BY DREW LACOUTURE
The Student Organization of Activity Planning (SOAP) hosted their fall concert with performers Eric Paslay along with Love and Theft on Thursday, Nov. 30.
The concert was held at Holloway Hall and was attended by eager fans of the artists and country music in general.
This is the first fall concert Salisbury University has had since 2013 when the reggae band Rebelution performed to a sold out audience.
SOAP wanted to bring the fall concert back to help raise awareness of Gullfest, which is scheduled for May 6 of this upcoming spring semester.
Country duo Love and Theft opened the show with a set list of songs both old and new. The duo consists of Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles. They played acoustic guitars, but had their pianist and drummer to make the songs feel like the original recorded versions.
The duo not only performed their biggest songs like “Angel Eyes” and “Candyland” but also performed several covers including David Lee Murphy’s “Dust on the Bottle” and Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”
During the first three songs, the crowd was sitting down in their seats. It was clear that the crowd wanted to stand up like they would in most country concerts.
Thankfully, when the front row of students jumped from their seats everyone immediately followed.
Love and Theft also performed a song from their new album which is scheduled to be released in 2018. While nobody knew the words, people were still having the time of their lives because the song was very impressive.
One thing that could not be ignored was that the two are not only great performers but also great singers with both of them harmonizing perfectly.
“This is our first time performing on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. We have performed in Delaware a couple of times but we are happy to be here,” said Eric Gunderson of the duo. “Sometimes Eric Pasley opens for us and sometimes we open for him. We actually wrote ‘Angel Eyes’ together a couple years back,” said Stephen Barker.
Eric Pasley soon followed and was accompanied by his backup band. He too performed his biggest hits like “She Don’t Love You” and “Friday Night.”
He also performed several songs that he wrote for other artists like Eli Young Band’s “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.”
The crowd loved every moment of his performance, so much so that half the crowd transitioned right below the stage between two of his songs.
“I forgot that I was in a university building at certain points of the show because the lights and sound made it feel like I was at an actual country concert,” said senior social work major and country music fan Katie Kirby. “I think it would be awesome to have a pop singer along with a country star for Gullfest in the Spring.”
Paslay’s show ran much more like a rock ‘n’ roll concert for he not only covered the Rolling Stones song “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” but his charismatic lead guitarist, bassist and drummer had their own solos, personalities and vocal parts.
Paslay and his band performed an encore, and stayed and to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. The other members met with fans as well and were incredibly friendly to the fans.
While the attendance was not as strong as hoped, the concert was enjoyable and the students there enjoyed every minute of it.
All things considered, this was a good preview of what is to come for Gullfest in the Spring. The announcement of who will be performing on May 6 will not be for a while. This gives SOAP plenty of time to discuss what genre and artist will be best.
Hopefully the fall concert can become a tradition. Those that attended will certainly miss it if falls by the wayside.