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Atmosphere of brotherly love: CSU-Pueblo’s fall concert

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A mixture of rap, hip-hop, rock and punk was heard at the Colorado State Fair Events Center on Monday, Sept. 6, as Colorado State University-Pueblo presented their fall concert with featured artists Sean Kingston and the Gym Class Heroes.

Both GCH and Kigston, who was booked collaboratively with GCH as a single act, inspired enthusiasm from the audience with dancing on the floor and loud singing of verses, as well as audience participation.

“I want you to turn to the person next to you, and whether you know them or not, I want you to give them the biggest hug you’ve ever given anyone in your whole life,” said Travis McCoy, lead vocals for the Gym Class Heroes.

Travis McCoy, lead vocals for Gym Class Heroes, entertains the crowd while playing at the Colorado State Fair Events Center, Photo by Alex Lannon

McCoy also told the audience that GCH has been around for over 12 years. The group originally began, what they refer to as “the project” in 1997, but didn’t sign their first album, “For The Kids,” until 2001, according to their website, gymclassheroes.com.

During an interview before the concert, Matt McGiney, drummer for GCH, said that he and McCoy began the band in high school, playing at small gigs and passing out CDs to their friends’ or at parties.

“The music alone is what helped break Gym Class Heroes” McGiney said.

He said their CD just happened to fall into the right hands, according to a press release about the concert, Cora Zaletel wrote that those hands were of  “Ramen and Decaydance Records, Fall Out Boy’s bassist, Pete Wentz’s, own independent record label, on which they released the gold-selling album “As Cruel as School Children.”

The GCH has put out five CDs throughout their career, with their newest being released in 2008, and, McCoy said the band hopes to have one out by next year.

However, the band admits that because of side projects they each have committed to — McCoy’s solo career, and Eric Roberts, bassist for GCH, working with keyboardist Tyler Pursel, on their project the Willing Sword — they said the band hasn’t had a lot of time to practice together or work on new material. However, McCoy said he is looking forward to taking a break away from the road to do so.

“(Gym Class Heroes) it’s definitetly the project I see myself growing old with,” McGiney said when asked how long they planned to work together as a band. Yet, McCoy said the band hadn’t preformed as GCH for over a month before their Denver performance, the concert that preceded the concert at the Colorado State Fair.

However, the band said they were excited to be performing together and were enjoying the State Fair, sarcastically adding that “it has a lot of interesting smells.”

The artists were booked in late July, said Nicky Damania, director of Student Activities at CSU-Pueblo, and were chosen by CSU-Pueblo’s Associated Students Government, who he said did a survey of the students, “kind of.”

Audience screaming and cheering as Gym Class Heroes enter the stage. Photo by Alex Lannon

However, Sean Kingston and Gym Class Heroes were not the first choice of ASG. Damania said the Office of Student Activities, who is responsible for the fall concert booking, first tried booking pop star Keisha, and then Josh Turner, but, Damania said both of those artists were already booked during the time slot.

The Office of Student Activities then booked Sean Kingston and Gym Class Heroes as a collaborative single act through the State Fair’s booking company Romeo’s, Damania said. This allowed for better pricing, he said, and less of the hassle of handling the booking themselves (Office of Student Activities).

“By going through the State Fair, the university will limit its expenses on security, promotion, logistics, etc., while securing a larger venue,” Zaletel wrote in her press release. “While the State Fair is assured of a popular act as its finale, meaning the potential for increased attendance.”

Damania said floor tickets were sold to students for $5 to accommodate for the fees of a day shuttle to pick up students from CSU-Pueblo and take them to the State Fair every 30 minutes the day of the concert. However, only enough tickets were sold to fill the Events Center half-full , and despite the tight crowd squeezed close together only about 1,500 students filled the floor.

Yet,the Gym Class Heroes were able to keep their audience entertained all the way to the end, while screams for an encore filled the Events Center.