After a less than stellar response to the last campus-wide concert, the Bowdoin Campus Activities Board has responded by bringing a more exciting artist to Bowdoin this week. Tonight at 7 p.m., the doors of Pickard Theater will open and folksy rock act Ben Kweller will take the stage.
Characterized by his upbeat melodies and folk/pop sound, Ben Kweller has been a staple of the indie rock scene since his solo LP "Sha Sha" was released in 2002. Preceded by two EPs, which failed to attract much attention, it was the catchy "Sha Sha" that propelled him into the mainstream. He gained more attention with the recording of his second album "On My Way," with no overdubs or retouching.
Kweller impressed fans again with his third album, a self-titled release, in which he played all the instruments used in his songs himself.
Kweller, who began his career at 15 with the band Radish, has toured with popular acts such as Ben Folds and Guster, even providing the lead vocals on Guster's hit song "I Hope Tomorrow is Like Today".
Kweller's fourth solo album "Changing Horses" is due out in September 2008. The anticipated release is expected to be even more popular than his previous recordings.
In contrast with the murmured backlash that occurred when RJA posters appeared in December, the news that Ben Kweller would be performing was met with much more enthusiasm.
"I've loved Ben Kweller since seventh grade," said first year, Maina Handmaker. "He makes me want to dance."
While it is fair to acknowledge that finding musicians who appeal to a wide variety is a tough job, it appears that the reason many were unexcited about the last concert is clear.
"Red Jumpsuit Apparatus tends to appeal to younger audiences, particularly those of the emo persuasion, and perhaps college students prefer the more refined taste of Ben Kweller," said Jen Therrien '11 who attended the RJA concert and was unimpressed.
Despite the obvious excitement, some students are concerned with the concert's location.
"I'm worried about the ability to dance because the concert is in Pickard. I think a bigger, more open location with no seats would be better," said a fan who chose to remain anonymous.
It's true that Kweller's sound is one that requires a good deal of enthusiastic dancing. With the show taking place in a crowded and confined area, there is fear that the seats, as well as other concert-goers, may get in the way.
For those who are still on the fence about whether or not to attend Friday's show, let Kweller's music do the convincing. "Penny on the Train Track" and Kweller's latest hit "Sundress" will get your foot tapping involuntarily and before long you will be singing along at full volume. Perhaps it's not the stuff of musical legend, but it's certainly good enough to entertain. The Ben Kweller concert is sure to be a winter highlight at Bowdoin. The doors open at 7 p.m. at Pickard.