Taking place this Thursday, May 2, at seven o’clock in the Howell High School auditorium the band and choir are going to be putting on their annual Collage Concert. It is a highly anticipated part of each school year and even people completely unattached to either the band or choir attend for just the sheer joy and excitement it brings.
There will be no ticket fee but a $5 donation is suggested to get into the show. Unlike any other concerts the school puts on, the Collage Concert is arranged so there is no applause in between each set. One set performs under a spotlight with everything surrounding them dark. Once they are finished the light shuts off and immediately is put on the next set so it is one continuous array of music.
Although the set up is very captivating and exciting, it is a lot of work simply to just get in a workable order. With many students in multiple sections of choir and band or even participating in both choir and band, it is quite the task for both Mr. Rod Bushey, choir director, and Mr. Jason Smigell, band director, to arrange the order of the sets that play as so that students in multiple sets don’t have an accidental back-to-back performance.
This concert is an amazing blend of the HHS choirs and bands. It will be featuring the best musicians in our department. This concert has become an expected “opportunity for our best players to be showcased,” said Smigell.
The top choirs involved are the A Cappella choir as well as the three Choral groups: Calamity, Classicality, and the Highlander Chorale. The sections of the band involved is, of course, the top band – the Wind Ensemble, as well as percussion, a blue grass band, a jazz band and each individual who performed well at festival and received a score of one. All the groups playing consist of individuals who qualify at state level, not including the many more students who do qualify as well but could not be fit into the already extremely full concert.
“Great collaboration,” said Bushey. “It was grown over the years in quality and variety.”This year both the choir and band will be showing off some new things they haven’t done yet throughout their concerts, adding a new thrill to the show. This concert truly is considered the best of the year and never fails to impress the audience that turns out. Every year there are always new discoveries made, whether it is a band parent seeing the choir for the first time or vice versa. This concert absolutely is worth coming to.”
“The coolest thing is you get to have both vocal and instrumental,” said Smigell, “It’s all put in one place and is on one stage. People should come because it’s like ‘band and choirs greatest hits of 2013.’”
Most seniors tend to take easier classes their last year of high school, giving themselves an easy load to finish off the twelve years that have started to drag. For senior Sarah Kenney, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
“I don’t have any spare time,” she laughs as she brushes her hair back behind her ear and pauses for a moment. “No, I really don’t.”
While blow-off classes are tempting for the last semester of school, Kenney’s schedule consists of just the opposite. AP English, AP Comparative Government, AP Statistics, and Spanish IV make up her core classes, plus Wind Ensemble (the school’s advanced band).
“My only easy class is Anatomy,” she says with another laugh. Kenney also participates in We the People, and will be participating in the national competition in April.
Kenney’s main focus is music. She has played trombone for seven years and is second chair in Wind Ensemble. She played a trombone solo at District Solo & Ensemble last month and got a 1 (the highest possible score), which qualified her to go to states, at which she got a 1 again.
“I want people to know that I’m into music before they know anything else,” says Kenney.
Kenney’s loaded class schedule is not without cause. She will be attending Michigan State University in the fall, where she’ll be majoring in Political Science: Pre-Law. “I don’t know what I’ll do. I could be a paralegal, and then a lawyer, and then maybe run for office. I’ll probably end up a lawyer though.”
MSU will also offer her a chance to audition for the marching band, which she’ll do in June.
Though senior year is a time when it’s easy for a student to zone out and lay low, Sarah Kenney is still going strong and ready to embrace her future.
When people typically think of a marching band, they think of a bunch of musicians dressed in quirky outfits parading on the football fields during halftime at each football game. Some see the marching band as a form of entertainment; others see the band as a group of dedicated musical performers. There are those who take the role of being in a marching band very seriously, and just recently discoveries have been made that there are some participants whose hearts are not fully invested in the sport, due to prior complications and “forced agreements.”
American sportswriter and novelist Frank Deford released a commentary on NPR on March 13 called “School Bands Should Not Be Entertainment Adjunct For Sports”, where he addressed the issue of high school students being forced to join marching band against their own will. He brought up the case of Lisa Chismire, the parent of a high school band student in Pennsylvania. Being a former lawyer, Chismire was irked when her student had to join the marching band at the school in order to be a part of the rest of the musical programs. Chismire found it to be appalling, and she took the issue to court. As anyone would have guessed because of her prior experience in law, she won the debate and got the school to change its policy on students who are interested in becoming a part of the music program, whether it be marching band or a concert band of sorts.
