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"N.E.R.D., Earthtone scheduled to rock Homecoming concert"

VERONICA GARABELLI - Associate Spectrum Editor
Issue date: 2/5/09

N.E.R.D. will perform at VCU's Homecoming concert Friday night at the Siegel Center with local band Earthtone opening.

More than 9,000 students voted in a VCU portal survey conducted in September by the Homecoming Committee. The survey asked students to pick from 10 bands they would like to see perform at homecoming. N.E.R.D. was the winner. T-Pain ranked in second place and M.I.A. in third, Homecoming Marketing Chair Jalyce Mangum stated in an e-mail.

According to interim program coordinator Krista Carson, students kept pushing for N.E.R.D. to perform after they had been a contender for last year's homecoming concert.

"They have a very diverse crowd," Carson said. Carson said tickets are selling very well so far.

"We are hoping to pack it out with at least 3,000 (people) and we're getting close to that," Carson said. According to Mangum, Earthtone was chosen to be the opening band by the Homecoming Committee.

"They are one of the most popular student bands at VCU," Mangum stated. "We wanted for them to have the opportunity to play for their peers in a large arena."

Earthtone member Brad "Oblivion" Caudle said he has been a fan of N.E.R.D. since the latter's 2002 release "In Search Of."

"It was definitely an honor to be recognized as talented enough to even open for them," Caudle said.

Jonathan "Jon Q" Quigley, a mass communications major and Earthtone member, said N.E.R.D. fans would enjoy what Earthtone has to offer.

"If N.E.R.D. was to go all-acoustic it would be a similar representation to what Earthtone is doing," Quigley said.

Brad Doggett, a sociology major and Earthtone member, said the band is looking forward to a fun show.

"We have never experienced anything like this in Richmond," Doggett said. "We're very pumped and hoping everybody comes

VCU Homecoming Concert 2009 begins Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $11 in advance for VCU students with a valid VCU ID, $21 for the public and $21 for everyone the day of the show. Tickets are available at the Siegel Center Box Office, Break Point, all Ticketmaster locations and by phone at 828-7267. - The Commonwealth Times

"Anniversary Rained on but not Rained Out"

Rain diminished the crowd at VCU's 40th anniversary celebrationat Monroe Park, but didn't stop dedicated fans from seeing their favorite local bands perform. The five participating bands were Becky Taylor & The Open Fire, Unheard Concept, Earthtone, Antero and The Taters.

"Thanks to everyone that voted for us and came out despite the rain," said Becky Taylor, lead singer of bluegrass group Becky Taylor & The Open Fire. The anniversary was a reunion for Taylor, who performed in Monroe Park in 1969 when she was a freshman at VCU studying English and creative writing. The band performed a bluegrass rendition of Bryan Adams' and Jim Vallance's "Summer of '69," as well as original songs.

East-end metal group Unheard Concept pumped up the sound and showcased an amazing chemistry on stage, constantly joking and singing to their loyal group of fans. Unheard Concept lead singer and business administration major Andrew Saunders embraced the rain, even when he slipped at one point during the show.

"Honestly, people are going to laugh and have a good time if you do something stupid and are OK with it yourself," Saunders said.

This was the group's first family-oriented show, and the members were conscious of the audience's reaction to their hard-core genre. In the end, Saunders was pleased with the diverse crowd.

"This was actually a big deal," Saunders said. "We don't have much of a VCU following. To get actually out here for a new market is great."

The biggest crowd emerged during Earthtone's soulful hip-hop set. An unscheduled group of mimes started dancing below the stage, which Earthtone's band members found particularly amusing.

Earthtone's manager, Meghan McCormick, drove out from her home state of New Jersey to watch the band. It performed last weekend for Howard University's homecoming-another sign of success for the band.

"I feel like their mom … I am so proud of them," McCormick said.

Sam Krivanec, bass player for reggae band Antero, watched Earthtone perform for the first time.

"I thought they were really good," Krivanec said. "It's good to have hometown talent out there."

Spectator Charles Hunter was on his way home from work and stopped when he heard Antero perform. Hunter said had it not been for his umbrella, he probably wouldn't have stopped.

"I just happened to have an umbrella," Hunter said.

Krivanec - a former VCU student - thought the rain affected the turnout rate, but was pleased with the mixed crowd of families, students and everyday park dwellers.

"It felt really good to be part of the celebration and have the opportunity to play in Monroe Park," Krivanec said.
- Commonwealth Times


Earthtone’s EP feature’s the following songs:
1) I Love Music
2) Ain't Nobody
3) Back to Life
4) Applications
5) I'll Be Okay




Believe it or not, it Earthtone credits their rapid momentum and growing fan base to member Brad Doggett’s MacBook laptop. With this laptop, the band has been able to create and upload videos to YouTube, featuring what they do best: making authentic music.

Motivated by the desire to bring quality and substance back to music, Earthtone is out to prove that hard work and persistence are the keys to staying above the curve in today’s new music industry.

Gracing the stages of Richmond, Virginia’s Canal Club, Toads Place, and River Jam, Earthtone has secured a solid fan base in their hometown, and are beginning to bring their message to fans worldwide. Recently, Earthone had the honor of performing at Howard University’s annual homecoming Yardfest.

Their fan base is constantly expanding thanks to MySpace and YouTube. With each member generating a combination of nearly 3 million views, Earthtone is hitting the ground running with an unquenchable thirst to share their passions with people everywhere.

The future of Earthtone is bright. As a up and comer in today’s industry, Earthtone is putting finishing touches on their debut EP at Main Street Studios, in Richmond, Virginia. Their EP, scheduled to drop late March, will feature a blend of musical genres ranging from melodic and acoustic sounds to catchy hip-hop beats (produced via their vocal percussionist/beatboxer, Jon Q).

Above all, Earthtone is a coalition of artists for change. Through their music, Earthtone works to bridge social, race, and gender gaps between people everywhere, creating a sound that is positive, fresh and enlightening.