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Movin’ On: Glass Half Full

With a budget of over $250,000, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in wishing that this year’s Movin’ On would host some of today’s best artists that the slowly depreciating music industry could offer. If you were on Arts editor Marcus Correll‘s collegiate yet intelligent vibe, you would have been gunning for an MGMT or Vampire Weekend headliner. If you sided with the vast majority of comments on the Movin’ On Facebook page, you may have had The Black Keys or Brand New in mind. If you watched this year’s Grammy Awards, you may have had Mumford & Sons or Arcade Fire at the top of your list. However, the headliners have been announced to quite an unexpected backlash.

As Onward State’s resident optimist, I attempted to find the bright side in the choices made by the Movin’ On committee. They have been working on it for a really long time now, how about we give them some credit?

Lupe Fiasco, no matter what the music snob in your group of friends says, is an amazing act to bring. Yeah, his newest album, “Lasers,” wasn’t anywhere near what die-hard fans had expected. But “The Cool” and “Food and Liquor” are good enough to make up for where “Lasers” has failed. I would even go as far as to say it’s some of the greatest hip-hop of all time (that’s right Kanye). You can’t sit there and say that “Kick Push” wasn’t your jam when it first hit MTV. Lupe himself admitted that his last album was sub-par. I’m sure we’ll get enough old school jams to be able to sing along to. He is also about as decorated with awards as a Vietnam War veteran, show some respect.

If you wanted over-used raps about smoking joints and pouring Ciroc on scantily dressed women, you better have gotten your Wiz or Weezy tickets. Lupe doesn’t roll like that. He’s all about keeping it real. That’s why I think he’s a perfect headlining act. Movin’ On is about giving a final salute to our newly matured seniors. They’re ready (kind of) to leave the nest and move on to bigger and better things. The real world is knocking and Lupe’s soulful groove is a perfect way to give our young revolutionaries a final kick out the door.

I’ve heard the stigma that jam bands only attract a crowd of sandal-wearing hippies. However, whether you’re rocking a North Face or a Bob Marley shirt, a 10 minute cluster of bluesy folk is something we should all appreciate. O.A.R is a university rock icon. They’re extremely talented, whether they’re playing a standard rhythm on guitar or an intricately melodic saxophone solo. Each performance, (BR)O.A.R puts an original spin to their popular songs. Like a snowflake, no two concerts are alike. You can say that Penn State is getting a tailor-made show from legendary performers. Now that’s something our overly-prideful student body can brag about.

And for all of you complaining that O.A.R is out-dated, they’re currently finishing up a new studio album. Just because you don’t follow the band on Twitter, doesn’t mean that they’re banished to oldies radio stations. Plus everyone is buying vinyls and wearing Ray Bans, I thought vintage was in?

I tried to find a shimmer of hope in Little Big Town but it was hard to shake the smell of freshly manured farm fields from my mind while I listened through their discography. I tried, I really did. I even threw in a big wad of chew to try and get in the spirit. The country quartet was just a little too “Sweet Home Alabama” for my liking.

However, Penn State is a known name in Agriculture. We’re also in the middle of bumblefuck, nowhere. So, just because I’m not down to yee-haw in the hay bales doesn’t mean the rest of the student body won’t enjoy the act. If you’re like me and answer “everything but country” to the question of what you listen to, use Little Big Town’s set as a half hour cigarette break. You could even stay and appreciate the award-winning vocal harmonies that made the band famous. On second thought, load up on cigarettes.

If you’re mad that the band you selected in the three rounds of surveys weren’t chosen, keep in mind that planning an event of this caliber isn’t cake work. It takes a lot of planning to find headliners that will satisfy the diverse taste of over 40,000 students.

Most artists have a ridiculous rider, or list of contractual obligations, that the concert’s host must provide. Some include outrageous demands such as cases of beer, enough Cheerios to feed Ethiopia, or packs of white t-shirts (sounds like a frat’s shopping list). Keep that in mind when you’re calculating costs.

Some acts are already booked for April 29. The popular emo-rock band, Brand New, is actually playing in Pittsburgh the night of Movin’ On. Also, Coachella is only two weeks before Movin’ On. That ties up Mumford & Sons, The Kills, Neon Trees and Arcade Fire on the West Coast. These bands can’t be in two places at once, which is either a fail for science or the people who compiled the surveys.

The event is also semi-free, especially if B94.5 is giving out soda and ice cream like last year. Like it or not, you already paid your Student Activity Fee. And after Graham Spanier connects all of the buildings with intricate million dollar extensions, it probably leaves your personal expenses around $5. That’s a decent price to enjoy a day-long music festival.

With the variety, the talent and not having to overdraft your PNC account, the people at Movin’ On deserve more than a Facebook wall full of angry comments. Besides, it’s Penn State. We make a party out of $12 vodka and a dorm room the size of a hamster cage. Stop pouting because the headliners weren’t chosen from your recent Pandora stations and look on the bright side. You get to enjoy the last weekend before finals with a full day of good music, good friends and (fingers crossed) good weather.

While Movin’ On is fishing for compliments, is there anything nice you have to say about the headlining acts?

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