Even though that Pennsylvania high school changed its policy, a good portion of high schools across the nation still have that marching band requirement tied to their band programs. Being a participant in the marching band program here at HHS, I’ve come to find out that a good majority of the high schools here in Michigan require their musicians to participate in marching band as well as another music course in order to do either of them. Howell is not one of those schools. Here at HHS being in the marching band is an opportunity that students can choose to take. Students in the band program can take just marching band, just a concert band, or both. Sometimes being in the marching band can interfere with work, sports, and personal schedules; other times it can just be out of one’s element.
The HHS marching band has 125 members this year, making it one of the largest the school has ever had. Being in marching band involves attending the summer band camp in August, participating in the home football games, taking part in local parades, and playing at the occasional pep assembly. Ask any of us “bandos” and we’ll tell you that joining marching band voluntarily has been one of the best decisions ever made. With the choice of joining comes discipline, pride, a sense of unity, and a feeling of belonging, which only come from dedicated students participating.
Senior Julia Viel looks back on her experiences with the HHS marching fondly, saying, “I’m so happy I ended up joining the marching band. I never knew what I was missing out on until I actually attended a rehearsal. I love the dedication and the discipline, and I’m definitely going to miss it!”
On the flipside, at some other schools, the students involved in the marching band sometimes feel as if the requirement is too much. Brian Ferro, a high school senior from Forest Hills Eastern in Grand Rapids, has been a part of his high school’s marching band for four years now.
“I have been playing the saxophone since middle school, and I obviously wanted to keep the tradition going in high school, so I signed up for high school band and later found out I was automatically put into the marching band program as well and it kind of threw me for a loop. It’s tough trying to maintain my grades, a job, jazz band, concert band, and marching band, but eventually I grew to love it anyway. Sometimes though, I wish I still had a choice.” Ferro explained.
In response to the Deford commentary as well as Chismire’s actions taken against the school, some parents and dedicated marching band members have expressed their concerns against having marching band become a choice rather than a requirement. Since many schools in the country have very serious competing marching bands, some schools find it completely necessary to have marching band become a requirement in order to acquire enough members to compete. HHS marching band is not competitive, which is another reason why marching band is a choice; we don’t take it to that level.
An anonymous person replied to the online commentary disagreeing with Chismire saying, “The majority of our trips are to marching competitions, which have nothing to do with football (other than the “other” activity that happens before and after our show Friday night). There are few other activities where hundreds of students can move as one body. A concert band simply can’t accommodate 300 students like a marching band can. A sports team CERTAINLY can’t. This experience is valuable to a student.”
All in all, from my personal experiences as well as the majority of the marching band members, we believe that participating in marching band should remain a choice. We see it as a sport with a team involved, just as any other athlete would. As we all know and come to find out, if a team member’s heart isn’t fully invested in the sport, then why are they there in the first place? A team works best when every member wants to be there and wants to take action. By making marching band a choice instead of a requirement, it would allow more success to be made and the performances would be better because the participants would actually want to partake in the wondrous thing that is marching band.
Describing himself as being “calm, cool, and collected”, senior Cameron Pratt strives to be as nice as possible and to treat people with respect. However, he also finds enjoyment in playing music.
“I’d figure it’d be something fun to do,” says Pratt. “It ended up becoming a big part of my life.
His newfound passion for music started when he was in sixth grade. Wanting to try something new in his life, he decided to join band, a choice he would soon learn to love.
Right now he plays the trombone and is first chair in the wind ensemble band class. He has been first chair since his junior year, after the trombone player next to him graduated from high school.
“Being first chair fulfills a lot of leadership skills and requires a lot of responsibility,” says Pratt.
When Pratt was in eighth grade, he had the option of adding more music into his life, when the Howell High School marching band visited Highlander Way Middle School and allowed interested band students to perform with them during a high school football game pre-show. They do this almost every year. Finding it very fun, Pratt decided to join.
