The Collegian
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Plain White T's perform at end-of-year concert

Students watching the Plain White T's concert on the Westhampton Green last Friday.
Students watching the Plain White T's concert on the Westhampton Green last Friday.

The Plain White T’s headlined the University of Richmond’s annual Spring Concert on the last day of classes, April 26.

The two openers for the evening were UR’s own a cappella groups, Off the Cuff and the Richmond Octāves. SpiderBoard members, in their blue shirts, greeted students attending the concert by handing out orange ribbons honoring the late Christopher Elvin Jr.

“Chris was a big lover of music,” said SpiderBoard member and sophomore Nancy Barraza. “This was the best way for us as an organization to honor him.”

While SpiderBoard did not plan the event, the organization was responsible for marketing, making flyers and the headliners reveal video, said SpiderBoard member and junior Diana Bonola. The Board of Trustees is in charge of organizing the concert, she added.

By the end of the Octāves’ performance, the audience had packed the lawn for the main act. Junior Jess Laforet, a SpiderBoard member, stepped on stage to introduce the headliners.

The Plain White T’s are an American rock band formed in Lombard, Illinois in 1997. They have three songs that went platinum, including their most famous song, “Hey There Delilah,” which was nominated for two Grammys. Laforet described the Plain White T’s as “masters of melodic storytelling” who are set apart from other musical groups by their “unwavering authenticity”. 

After the introduction, students stood up and began rushing to the front of the stage in waves, but they had to wait another 10 minutes for the headliners to perform due to technical issues. 

The Plain White T’s opened with “Our Time Now,” and immediately after they finished, the crowd began to chant for “Hey There Delilah.” After a brief competition to see how loud each half of the crowd could sing, the Plain White T’s followed with “Young Tonight,” “All That We Needed,” “Fired Up” and “Should’ve Gone to Bed.” 

Lead singer Tom Higgenson talked to the crowd, yelling “you look good” and “love you guys.” He even spoke with a student in the crowd who had a sign saying he was from Lombard, Illinois. 

The band proceeded to play “The Giving Tree,” “Feeling (More Like) Myself,” “Happy,” and “Spaghetti Tattoo.” These songs were followed by the first of the band’s three Platinum songs, the 2008 hit “1, 2, 3, 4.”

Calls for “Hey There Delilah” continued as students looked forward to hearing their favorite song. Sophomore Griffin Newhouse does not consider himself a big fan of Plain White T’s but is familiar with their biggest records, he said. 

“I don’t know who [the Plain White T’s] are but I know ‘Hey There Delilah,’ so I’m here for that,” said first-year Reed Hall.  

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Some UR students are fans though: First-year Lyndsey Lee said she grew up listening to the Plain White T’s, and sophomore Grace Gaiser is a big fan of their new alternative album, she said. 

The Plain White T’s played plenty of songs from their new, self-titled album, including “Would You Even” which preceded “1, 2, 3, 4”. After playing their next song “Hate”, Higgenson claimed that at this point in the concert, the band would usually leave and return after hearing chants for “one more song.” Instead, they stayed put and promised two more songs.

Finally, it was the moment students had been waiting for – “Hey There Delilah.” Any students still sitting on blankets ran up to join the crowd as Higgenson announced the song. Gone was the side chatter that had been present for most of the concert, and gone were the bubbles occasionally floating around from a mysterious source. Everyone was ready for the song they knew so well. A chorus of students could be heard singing along with the Plain White T’s. 

Just as it had come, the song ended as quickly, and it was time for their final song – “Rhythm of Love.” When it was over, the Plain White T’s thanked UR and wished them well. Some students stayed to take photos with the band members, while most got up, grabbed their blankets, and walked away. 

Contact contributing writer Sassan Fahim at sassan.fahim@richmond.edu.

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