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Better than Ezra concert a moderate success

Justin Tardiff | Monday, December 5, 2005

While the instant sellout crowd for the Student Union Board’s first event of the semester – a comedic visit on Oct. 8 from Vince Vaughn and crew – was an obvious hit, reactions were mixed after the second big on-campus show of the year, a Better Than Ezra concert Friday night.

Jimmy Flaherty, Student Union Board president, called Friday’s Better Than Ezra concert a success, emphasizing strong ticket sales and enthusiastic student reviews.

“We were extremely happy,” Flaherty said. “We talked to a lot of people at the show, and they had nothing but positive reviews. A lot of people said this has been one of the better shows they’ve seen, in the quality of the band and the way they played to the audience.”

Approximately 1,000 tickets were sold, a figure not far off of the 1,088 capacity that fire regulations assigned to Stepan Center that night.

The building did not appear full to all the students in attendance. Freshman Bridget Cullen said she thought she would see more people at the show but still enjoyed the performance.

“I was expecting more people, but there were a good number of people there,” she said. “I really liked it. It was a lot of fun.”

Attendance levels were where senior Lee Regner expected them.

“When in e-mails [SUB] said it was going to sell out, I knew from other concerts I’d been to that probably wasn’t the case,” he said.

Regner also said he enjoyed Better Than Ezra’s performance at The Show his freshman year and decided to see them again Friday.

“I didn’t know the new songs but it was still pretty entertaining,” he said. “I think they were a good choice – a relatively well-known band – but it would be nice if they had brought in someone totally new.”

SUB’s selection of Better Than Ezra was based on surveys of student opinion.

“Better Than Ezra was far and away the most popular choice,” Flaherty said.

The opening band, Marking Twain, was also received well.

“A lot of people at Notre Dame went to high school with the [Marking Twain] members in Ohio,” Flaherty said. “They’re a great up-and-coming band, and they got a standing ovation.”

Sophomore Jake O’Neil did not attend the concert because of other plans, but said he would have attended if his friends had chosen to.

“I liked [Better Than Ezra] growing up but haven’t heard anything from them recently,” he said. “I think [artist selection] was better than The Show. I personally would have rather seen Better Than Ezra than Cake and Akon.”

Simona Fernandes, a junior, agreed that Better Than Ezra was somewhat of a throwback.

“I think Better Than Ezra is a band that was more of my babysitter’s taste rather than my own,” she said. “They’re just a little bit before I started listening to pop music.”

Against her own expectations, Fernandes did enjoy the show.

“I went to their show only knowing one song and wasn’t expecting too much, but the band just had so much personality,” she said. “The lead singer mixed in other songs with the band’s and it was just right.”

This particular Better Than Ezra concert may have stood out in its quality, Flaherty said, a fact he attributed to the hard work of Chris Lund, the SUB Concerts Programmer, and the members of SUB.

“In our mind, it was a huge success,” he said. “The concert reviewers on Better Than Ezra’s Web site said it was one of the best Better Than Ezra concerts they’d ever seen.”