He describes that the best part about being in the marching band was all the friends he made while attending band camp every summer. At his last trip, he actually won a marching competition that they hold there. The whole point of the competition was for the marching students to follow commands that were shouted to them. While in the last round, with only sixteen left, Pratt was the only one to follow what seemed to be a hard command and ended up winning first place.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Pratt with a smile. “I actually won. It felt good, especially since it was my last year.”
When it comes to music he likes to play, Pratt says it’s hard to pick. This musician is fond of playing everything. This is also true for the music he listens to when he isn’t playing his designated music.
Apart from band, Pratt also enjoys spending time with friends and family. He has two older brothers, Derek and Jarod, with whom he has a close relationship. Although they live lives of their own, he gets to see them and talk to them fairly often.
When it comes to his friends, he often plays Magic the Gathering with them, a hobby he picked up about three years ago.
“I like this game because it involves mental strategy and is always changing,” said Pratt.
After high school, he plans on attending Saginaw Valley State University. Although he isn’t sure exactly what he wants to go into, he will keep music a part of his life by being in the marching band there.
Whatever he decides to do, nothing can keep him from his true passion – playing music. He considers it his life and tends to keep it that way.
“I would say the best part of band is being able to work in a tight-knit group, having creative power, and being able to be so expressive,” says Pratt.
The HHS drama department will be presenting Fiddler on the Roof on March 8, 9 and 10. This performance will be including theater students as well as the band students. All of the music needed for this play will be performed by the pit orchestra. The 17 musical students either volunteered or were recruited. Band teacher, Mr. Jason Smigell, is the music director of the play.
“The pit is a very taxing job for students,” Smigell says.
The music the pit will be performing is the same music performed by professionals so the students must work very hard to get the music right. “The musical is a challenge because it is so long. It is probably the longest concert they will ever do unless they play another pit,” Smigell says.
The students are the only ones playing in the pit besides Mrs. Diane Ives, the piano accompanier. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without her,” Smigell says.
The first piece the pit will be playing is the song “Tradition”, which most agree is the hardest piece out of the whole musical. “It freaked us out at first,” Smigell says.
Cameron Pratt is a senior at HHS and trombone player in the pit. “This is my second pit. I was in Brigadoon last year,” Pratt says. Pratt really enjoys when his hard work is worth it. “The performance is the best part. It’s really nice to see our hard work pay off,” Pratt says.
Charley Garlock, a sophomore and flute player in pit, also played in Brigadoon last year and Fiddler will be her second pit. Unlike others in the pit Garlock will be switching instruments. “I switch instruments from the flute to the piccolo,” Garlock says.
Garlock is also the youngest player on first part. “I am the only sophomore on first part and I’ve been on it for two years,” Garlocks says. Garlock has been in band for five years now and plans to keep up her band career for the future.
Mr. Smigell is really proud of all his students in pit. “The kids in pit are very serious and highly motivated students,” Smigell says.
Renee Augustyn, a senior at HHS, is very excited for the pit. “We’re anxious to see how it turns out,” Augustyn says. Augustyn really likes the environment that pit has and how friendly everyone is. She also likes the play compared to some of the musicals last year. “Fiddler is more ethnically diverse than Brigadoon,” Augustyn says.
Everyone involved in the Fiddler pit is eager to perform after all of their hard work and dedication. Any musical put on at HHS needs both the acting talent as well as the musical talent to make every musical successful. Although the audience cannot see the pit during the performance it’s essential to realize the importance of the pit to the play and all of the students’ hard work.
“I’m very grateful to be able to work in the pit the second year in a row, and I am determined to be in the pit the rest of my high school career,” Garlock says.
After the chaos and frenzied Fantasy of Lights parade, Jason Smigell leads his band back into the Howell High School band room in order for the kids to pack up their instruments and head home to finish out the rest of their Black Friday. He trudges through the waves of band students taking off their uniforms to get to the door of his office and then abruptly turns around.
“Have I told you guys lately that you’re all great kids and I’m proud of each and every one of you?” The room instantly silences as each student listens to him speak.
“I really mean it guys, you’re all wonderful kids and I’m so fortunate to work with you every day.” Anyone who knows Jason Smigell well knows that this is the number one thing he’s known for saying.
