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Singer Owens rocks Legends

Amanda Michaels | Monday, September 15, 2003

After performances by “The Rutabega” and “The Love of Everything,” singer and songwriter Owen headlined Saturday night’s WVFI concert at Legends, the first in a six-show series that will span the school year and feature bands a few steps out of the mainstream.

Expanding on its one concert a year “quadrock” program, WVFI has six shows booked at Legends’ prime staging area. The next concert is set for Oct. 4 featuring Erin McKeown and Sara Slean. In doing so, the station hopes to bring musical diversity to campus and provide an outlet for fans of more alternative music, said Mairead Case, co-director of MINDset, Notre Dame’s independent on-line music resource. Future dates are tentatively set for Nov. 22, Feb. 7, March 27 and April 17, though they may be changed to suit negotiations with bands.

Also on the agenda for the series is making Notre Dame a more popular concert stop.

“Many bands make the Midwest college circuit every year, and usually they don’t stop at Notre Dame,” Case said. “We hope to change this.”

A crowd of approximately 290 students greeted the three bands, and the show started at 9 p.m. and ran until the club section of Legends opened at midnight. The two opening acts, “The Rutabega” and “The Love of Everything,” featured Josh Hensley and Bobby Burg respectively, and carried an emo/indie-rock sound that led into Owen’s performance.

Also known as Mike Kinsella, Owen has three CDs released on Polyvinyl Records – one of which is a split with “The Rutabega.” In the past, he worked with some of Chicago’s most popular alternative bands, including American Football, Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc and Owls.

For most, Owen was the biggest draw of the evening, but some students said Legends in itself was a strong attraction.

“I haven’t heard of any of these bands. I like Legends in general, and the lighting set-up is great,” said Notre Dame freshman Mike McConnell. “There’s not much else going on tonight anyways.”

Case and her fellow station manager Emily Earthman explained that, even if Saturday night’s concert was not in a student’s style, their presence and input not only supported Notre Dame’s artistic community, but improved chances that future shows would be more their taste.

“There’s nothing to lose in coming out to the show – you might just like who you see,” Earthman said.