Listen Up!

Are you so excited about Sara Bareilles coming in December that you can’t wait until the show?! Well you’re in luck… UPB is hosting a Sara Bareilles Listening Party on Wednesday November 3rd from 11 am to 1 pm in TDU! This event will promote her concert by playing her songs, providing games for students to show just how much they know about her, and watch an acapella group (or two) perform her songs! This event is completely free and open for anyone to join for as long as you want! It’s right around the corner, so talk to your friends and other Sara fans, and come out to the Listening Party. It’s going to be a blast!

Look out for a Facebook event invite to “UPB Presents… The Wilson Concert Series feat. Sara Bareilles”!!! The show will be on Thursday December 2nd in Wilson Hall at 8 pm. Tickets go on sale just 2 days after the Listening Party—Friday November 5th at 8 am at the Warren Box office. Also look out for flyers posted around campus about ticket sales soon. UPB is extremely excited for both events and we know you are, too!! See you there!

~Katie Teague, Center Stage, Outreach Chair

Q&A with Casey Cavanagh

Last Friday, Casey Cavanagh and his band rocked the Wilson Hall stage when they opened for Cartel.  Afterwards, I had a Q&A with them to talk about their expereince, their band, and what it’s like to be both students and in a band:

UPB: How did you get involved with opening for Cartel?
Casey: It’s been a personal goal of the band to have the opportunity to open for a big UPB show. Ever since freshman year, it was something I have dreamed about doing. Everything just seemed to work out perfectly this time around. We were in the right place at the right time as a band and were honored to have an opportunity to open for a band like Cartel.

UPB: What was it like to open for them?
Casey: Speaking on behalf of the band, we had a BLAST opening for Cartel. Their genre of music really brings out some fun, energetic fans. We are a band that thrives off of audience interaction and energy and having people attentively listening and enjoying what we played was very humbling. We honestly were not expecting such a kind reaction, but when we stepped onstage, we got a round of applause and throughout the show, the crowd was so nice to us. I couldn’t stop smiling. We just had a great time up there. One of my favorite moments was when we covered the Band’s “The Weight.” It is a classic song that means a lot to the band but I was a little worried it would be the wrong type of show to play that song. I was wrong — by the end of the song, people were singing along with us. “Teenage Dream” was a last minute decision when we realized we had a few more minutes to play on stage. We figured since the crowd was so energetic throughout our own originals, they would react well to Teenage Dream. John sung the song while the rest of us hopped around stage. He is the next Katy Perry I think.
UPB: How do you like playing in Wilson?
Casey: I played an acoustic show without the rest of the band once in Wilson. It was a lot different because there wasn’t a pit. Having people right ON the stage made a huge difference in how we interacted with the crowd. Since they were looking straight up at us, it was easy to get people laughing and smiling and having fun with us. The acoustics in Wilson are fantastic as well. We owe the show’s success to the members of UPB and the wonderful crew that did our sound at Southerd Audio. They were so kind to us and really did an amazing job on the sound.

UPB: Did you listen to Cartel in the past?
Casey: I was the only member in the band that was a true fan of Cartel. In high school, I listened to Chroma on a regular basis. The whole experience was really surreal. When I first started writing music, that was a band that I looked to for inspiration. To open for them some years later was a big honor. They even started with my favorite song! –Lucky St.  After the show, we all stuck around to hear them and were blown away with how professional they were and how great everything sounded.

UPB: Is it difficult being a student and in a band?
Casey: We are all heavily involved with our majors, organizations as well as jobs and internships. Juggling all of that on top of a band is certainly a big challenge. It gets tiring and stressful at times, but once we step on stage, all of that goes away and we remember why we do what we do. Time management may be the greatest lessons that we have learned while being in a band during college.

UPB: Who are your music idols/ mentors?
Casey: Each one of us brings different influences to the table. That’s what makes us such a dynamic group. We all take from each of our influences and submerse them into our own sound that we’ve created. We each decided our top two influences. Keep in mind that these are just TWO of many for each of us. Casey: John Mayer and Tom Petty  John: Barenaked Ladies and Jimmy Eat World  Jeff: Elvis Costello and The Who  Sam: Ryan Adams and the Damnwells

UPB: What genre would you classify yourself in?
Casey: Rock and Roll with an Alt-Country flair and pop sensibilities.

UPB: What are your top hits/ favorite songs to play?
Casey: We are currently recording an EP that will debut this November. We are really excited about those tracks that we’ve recorded so far… “Coming Home” is currently on our Facebook and Myspace pages. “The Becoming” is another tune that will be on the new record. Sam, our drummer, wrote the song and sings it on the record as well. The EP is being recorded and produced by our own, John Giardinere. He is a jack of all trades. He not only plays great guitar in the band, he records, produces and engineers all of the songs on our new album. We’re lucky to have him in the band.

UPB:  Any upcoming shows?
Casey: After this weekend, we will have just played the Crozet Music Festival. This coming Thursday, we will be playing live at WXJM. That show can be streamed (starting at 8pm-10pm) at . We also have a gig at the Blue Nile on October 14. We will be playing two sets. One set will be original Casey Cavanagh Band material and the second will be all 90’s hits. It will be a very exciting show.


Casey Cavanagh Band
Casey Cavanagh: Vocals, Guitar
John Giardinere: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Sam Gillett: Drums, Vocals
Jeff Pober: Bass, Backing Vocals

How We Choose JMU’s Concerts

Hey JMU!  I’m Carrie Martin, the Coordinator of UPB.  During the summer, I work to get things prepared for when you get back in August.  Part of this responsibility includes working with the Center Stage committee to prepare the fall concert survey.  This summer, almost 6,000 of you took the survey to give us your input on whom to bring!  This organization has the responsibility to represent ALL student interests in programming choices, and this huge response on surveys definitely helps to make those decisions easier.  