Being a part of the marching band, as well as the Howell High School Wind Ensemble, I have known Mr. Smigell for about four years. For those who are lucky enough to know him, they know that Mr. Smigell is one of the most authentic, caring, hard-working, and all around enjoyable people around. For those who don’t know him, those who do believe that others are missing out because Mr. Smigell has the ability to not only teach people about music, but also the ability to become quite the mentor.
I sat down with him in his office after the Fantasy of Lights parade to get some more background information on the man that we students have looked up to and respected immensely for years. Another trait that Mr. Smigell is well-known for is his consistency in multi-tasking and making sure that others are doing well before he does anything for himself. Even as I sat in his small office, filled with various instruments, sheet music in stacks ready to be copied, and various motivational posters and white-boards on the walls, Mr. Smigell was still in the hallway making sure that each student had a guaranteed ride home after the parade.
“I make sure that no matter what kind of mood I’m in or whatever’s been happening in my life, I make sure I try to give these kids what they need. As a teacher I try to have the students learn something each day about music, stay on track for their performance schedule, and on top of that I try to teach them to be all-around better human beings.”
Mr. Smigell has five music classes every school day as well as an estimation of 235 students to keep track of. He teaches the concert band, symphonic band, wind ensemble, marching band, percussion ensemble, and the occasional rock class. He starts each day with the same optimistic attitude – always looking on the bright side and trying to accomplish as many goals as possible. I’ve witnessed Mr. Smigell in action of course: during wind ensemble and marching band rehearsal.
It’s 6th hour on another slow Monday afternoon, as the students in wind ensemble file into the band room in their usual Monday moods. Mr. Smigell is darting around the vast band room as usual, full of energy and positivity. He has his baton behind his ear, and a stack of something like 43 blue music books in his hands, shouting “It’s blue book time, kids! There’s never a bad time to review your scales!”
As he mounts the podium and the members of the band whine, his brown eyes peer over the black pair of glasses that he misplaces frequently. “If there’s anything that’s going to make scales worse, it would be if everyone whines about them. The best way to do something that you don’t enjoy is to just suck it up and get it over with! Scales are like vegetables, you don’t enjoy eating them, but in the end they’re so much better for you.” With that said, each student immediately stops complaining, and rehearsal goes on much smoothly.
I asked Mr. Smigell what he keeps in mind as he goes about each day, and he explained that the motto he goes by is, “I will do what is right.” He elaborated on the fact that it’s easy for people to get overwhelmed and forget the little things. He articulated that the reason he’s a teacher is because the kids deserve the best.
“You have to do your best because the kid deserves it, and the whole reason I do what I do is because I get great satisfaction from helping people, and I have a deep and abiding love for music, so I will do what is right.”
Outside of school, Mr. Smigell is currently moving into a new apartment and taking grad classes, but as far as hobbies go, he can be found playing music with his brothers, playing hockey, fishing frequently in the summer, and playing video games. He admits that he enjoys being alone and that he cherishes the time he has to himself.
Mr. Smigell impacts the lives of 235 students every day without knowing it. With his giving and selfless nature, I don’t see how he could. Over the past four years I’ve known him, he has definitely left his mark on me. Going to my band class is the highlight of every day I have at school. I could be having a terrible day and it’s instantly cured the second I walk into the band room. Mr. Smigell constantly keeps me on task, and reminds me to persevere and never give up on my passion for music. He makes every member of the band laugh effortlessly, and he makes learning music enjoyable. I honestly think that without being in Mr. Smigell’s band class, I would be a completely different person. With all that he does for each student in the band program, it feels impossible to repay him, but we stick it out and try because we want to be for him what he is to us: inspiring.
Last fall, it was LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” As the seasons are changing once again, there’s a new song-and-dance craze that’s making America get on its feet. “Gangnam Style,” by the Korean artist known as PSY, has the students of HHS moving and grooving as well.
The song falls into the genre called K-pop, and features strong electronic beats and a heavy bass. Despite the efforts of other prominent Korean performers, “Gangnam” marks the first time one of them has successfully broken into the American music industry.
