Behind the scenes at this year’s fall concern

By on October 31, 2007

8 a.m.- The hospitality crew arrives at the Rec Center the day of the annual Quinnipiac fall concert, featuring Cartel and The Starting Line. Cartel’s tour bus pulls into North Lot shortly after, though most of the band is still asleep. In the meantime, a group of Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers help the sound guys unload their equipment and begin the arduous task of assembling the stage.

10 a.m.- After some last minute runs to pick up items and food for the bands, the six hospitality members divide into two teams and begin setting up the dressing rooms. Writing the band’s name out of items in the room becomes a popular theme; one team writes “CARTEL” in miniature candies and the other spells “TSL” with water bottles and plastic cutlery. Both are met with band approval.

1 p.m.- The Starting Line finally arrives after getting stuck in some unexpected traffic. Singer/Bassist Kenny Vasoli apologizes for the delay and shortly after they begin their sound check. Cartel sets up after and checks to a rousing rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”

3 p.m.- With all sound preparations ready for the show, the hospitality crew enjoys a much-needed break by playing catch with Cartel vocalist Will Pugh and drummer Kevin Sanders. They express an interest in hiking up Sleeping Giant, which the Student Programming Board concert committee chair Stacey Guiot discourages. Shortly after, fire trucks arrive in North Lot to investigate a possible stuck climber on the mountain’s steep rock face. Once all members of Cartel are located, the crew breathes a collective sigh of relief.

7 p.m.- Doors open. The Rec Center is steadily filling. With over 1,300 tickets sold and more being purchased at the doors, the first feelings of satisfaction spread over the hospitality group as they see the anxious crowd.

8 p.m.- Cartel’s set begins. They play a mix of old favorites and songs off their new, self-titled album. Also included is a cover of Oasis’ classic “Wonderwall.”

9:15 p.m.- With the crowd still energized from Cartel’s set, The Starting Line takes the stage to thunderous applause. After spending most of the day with the band, Guiot remarks how different they all seem on stage. “[Vasoli] is the most timid, shy person I’ve ever met,” she said. “On stage he’s completely different.” Highlights include the rarely played “Bedroom Talk” and a duet with Pugh on “Ready.”

11 p.m.- The show ended a half hour prior, but the hospitality crew is far from finished. Merch tables are re-packaged. Dressing rooms are cleaned. SigEp returns to help break down the stage. In a gesture of appreciation, The Starting Line signs a pile of posters for the hospitality crew, writing “Thanks!” in big letters.

12:30 a.m.- As the last tour bus pulls from the Rec Center, the day is officially over for the hospitality kids. Completely exhausted but still grinning from ear to ear, they return to their dorm rooms and contemplate skipping their next day’s classes. “It was a stressful 19-hour day with months of planning beforehand, but every minute was worth it,” Guiot said.


About Mike Farrell