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Legends entertains campus

Katie Laird | Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Since opening last fall, Legends has become the entertainment hub on Notre Dame’s campus.

Transformed from Senior Bar last summer, Legends provides a place for students to socialize in various settings, including dining, drinking and dancing, while also offering a variety of live music entertainment.

Program Coordinator Jonathan Jorissen is pleased with the success of Legends among both the Notre Dame and South Bend communities.

“We’re the premiere venue for live music in South Bend,” he said.

Legends maintains a structured set-up of events that provide a wide range of entertainment specifically targeting students.

“Thursdays are geared toward students … we set Thursdays mainly aside for campus bands,” Jorissen said. “Students here on campus deserve a chance to play in front of their friends.”

Students interested in performing at Legends are required to provide program coordinators with a demo-tape. The venue books bands ranging from hip-hop to rock to pop music. With the number of students wanting to perform, availability is competitive.

“We have literally hundreds of bands that want to play, and we have to be highly selective,” Jorissen said. “We don’t want to be stuck to one particular genre, and we also don’t want to be generic rock band central.”

Friday nights have a variety of themes including karaoke, Celtic bands, professional comedians and decade cover bands, while Saturdays are reserved for outside groups and singers. Jorissen coordinates bands from across the country, including San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Nashville.

“These are bands you could see and hear maybe in of couple of years on MTV,” Jorissen said.

As for deciding where to get off-campus entertainment, Jorissen said it is a question of determining the acts’ caliber. Students request bands from home, community members provide local suggestions and a national touring agency is used as a good “go-to source.”

“Our name has gotten out there quite quickly because of our equipment and caliber and nature of the venue,” Jorissen said.

The first semester alone has shown promising results for the new establishment. November proved a successful turnout for the ND alum pop group Umphrey’s McGee and singer Gavin DeGraw.

“It’s a learn-as-you-go process,” Jorissen said.

For example, Jorissen learned that Legends will have to postpone programming on next year’s home football Saturdays due to difficulty booking groups and attracting big crowds with traffic, parking and other activities occurring around campus.

He is especially optimistic about “Ok Go,” a Chicago group performing their power-pop rock style music at Legends Jan. 31. The group has recently been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine as well as on MTV and VH1.

“Son of Glam,” an 80’s cover-band, will also be performing in the next couple of weeks, bringing with them the full look of the 80’s including mullets and long hair. Legends promotes bands through listserv e-mails, posters, giveaways and by playing CDs in the dining halls. Students can join the list-serv to receive information about Legends by e-mailing legends@nd.edu.

“We’ve seen great turnouts … it’s been a lot of fun,” Jorissen said.