Even though the fun dance and the funky beat are the main attraction points, the lyrics are actually a clever stab at wealth in Korea. “Gangnam” refers to an excessively wealthy district in Korea of the same name, where the rich flourish and would rather eat a cheap lunch and spend their extra funds on a cup of cappuccino that costs three times as much. The song mocks this point, expressing what pop music critic Baak Eun-seok referred to as Korea’s “love-hate relationship with Gangnam.”
The video features PSY in satirically off-stereotype situations; instead of a club full of youth, he parties on a tour bus with some hip elderly folks. Throughout the video he sports several colored tuxedos, also poking fun at Gangnam’s lavish style.
“Gangnam Style” has moved into Howell High in the form of a widespread dance phenomenon. At this year’s Powderpuff tournament, the Class of ‘14 cheerleaders swept the competition with their rendition.
This coming Friday at the final home football game of the season, the marching band will also be performing “Gangnam” as one of the selections for their annual senior show. Following “Moves Like Jagger” (Maroon 5) and “We Found Love” (Rihanna), the band is ready to boogie down at halftime, with a dance routine mimicking the one found in the music video.
“I feel as though it’s a very great choice, as it’s very popular right now, along with being a fun song for everybody to hear and play. Not to mention the dancing!” says Dakota Modovsky, one of the marching band seniors who looks forward to sending off his last season with a bang.
As PSY himself said when he appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show and taught Ellen and Britney Spears his dance, “The mindset of this dance is to dress classy and dance cheesy.”
Everyone at Howell High School enjoys the music often made through evening band, choir, or other fine arts performances. This year has been successful for the band, including their trip to New York and their strong performance of O’ Fortuna in the Collage Concert.
But the last concert of the year is fast approaching. The final band concert is on Tuesday, May 15 at 7:00pm in the auditorium. As always, entry is free and the concert promises to be an exciting one.
A twist in this year’s final band concert is the fact that the 2012 Howellpalooza, a special event put on in the auditorium for bands and other acts, will be mixed into the band concert next week. Those expecting to go to the performance should prepare themselves for an interesting night that includes rock as well as classical music.
One of the most talked about pieces for this concert is a song titled, “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas”.
“It’s an unconventional piece and it’s really fun,” says sophomore Natalie Dunn, a member of the band. “It’s a thirteen minute piece and literally tells a story. The audience gets a script that tells them what is going on.”
Said to include actual sound effects and some surprising suspense, “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas” is just one of the many reasons you should attend the concert. As well as the fun pieces they play, band is also a well liked experience that many have something to say about.
“Being in band is like being a member of a second family,” says sophomore Eliza Bengala. “I didn’t join band until halfway through the year, and never once did I feel like an outsider. We all get along really well. It’s amazing how strong all of our bonds are with one another.”
Even if you are an outsider to the band and are looking for more entertainment in the area, this concert is still a beneficial way to spend the evening. As the seniors last chance to play for you, it is also known to be an emotional night.
“The last concert is the best because so many people show up,” says sophomore Anne Potts of the band concerts she has played in. “It is the last concert before the seniors go to college. It is when we all get to play and have our time to shine together.”
Going to a band concert is one of the easiest ways to get involved in the performing arts section of Howell High School, even if you are just supporting it by being there. According to Dunn, it is very important for the members of the band to hear that the audience is there and appreciates all their hard work.
“The best part of any concert is being on stage and when we play something really cool. When it just works and the audience claps not because they’re supposed to, but because they actually like it, it makes me feel like, as a musician, I did my job.”
I’ve always thought of myself as someone who would hate a big city. I really don’t like people all that much, and crowds annoy me. So when I found out that the 2012 band trip was New York City, I thought it’d be alright to go, say I’ve been there, and run back to Howell.
Day 1: We woke up at the crack of dawn to get off the bus in Pennsylvania. The three busses needed to be refueled, and the 120 passengers needed to stretch. The only indicator that we had left Howell was the mountains in the distance. Other than that, it didn’t feel much different. It certainly hadn’t clicked yet that we were on our way to The Big Apple.
After a quick stop to freshen up a bit, the buses were reloaded and headed for the Lincoln Tunnel. I, the scholar that I am, asked the girl in front of me if the Lincoln Tunnel went to New York. Why, yes. Yes it does.
