, the music scene’s so much bigger and there’s way more things to see.”

Heavey agreed, but was philosophically zen about the college’s musical isolation.

“It would be more exciting if there were more concerts,” she said. “But if there is someone I really want to see, Seattle isn’t that far away.”

For Whitman students finishing the semester early, 30 Seconds To Mars and Paramore will be playing Seattle venues on Monday, May 10, and Wednesday, May 12, respectively.

Other notable musical options coming soon to the Northwest include 3OH!3 and Cobra Starship, Memorial Day Weekend’s dueling festivals of Sasquatch and Folklife, June appearances from Cute Is What We Aim For, Imogen Heap, Jeffree Star, rock gods U2 and visual kei legend Miyavi and August’s annual Warped Tour at the Gorge.