By Walter Lesczynski

Everyone likes a good concert, but everyone knows they can stretch a starving student’s budget to bursting. Well, you can save all that money you have squirreled away for summer text books-you won’t need to tap into it to hear some of the top musical acts on the charts. You won’t have to do much more than roll out of your dorm room bed to hear them either because they’re coming here to Eastern.Next week Eastern will host bands from three different genres. Rodney Atkins is coming to Alumni Coliseum April 9, and then OneRepublic and rapper Fabolous will arrive on April 12.

Footwear company Crocs, along with 360 productions, is putting on the tour, dubbed the Next Step Campus Tour.

It starts April 10 in Miami, Fla., and wraps up in Albany, N.Y., May 3. The tour makes its second stop in Richmond and covers a total of 13 schools and two private shows.

Hailing from Colorado, OneRepublic has built up an enormous following mainly from their debut single, Dreaming Out Loud, which peaked at No. 14 on The Billboard 200.

Their first hit Apologize, peaked at number 2, and has been in the top five for 10 consecutive weeks. It was produced by hip-hop star/producer Timbaland and has entered the history books by breaking the record for the most spins at radio in one week, according to the tour press release.

The band is a fairly standard rock ensemble consisting of Ryan Tedder on lead vocals, guitar and piano; Zach Filkins and Drew Brown on guitar; Brent Kutzle on bass and cello; and Eddie Fisher pounding the drums.

On the other side of the spectrum is rapper Fabolous. He differs from OneRepublic in being a one-man show, and is a veteran of the music scene.

While the band from Colorado is relatively new to the scene, Fabolous has two platinum albums and one gold album. His fourth album, From Nothin’ to Somethin’, reached No. 2 on The Billboard 200. It featured the No. 1 hit single Make Me Better.

He makes it a point to differentiate himself from many other so-called rappers.

“These dudes is stand up rappers, hip-hop comedians; I start laughin as soon as I put your CD in,” he said.

Some Eastern students were less than thrilled with the bands on the menu, arguing that their band of choice would easily stomp the two contenders.

“Radiohead would kill both of them,” said Samantha Engstrom, a philosophy major from Frankfort. She said she was only mildly acquainted with the bands involved.

“Fabolous? I don’t even know any of his music, and I didn’t know OneRepublic had more than one song,” she said.

Even students who aren’t fans of either band are excited about the tour stopping in Richmond.

It’s great that they’re coming here,” said Katie Osborne, a senior from Winchester. “It’s really a privilege that they picked us over one of the other universities around here.”

She said that with the addition of the Rodney Atkins concert, Eastern students would have plenty of music to pick from.

“It’s awesome that we’re getting such a variety in concerts next week,” she said.

Fans can follow the fun at www.nextstepcampustour.com.