After we got over the fact our bus was in an underwater tunnel, we waited with great anticipation to see the great city emerge before us. My camera, held tight in my hand like a hundred dollar bill, was at the ready.
Finally, we saw the light (quite literally, actually. Like any publicly maintained structure, half of the lights in the tunnel were out, so the sunlight was glaringly bright). The city we so eagerly awaited was suddenly before us, waiting in all its splendor. The buildings were just as tall, the people were in as much of a hurry, and the pigeons were just as abundant as we had imagined.
The first 300 pictures I snapped were things from the bus window. Not even anything of particular significance. I mean, I took a picture of some protest signs in Chinese and American.
Eventually we did real sightseeing. The 9/11 Memorial, our first stop, was an eye-opener. It helped make that little mental connection that I hadn’t quite comprehended yet. That city, those people – they’re real. The tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001 isn’t just something I saw on TV anymore. Now when I think of it, I don’t dismiss it quite as quickly as something that doesn’t matter to me just because I wasn’t affected.
Next up, we took our first tour of Times Square. Let me tell you, it really is as amazing as they say. Everything is big, everything is bright, and everything looks really expensive.
What I learned in Times Square is that the people are real, too, all kinds of people. I actually heard someone walk by me and say, “Dere is vere ve find da Veiner schnitzel.”
Those little old ladies who cross the street slower than the rest of the world? They exist too.
After dining at Dave and Buster’s, we headed off to the new Yankee Stadium. As an American, I can’t help but love baseball. It truly is the American sport. And as a baseball fan, I most definitely could appreciate the spectacular feeling of watching the A-Rod hit a home run in New York City.
Day 2: We started our second excursion with another trip through the Lincoln Tunnel (our hotel was in New Jersey), and a visit to The Met. Now, I’m not exactly an art fanatic, but I do like the Greeks and Romans, and I had a super-dork moment when I saw a chariot depicting the battle between Achilles and Hektor. And the world’s first piano was pretty cool, too.
Our next destination was the entire reason we went on the trip; a music clinic with Michael Adelson, one of the back-up directors for the New York Philharmonic (aka, one of the best orchestras in the world). We played a few selections for him, and he managed to teach us a lot about music and ourselves without talking down to us. He was a really great guy, and everything he said about how we played made a lot of sense.
That night was the reason I went on the trip. We had tickets to see Jesus Christ Superstar, a musical, on Broadway, written by the man Andrew Lloyd Webber himself. Call me a band geek, but it was a dream come true. And it met every expectation, for the new revival of the show is fantastic. The leads were spectacular, and it was staged beautifully. I was satisfied.
Day 3: We were winding down our trip with a day at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The ferry ride to the Statue was highly uneventful unless you count the mad scramble to get a window seat for good pictures.
Once we got there, it was a mad dash to see the Statue, take 20 pictures of a statue that hasn’t changed since it was built, buy some souvenirs, and get back to the boat in 15 minutes. We barely made it, and due to some grumpy ferry staff, Mr. Smigell and both of our tour guides did not. Luckily our next stop was Ellis Island where another ferry could take them in 20 minutes.
After spending half an hour searching the archives for some relatives, I came away with two things: since my ancestors come from a country that no longer exists, finding them was extremely difficult; and, we really live in an amazing country. Despite our sometimes rough history with immigration and tolerance, we do things no other country can. To put it simply, anyone can come here from anywhere and do anything. Look at the real manifests of the people who came here searching for freedom. It made me realize how grateful we should all be for how much freedom we have. Those people who arrived on America’s shores, might not have found roads paved with gold like they expected, but they did find a place where they could work, save their money, and replace their road with gold if they so desired.
To end our much-too-short vacation with a bang, we spent an evening at the symphony. As noted before, I’m a dork. So much so, that I was looking forward to the New York Philharmonic almost as much as seeing a musical on Broadway.
And it was well worth the anticipation. I honestly can’t even say that I was focused on the music the entire time. But as I listened to Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony (one of a classical music-lover’s favorites), I could feel all of my tensions melt away. I was thinking about a lot of things that I didn’t need to be, but the music flowed through me and took all of the stress away with it. I walked away with the same familiar feeling, the one that is the sole reason I’m in band, the reason why I play and listen to music, and the reason I am proud to call myself a musician.
