Students react to STAR’s spring concert announcement

St. Thomas students have mixed reactions about STAR’s announcement that folk artist Mat Kearney will headline the spring concert Thursday, May 10.

<p>Folk artist Mat Kearney will headline the spring concert May, 10. (Courtesy of</p>
Folk artist Mat Kearney will headline the spring concert May, 10. (Courtesy of

Kearney, whose music is described on his official web page as having an acoustic base fused with hip-hop, will perform at 9 p.m. in the Woulfe Alumni Hall.

“I love Mat Kearney,” senior Patrick Driessen said. “It would be awesome to see him play live here on campus before I graduate in May.”

Other students like senior Angel Riera share in Driessen’s excitement.

“It’s really cool that the school is bringing him,” Riera said. “I think it’d be a great opportunity to meet someone new and listen to a different type of music that I’m not used to hearing.”

Senior Nina Kaczrowski is also looking forward to the event.

“I heard he’s good. All my friends like him,” she said. “I’ve gone to the spring concerts in the past, and it’s been fun, even if I haven’t really known who they were.”

Sophomore Brianna Odegaard thinks that having the concert on a Thursday night might restrict some students from attending.

“I have heard a few of his songs, and he is pretty good,” Odegaard said. “But I feel like it might not be as crowded as some of the concerts we have had at St. Thomas in the past.”

Junior Megan Gustafson said she doubts she will attend the concert.

“Well, I’ve never heard of him before, so that’s a little disappointing,” Gustafson said. “That’s not really my kind of music.”

Junior Solomon Anderson said she would like to see St. Thomas invite more well-known artists to perform at the STAR concert.

“People who make music for the masses, and not just … country music,” Anderson said. “St. Thomas never really gets artists that I think I would relate to. The closest thing that would come to that would’ve been John Legend, and they didn’t even get a full concert, it was like a lecture/concert.”

STAR chose the date because it is the same day as the Anderson Student Center dedication ceremony, STAR Programming Intern Linnea Bicking said.

“STAR wanted to showcase the Woulfe Alumni Hall and what great events we can hold in there,” Bicking said.

Bicking said that even though STAR is expecting the crowd to hit capacity, no tickets will be sold. Instead, 900 St. Thomas students will be admitted to the concert on a first come, first serve basis.

“Because the concert is a free event for undergraduate students, we wanted to avoid students receiving tickets and not attending the event,” Bicking said.

Students can line up no earlier than 8 p.m. on the second and third floors of the ASC where signs will be posted. Doors will open at 8:30 p.m.

Only St. Thomas students who show a current St. Thomas undergraduate student I.D. will be admitted to the concert.

According to Kearney’s official web page, he has a total of four top-20 hits on the Adult Top 40 Chart, and he also plays the guitar, piano and harmonica.

Kearney has released four albums, including his latest, “Young Love,” through Columbia Records. Kearney’s music has also been featured on TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “One Tree Hill,” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

St. Ben’s and St. John’s will also be hosting Kearney on April 28, at the 12 Pines event. However, because the spring concert’s date was set last semester, Bicking said the similarity happened by chance.

“We don’t normally coordinate with other schools to determine what artists they will be having. It is a coincidence,” Bicking said.

The Basilica Block Party also announced April 20, that Kearney will be one of its featured performers. He will play the Minneapolis-based fundraiser July 6.

Briggs LeSavage can be reached at

Amanda Ogbuehi, Hayley Schnell and Kristopher Jobe contributed to this article.

9 Replies to “Students react to STAR’s spring concert announcement”

  1. He performed at the U for FREE, I don’t see why STAR had to blow thousands of dollars on him. Why are most, if not all, the performers average? I am disappointed that STAR is wasting our money with this. 

  2. As a UST Senior, I’ve learned to give up completely on STAR’s Spring and Fall Concerts. The last three years they have all been washed up, has-beens or even duplicate performers that they have had in the past. I’ve learned to expect very little from STAR and have come to accept that the school likes to blow $90,000+ on musicians who frankly don’t deserve to be paid that much for a show.

     KUST puts on better performers than STAR ever will. 

  3. I’m actually kind of glad they chose Matt. I know plenty of students who enjoy his music, and I know from personal experience that he puts on a great show. At the very least, STAR is “trying”, which I appreciate. It’s difficult for them to book acts, considering St Thomas’ rules and regulations, requiring a contract censoring their music. Not many musicians, myself included, would sign it. At the very least, it’s better than Jordan Sparks or Michelle Branch. =p 

  4. Briggs, I am staying in Arizona for a few days with my wife Renee, and her sister Mary Ann.  We enjoyed reading your fune article on this concert…
     Dave wright

  5. I heard my first ever Mat Kearney song a few weeks ago, “Ships in the Night” off his last album “Young Love”, and thought it was absolutely fantastic(video is great as well). The whole album is really well put together; great vocals and lyrics, and really interesting and dynamic drums and beats. I like how Gustafson says ““Well, I’ve never heard of him before, so that’s a little disappointing. That’s not really my kind of music.” Maybe you should actually listen to a song or two before giving an opinion? In any case, a bit weird they’re having it in the Woulfe Alumni Hall; I did attend the International Dinner last weekend there though, and the acoustics were pretty good, so the sound should be fine.

  6. I am currently a programmer for STAR and we put into consideration the thoughts and suggestions of the student population. This just doesn’t go for the concerts or the dances, it also goes for all of the events we plan out throughout the entire year.

    If students like to put some input into our planning or even have a question, feel free to stop by our office, which is located in the new student center on the 3rd Floor. We are in the Leadership Center next to the PR Room. We welcome all suggestions by students and are happy that we are programming for students.

  7. I love Mat Kearney! (He’s not country, by the way). Now I get to save myself $40 dollars and get to see him in a smaller venue. Way to go, STAR! 

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