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The White Panda replaces Adams

Megan Doyle | Sunday, November 7, 2010

The White Panda took the stage at Legends Saturday night with MacBooks and masks to perform for Notre Dame students after a performance from rapper Sam Adams was canceled by the University.

University spokesperson Dennis Brown said Adams’ performance was canceled after he failed to pass a security check from the University.

“Our security check revealed that the performer was arrested on September 10 for inciting a riot and disorderly conduct,” Brown said. “The idea of having a performer on campus who recently was arrested for inciting a riot is unacceptable. As a result, we rescinded the offer.”

The Student Union Board (SUB) organized the alternative concert in five days.

SUB director Julia Sutton said events like The White Panda concert usually involve a month of planning.

“With more time we probably would have done more in fun incentives like passing out glow sticks but otherwise we really nailed the event for the timeline we had,” Sutton said. “I would not have changed anything about it.”

SUB co-director of programming Marie Wicht said The White Panda was high on the list of preferences for SUB programmers and were contacted as soon as they found out about the cancellation last Friday.

“We were in the process of booking Sam Adams for the November 6 Legends date when it came to our attention that he had been arrested just about a month ago at a show at Kansas State,” Wicht said. “As soon as [the planners] became aware of Sam Adam’s arrest, they were on alert double-checking The White Panda’s tour dates and availability while our advisor Amy Geist was in close contact with their agent sorting out details in case the need arose.”

When The White Panda confirmed their performance, SUB immediately printed posters and spread the word about the show.

“Some SUB members even wore panda hats around campus to help us advertise,” Wicht said.

Sutton said the turnout proved the power of fast marketing through posters, Facebook invitations and statuses, Twitter and other advertising around campus.

“The turnout was phenomenal,” Wicht said. “There was a line out the door the entire night and we were at building capacity by the time The White Panda began their performance.”

Freshman Romel Nicholas said the change from Sam Adams to The White Panda did not disappoint him.

“The show was awesome,” Nicholas said. “Fans of The White Panda really congregated in the middle, and there was a good lineup of music.”

Nicholas said the performance fit the venue well.

“The White Panda was an appropriate choice for Legends,” Nicholas said. “The show let the dance floor and the space inside be fully utilized. Mix-ups are not too far of a stretch from DJs, and DJs are what Legends does anyway.”

Sophomores Laurel Fischer and Aurora Kareh had heard of The White Panda before the group came to Notre Dame and were excited for the show.

“The show was good but not that different from listening to The White Panda on a computer,” Fischer said.

The performance felt more like a typical night at Legends with a DJ than a concert, Fischer said.

“Notre Dame needs to know Legends is a bad venue for a performance,” Kareh said. “If Sam Adams had performed we would not have been able to see anything from his show.”

Other performance venues need to be considered for bigger shows to be appreciated on campus, Kareh said.

Sophomore Chris Podgorski said he would have chosen to see The White Panda rather than a performance from Sam Adams.

“I feel like half the people there were fans of The White Panda and the other half did not know what to expect when they went into Legends,” Podgorski said. “But I think everyone had fun.”

Podgorski said highlights of the night were performances of “Pop Bottles Baby,” “What You Know About Little Secrets” and “How We Remember” from The White Panda’s lineup.

While Sam Adams’ higher profile might have drawn more fans from the student body, Saturday’s show was successful, Podgorski said.

“If last night’s show and turnout was any indication, I do not think the cancellation of Sam Adams had any negative impact on The White Panda’s show,” Wicht said.