I’ve noticed, however, that there are a lot of questions about how we make the survey and use the results.  Hopefully this blog post can clear some things up.  

  1. The artists who end up on the survey must meet a few qualifications.  First, they need to be within our price range.  Second, they have to be touring.  We can’t call them at home and ask them to come out just for us.  Third, they have to agree to tour college campuses, and some artists just won’t do it anymore 😦
  2. After we get the results of the survey we think about a lot of things.  Which genre is the most popular?  For every person who says, “If you pick another rap/hip hop artist to come to JMU for the Fall concert, I might consider getting a lobotomy” (actual quote), there is another person who says “no country” or “I’m sick of rock”.  Also, whom can we still afford now that a month has gone by and prices have changed (sometimes drastically)?  Are they available on the few dates that the Convo Center is also available?  There are very few artists that meet all of these qualifications.
  3. Part of our purpose is to bring fun things for you to do all year.  Sometimes I wish we could go all in and spend all the money on a huge artist, but we aren’t allowed to.  And if we could, what would you do for the rest of year?  Plus, I probably wouldn’t have a job anymore!
  4. I’m a fan of some underground bands too, and wish that everyone else shared that love.  However, we have to pick an artist who is going to sell at least 2,500 tickets just to make some of our money back (we never make a profit, and don’t try to).  

Finally, I wanted to give some feedback on some of the survey suggestions we have received:

  • “Dave Matthews Band”, “Lady Gaga”, “Dane Cook”, “Taylor Swift” and others are WAY out of our price range.  These artists typically won’t play college dates either.  Sorry!
  • “Outdoor concert PLEASE!” Due to the outdoor sound policy, we are limited on the times we can hold an outdoor concert.  Since you can’t charge for tickets to an outdoor concert we couldn’t afford a huge artist.  However, we can definitely think of smaller acts for a fun, free outdoor show (and hope for no rain!)
  • “You should offer more floor seats! You had plenty of room left at the Wale Concert!”  We wish we could.  However, we are limited by fire safety guidelines to only 544 tickets.
  • “More Jersey Shore cast” I’m assuming you attended Snooki, and I’m glad you liked it!  But I think we’ll avoid that kind of controversy this year 🙂
  • “The 7th Harry Potter movie at Grafton before it comes out in theatres.”  I WISH.  Wouldn’t it be great if the international premiere was in the ‘burg?  Haha…
  • Finally, “Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Tupac, Janis Joplin, GREMLINS ON THE WINGS OF LOVE.”  Funny!

 There are a TON of great suggestions that we definitely keep in mind.  THANK YOU for such creative ideas – it keeps my job really exciting!  As you continue to think of more, please let us know.  You can always email new event ideas to, become our fan on Facebook and write on our wall, and tweet at us on Twitter!  Keep your eyes open for the fall concert announcement over the next couple months – I promise to try to get someone great!


Cartel at JMU!

Cartel, the first act in the Wilson Concert series, is set to perform THIS FRIDAY, September 24 at 8 p.m. By doing three Wilson shows we are breaking UPB tradition a little bit. Why not break it a little bit more?

For past Wilson shows we have received a variety of complaints ranging from not being able to stand on the floor in front of the stage to not being able to see from some seats.  Being an organization with JMU students’ best interests in mind, we realized it’s time to make some changes.

First, every ticket sold for the concert will be general admission. Instead of searching for your seats and missing valuable show time, now you may sit wherever you please. Whether you prefer the full and complete sound that comes from sitting farther away, or you prefer the up-close and personal approach that comes from sitting closer, we feel this is advantageous for everyone.

Now clearly, the earlier you arrive the better chance you have of getting your seat of choice. So for the most dedicated fans, we are allowing a limited number to stand on the floor area right in front of the stage. If you are one of the first 75 people in line, you will receive a wristband to stand in this coveted area at no extra charge. Wilson Hall, being a place of JMU business, cannot have people lined up throughout the day so the line will begin at 5 p.m. sharp, the day of the show.

Unfortunately we cannot allow more than 75 in the floor area, but remember any ticket can be as good a seat as you want it to be! Good luck!

Tickets are available for $15 with a JAC and $17 for everyone else at the Warren Box Office and online at

~Steven Butler, Center Stage Committee Member

Cartel Tickets On Sale Tomorrow!!!

As you all know, Cartel is the first featured artist of this semester’s Wilson Concert Series.  And tickets go on sale TOMORROW, Friday, September 10th at 8 AM at the Warren Hall Box Office and online at!!!  Tickets are $15 with your JAC card and $17 for the public.

In the mean time, enjoy their most recent video, Let Go.

The Wilson Concert Series!

UPB is proud to announce our newest fall-semester concert series in Wilson Hall Auditorium featuring pop-rock artists Cartel, hip-hop sensation B.o.B., and pop singer Sara Bareilles!

At 8pm on Friday, September 24, the Wilson Concert Series will make its premiere with Cartel.  The band has toured the world over, from Tokyo to Toronto to Brisbane and Bristol, has had over 36 million MySpace plays, as well having their own MTV mini-series, Band in a Bubble, which chronicled the recording of their second album.  Cartel has also amassed coverage in Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, USA Today, and the New York Times.

The concert series will continue all semester long with B.o.B. performing on October 28th, and Sara Bareilles warming us up on December 2nd.

Keep checking back for more behind-the-scenes looks at how we plan the shows!  But for now, enjoy Cartel’s video for “Honestly.”