The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Bring Matthews to Notre Dame

Letter to the Editor | Monday, April 21, 2008

After reading Bob Costa’s interview with Dave Matthews prior to his concert in support of Barack Obama at Indiana University (April 15th), and recalling Tim Staub’s request to “Revive the concert” and bring more high-profile performers to campus (March 30th), I asked myself why an artist of Matthews’ caliber has not played at Notre Dame since U2 in 2001. U2 is without question one of the most successful bands of all-time. They have won more Grammy Awards than any other band, and their ticket prices reflect this success. The average U2 ticket costs over $100. On the other hand, Matthews is arguably the most popular touring artist among young adults today, and tickets to his shows are much easier on the wallets of college students than any U2 show. Matthews is a musician who has always been more about the music than the money. In this age of music piracy and illegal file sharing, he allows fans to record live shows and share them with others online. During both his acoustic shows with Tim Reynolds, as well as during full band performances, Matthews’ setlists eclipse the two-hour mark, certainly giving loyal fans their money’s worth. Even though such a performance would cost more than either Lupe Fiasco or Ok Go, the length and quality of this duo’s set would mean that only one act would need to be booked, rather than two. In addition, I think if given the opportunity to the see the likes of Matthews and Reynolds in the friendly confines of the Joyce Center, many students would gladly pay more than the $10 or $15 cover of other Notre Dame concerts. In his article, Bob Costa mentioned how Tim Reynolds has played at Legends on Notre Dame’s campus twice in recent years. However, few people probably know that the Dave Matthews Band played at the Joyce Center in 1996. Both Matthews and Reynolds have some history with the university. Given this relationship, as well as the relative ease of production for just two acoustic guitarists, getting this duo to play at ND would certainly be easier than bringing Matthews’ entire band back to the JACC. While the concert at IU had political undertones, Matthews and Reynolds consistently play regular tour concerts on campuses across the country, at schools both larger and smaller than Notre Dame, so it is not as if they have become too large of an act to play college shows. According to the Notre Dame athletics website, “Recent performers to perform in the Joyce Center in the past five years include Elton John, Rod Stewart, Garth Brooks, Neil Diamond, James Taylor and U2.” Before I graduate, I hope that we can once again bring A-list performers such as Matthews & Reynolds to Notre Dame. The university is clearly one of the nation’s premier, and I think that students should again be able to enjoy some of their generation’s premier performers on campus.

Josh FlyntfreshmanKeenan HallApril 15