We piled on to the buses, exhausted and ready to get a solid three to four hours sleep on the 12 hour ride home. As I looked out the window, watching the lights of Times Square fade away and the hundreds of buildings I couldn’t see the top of pass by, I felt like the world had been lying to me. My whole life, I’d thought that a big city was a dirty, crooked place where people steal and cheat. It’s not true.
New York City is not a place where the people are depressed and rich or poor and homeless. It’s a place where even the greatest wrongs have a chance to be made right, because the city is so big, the people are so real, there is always hope to be found somewhere.
Spring is here and summer is fast approaching, which means popular music artists and legendary rock bands are going to be performing in the Detroit area. Below is a concise list of seventeen major bands of all genres that are going to be playing this spring and summer, May through early September. However, for a quick overview, here are a few choices that might be worth your while:
Best Country Value: Brad Paisley with The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery, $46 per ticket
Best Classic Rock Value: KISS and Mötley Crüe, $50 per ticket
Best Rock Value: Thrice, $28 per ticket
Best Pop Value: Foster the People, $67 per ticket
Best Overall Value: Queen Extravaganza $25-$40 per ticket
Most Anticipated: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, about $105 per ticket
Who: LMFAO, Far East Movement, Quest Crew, Sidney Samson, Eva Simons, and Natalia Kills
Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Time: 07:00 PM
For about $80 per general admission ticket, you can see the popular “Sexy and I Know It” electro-pop group at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. There’s also a VIP Package available for the extreme fans, which includes various prizes including a possible meet-and-greet with LMFAO. The package prices vary, but of course the best way to get a good deal is to buy the tickets early. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Who: Drake, J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, French Montana
Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Time: 07:00 PM
Last-minute tickets are still available for purchase to see Drake and the other musicians who will perform at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Michigan on May 30. The best seats offered right now are in the lawn section for general admission; ticket prices are about $50 per ticket. VIP Packages are also available, but the cost is pricey- about $325 per person. The VIP Packages include a concert t-shirt, early entry into the venue, and a premium reserved ticket for admission within the first fifteen rows. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Date: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Time: 07:00 PM
Currently, for about $85 you can purchase a ticket to see rock band Creed at the Fillmore in Detroit, Michigan. The best tickets available now are at center stage, several sections back from the front row. Since tickets are going fast and price will continue to increase in value, it’s best to make the purchase soon. For more information, visit livenation.com.
Who: Queen Extravaganza
Date: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Time: 07:30 PM
As a tribute band to Queen with their iconic drummer, Roger Taylor, the Queen Extravaganza will be touring across North America and will make their stop on May 31 to the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan. The tribute band will be playing Queen’s most famous and beloved songs, so the show is expected to be worth the wait. Tickets are currently on sale; one ticket near the front of the stage is about $40, but for a bit more farther back in the theater tickets can range from $25 and under per person. To get the best seats available, purchase these tickets as soon as possible. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Who: Thrice, Animals as Leaders, and O’Brother
Date: Friday, June 1, 2012
Time: 07:00 PM
On their Farewell Tour, Thrice will be performing with Animals as Leaders and O’Brother at the Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan. For about $28 per ticket you can join the other rockers in the mosh pit (general admission floor), or bring a friend and the cost will only be $55 for the pair of tickets. This is a smaller building to hold a concert, so tickets may go fast. For more information, visit livenation.com.
Who: Country Throwdown (Gary Allan, Rodney Atkins, Josh Thompson, and more)
Date: Friday, June 1, 2012
Time: 03:00 PM
For those who love country music, several country artists, including Gary Allan, Rodney Atkins, and Josh Thomson, and more are set to perform at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Michigan on June 1 as part of the Country Throwdown tour. Right now the best seats available are on the very left of the stage, just before the lawn area. The tickets are not at the ideal price at $62 each, but unless purchased soon, ticket prices will only continue to rise. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Who: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Date: Friday, June 1, 2012
Time: 08:00 PM
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are playing at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan on June 1, but the seat availability isn’t the best; for one ticket in the Upper Bowl, it’s about $75. So unless you are a die-hard Peppers fan, or you’re forced into going, be prepared to not see the band much and hope for an exciting ambience- that will be the only bang for your buck. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Date: Monday, June 11, 2012
Time: 07:30 PM
English rock band Radiohead will be performing at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan on June 11. A pair of tickets can range from $81 to $135, depending on location of the seats and the time that the tickets are purchased. To get the best seats available at the best price, visit vividseats.com.
