The U’s Homecoming Welcomes Jesse McCartney


(Courtesy ASUU)

By Marshall Foster, News Writer

In 2004, a fresh-faced 17-year-old named Jesse McCartney graced the television screens of America’s youth with his mid-tempo pop single “Beautiful Soul,” becoming one of the first true teen heartthrobs of the modern era. McCartney’s rise to the top of pop stardom was quick but short. Now, 15 years later, McCartney will be gracing the stage at the University of Utah Union’s back lawn for the return of the U’s homecoming concert.

“He’s done well in the college market,” said ASUU concerts chair Cynthia Grissom. “We decided to take a different route from years previous, which has been hip-hop and rap. Since it is homecoming, [we wanted] a more nostalgic artist, try something a little different.”

“The people who liked Jesse when he was on ‘The Suite Life of Zach and Cody’ — those people are college-age now,” said ASUU concert vice-chair Ellie Cook.

Nostalgia is definitely the feeling across campus in regards to this concert.

“A lot of comments on social media have been like ‘Is it 2005?’ [or] ‘Oh my goodness, six-year-old me is thriving right now!’” said Cook. McCartney is not necessarily considered a new artist. His debut single, “Beautiful Soul,” was released in 2004, and he has released four albums in the span of the 15 years since, all covering a wide range of the pop genre. Taking a look at one of McCartney’s most recent setlists available, he seems to be playing into the nostalgia factor as well. Of the 15 songs Jesse performed, only five are from this decade. Grissom believes that students can still be excited about an artist mostly playing old hits. “Having that nostalgia is a nice little reminder that we grow up but also we can look back at the music that might have shaped our childhood,” she said, going on to refer to the concert as a “time capsule.” The most important part to Cook, however, is that “we all know the words” to his songs.

Many members of the student body have been both surprised and excited since the announcement of McCartney’s concert. “It has been received pretty well. There have been some, ‘oh, I’m down’ surprises,” said Grissom.

“A big thing we are emphasizing this year is that this is not the only concert we are having this year. We are trying to appeal to multiple students,” said Cook. Cook and Grissom both acknowledge some students might not be as excited for this concert as the rest of the student body. “I think there are some people who are more attracted to rap music, and that’s what you have for Red Fest.” For those that do want to listen to rap, ASUU has those students covered as the opening act, Dallas Wayde, was described as “electronic rap” by Cook.

The homecoming concert is Wednesday, Sept. 25, and doors open at 7 p.m. No outside food or drink is allowed, and there is a clear bag or small clutch policy. U students get one free ticket for the homecoming concert, and those students will have to use Smith Tix to get in. A meet-and-greet pass in is available for purchase if any student or concert goer would like to meet McCartney and get a photo taken with him. The U’s homecoming concert is not only for students — there are also general public tickets available for purchase.


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