God Street Wine to perform at SPEC winter concert The Social Planning and Events Committee announced yesterday that the alternative music group God Street Wine will be performing on campus December 7. The five-man band hailing from New York City will play at Irvine Auditorium and tickets will cost less than $10, according to SPEC Co-Director of Concerts Mike Parker. The concert will also feature one or two opening bands which will be chosen later this week, the College senior added. SPEC senior member Erin McKeon, a College sophomore, described the band's music as "Earth rock." "People who like their music tend to like Phish and Rusted Root," she said. "It's very groove, improvisation-oriented. It's very upbeat, dance music, but not techno dance music, real music." McKeon said that the group currently has no songs on the radio, but is very big on the "underground scene." Parker said SPEC has been trying to book many bands for their concerts in the past, such as the Dave Matthews Band and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. He said that taking into account many factors -- such as scheduling problems and price -- God Street Wine was the best choice for the University this semester. He would not disclose how much SPEC is paying the band to appear. SPEC's total concert budget is $20,000. "It is better for us not to squander ourselves bringing the really big acts, but rather play a band that's on the cutting edge," Parker said. Co-Director of SPEC Concerts Vivek Tiwary said he thinks the band's relative newness makes it a good match for the University. "They're sort of a beginning point on their career, and I think it's a good time to introduce them to people," the Wharton and College senior said. "They like to play shows and they happened to have a schedule that conformed to ours, but I wouldn't say that they were a band that was easy to book." Parker said one of SPEC's biggest obstacles to bringing bands to campus is the lack of adequate concert space. "We don't have a good space to throw a concert," he said. "The Palestra is a tin can, and not available very much because of the basketball team. The outdoors isn't always an option because of the weather. Irvine [Auditorium], with 1,800 seats, is too small to hold a group such as Rusted Root." This year, SPEC will rent a better sound system, Parker said, because the one rented in years past was inadequate. "God Street Wine is a band that is valued for its concert sound," he said. Parker also said that competition from promoters such as Electric Factory Concerts is a major impediment to booking big-name bands at the University. "We are constantly bidding with someone like them," he said. "They develop relationships because of their position. Bands give them considerations." SPEC is also bringing The Rake's Progress to campus October 20 and is working on scheduling a band for "Breaking Down the Walls," a party sponsored by SPEC, the InterFraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council and the BiCultural Inter-Greek Council.
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