Who: Brad Paisley with The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery
Date: Saturday, June 16, 2012
Time: 07:30 PM
Calling all country fans! Even though the seats aren’t the best, you may still be able to purchase lawn seat tickets to see Brad Paisley, The Band Perry, and Scotty McCreery. They’re going to perform at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Michigan on June 16; one ticket can be bought at around $46, and the concert should be full of fun and life, even from the view of the lawn. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Who: Foster the People with Tokyo Police Club
Date: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Time: 07:00 PM
Grammy-nominated Indie-pop band Foster the People will be performing at the Fillmore in Detroit, Michigan on June 17. Ticket prices range from $67 to upwards of $200 (VIP seating), but general admission tickets can be purchased by several different websites. To see the best deals, visit vividseats.com or livenation.com.
Who: Aerosmith and Cheap Trick
Date: Thursday, July 5, 2012
Time: 07:30 PM
For all the Aerosmith fans out there, now may be a time to see them in concert. The legendary rock group is going to be performing at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan on July 5. The seats available seem to be in the “nosebleed” section, but tickets can be purchased at about $90 apiece; seats closer to the stage can range from $130 to $300 per ticket. VIP Packages are also available, with the options of meeting the members of Aerosmith or Cheap Trick. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com for VIP tickets, or vividseats.com for various ticket prices from private vendors.
Who: Rascal Flatts with Little Big Town
Date: Friday, July 20, 2012
Time: 07:00 PM
For around $90 per ticket, you can set up a lawn chair on a nice evening at the DTE Energy Music Theater and see the Rascal Flatts play live. The tickets will officially go on sale on April 20, but to order them ahead of time you may choose to become part of the fan club for $25 if you are not already. Otherwise, you’re able to go to vividseats.com to get great seats from private vendors. However, with that route you pay upwards of $200 for a seat close to stage, while a general admissions ticket in the lawn area can still cost around $50. For more information, visit vividseats.com. or ticketmaster.com.
Who: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival (Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax, As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandra, High on Fire, and White Chapel)
Date: Sunday, July 22, 2012
Time: 12:00 PM
This year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival will feature popular metal bands Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, and more! All music groups will be performing at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Michigan. Tickets are on sale now. The best seats available are in the pavilion area near the stage for about $105. However, for about $100 more you can get a VIP package ($200 per person), which provides you with special gifts and prizes, early entrance into the venue, and a reserved seat within fifteen rows of the stage (a.k.a. mosh pit). For more information, visit rockstarmayhemfest.com.
Who: Florence and the Machine
Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Time: 07:30 PM
Indie-pop band Florence and the Machine will officially be performing on July 31 at the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan. Tickets are on sale now; they currently range from $41 to $77, depending on the location. To view seating options or for the best deals, visit vividseats.com. or ticketmaster.com.
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Time: 07:00 PM
British alternative rock band Coldplay is ready to set the stage at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan this August. While tickets are somewhat pricey- at about $90 per seat in the “nosebleed” section- people will get to experience the performance of Coldplay live. Other tickets could be purchased for about $112 to get seats closer to the stage (and facing towards the back of the artists). Since the seating isn’t the best, those who would like to go to the concert should purchase the tickets soon to reserve their place. VIP Packages are also available, but of course they come with a pretty expensive price tag. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Who: Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Time: 04:30 PM
Country artists Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw are planned to perform on their Brothers of the Sun Tour at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Ticket prices are already starting to escalate, but if you buy them soon there are optional ticket prices of around $77 per ticket, and the seating location isn’t too bad. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
Who: KISS and Mötley Crüe
Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Time: 07:00 PM
To see the classic rock bands KISS and Mötley Crüe live in concert, ticket prices are merely $50 per person when choosing the lawn section at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Michigan. Of course there are other seating options available, but tickets that allow you closer to the stage can easily grow in cost. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.