By Cindy Held/Campus Comments reporter
Cowboy hats and boots dotted the crowd of country music fans at Monday night’s Diamond Rio concert in Alumni Coliseum.”I came to hang out with friends and have a good time,” said Rachel Wheeler, a junior occupational therapy major and fan of Diamond Rio.
Diamond Rio has had 25 top 10 hits including nine No. 1s on the country music charts in the 11 years the group has been together, according to the band’s official Web site.
Not only did the band perform for the crowd, but in between the opening act and its show they held a meet and greet for a small group of fans.
“This (campus) was pretty lively. I walked around campus today. It was kind of cool, you know,” said Dan Truman, who plays the keyboards and piano for the group. “I kind of felt like an old dude. I guess I am. I got kids in college myself, but yeah, it’s a great vibe here.”
Truman also said Diamond Rio usually plays at 20-30 college campuses a year.
During the concert Diamond Rio played many of its hits, including songs from the band’s new album, “Completely.” Diamond Rio also played some audience favorites like “One More Time” and “Meet in the Middle,” which made both girls and guys jump on friends’ shoulders to cheer and get a better view.
The opening, Brian McComas, just ended a 60-date stint with the Country Music Television Most Wanted Live Tour and a tour sponsored by Coors Light.
Before the concert began McComas also had a meet and greet with a few fans. He said he had been to many college campuses during the tour and was having a pleasant experience at Eastern.
“Everybody’s been real nice to us,” McComas said. He also added he and his band were going to “do everything we can to get (the crowd) excited.”
He played a few cover songs like “When You Say Nothing At All,” originally by Keith Whitley and later by Alison Krauss. In the middle of the song McComas turned the microphone to the audience and let them sing along. He also covered “Deeper Than the Holler” by Randy Travis and performed his top “99.9% Sure.”
Jey Marks, assistant director of student involvement and leadership said he thought the audience turnout was decent with approximately 1,500 in attendance.
“I think everyone there had a good time,” he said. “We try to provide something fun and exciting for students at a minimal cost.”
Marks added the Student Activities Council paid $35,000 for Diamond Rio to perform at Eastern.
Even though some say the acoustics at Alumni aren’t the best for concerts, fans seemed to still enjoy themselves.
“It was excellent – great. I’m losing my voice, that’s how good it was,” said Janis Campbell, a junior elementary education major.