Television ads sell diamond necklaces and expensive rings, florists offer bargains on dozens of roses, even Wal-Mart has had Valentine’s Day gifts spread across their aisles for over a month. However, a large group of Northern students plan on spending their Valentine’s Day in a more untraditional manner.
This Valentine’s Day, Radio X is hosting an anti-Valentine’s Day extravaganza featuring free T-shirt stenciling, a zone to smash romantic items, a performance by the Bad Seed Burlesque Company and live music by three bands, including the progressive-metal band Russian Circles.
“I don’t like Valentine’s Day. I think it’s a Hallmark Holiday where for one day out of the year you say you love somebody and the rest of the year it doesn’t matter, and I hate that,” event organizer Anne Bradley said.
NMU senior sociology major Dan Hall said he agrees with Bradley that Valentine’s Day is an over-inflated Hallmark holiday.
“I think a lot of people put too much emphasis on Valentine’s Day when it’s just another day out of the year.”
Bradley said the idea for the event was inspired by a conversation she had with a member of NMU athletics. Bradley decided that the best way to get more people to attend the show was to tie in promotions between Radio X and NMU sporting events.
Radio X hosted a “Name That Tune” competition at the home hockey game on Feb. 1, and Wattson & Wattson Jewelers is hosting a “Diamond Date Night” at the basketball game Thursday. In addition anyone who brings a ticket stub from last weekend hockey games or basketball games will receive a free prize.
One of the highlights of the event is an area where concertgoers can vent their Valentine’s Day frustrations by destroying any romantic items they bring in exchange for a free item from Radio X.
“We are going to have an area set up in the Great Lakes Rooms where people can take whatever romantic item they brought and rip it up, smash it, hammer it, whatever they want to do to it really,” Bradley said. “It’s going to be a pile of destruction.”
Hall said he was looking forward to being able to destroy something at the show and was hoping to bring in a memento given to him by his ex-girlfriend.
“Maybe a picture of me and her,” Hall said. “I’d take those and destroy them a bit. I wish I had a gift from her left up here because if I did, I would take that and crush it.”
Progressive-metal band Russian Circles is headlining Thursday’s show. The band, from Chicago, has toured with bands such as Minus the Bear, Chin Up Chin Up and Tool. They also have performed at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin.
“We’re really lucky to have them up here,” Bradley said. “Russian Circles is one of the most underappreciated bands in the metal scene right now.”
Opening for Russian Circles is hardcore band Beast in the Field. Houghton rockers Spare the Rod will also return to Marquette to kick off the musical action.
“People should come to this show because it’s better than having to buy a $50 dinner for your girlfriend or sitting around depressed because you don’t have one. It’s going to be a fun night to be together with other people,” Bradley said.
The show is on Thursday, Feb. 14 and begins at 8 p.m. in the Great Lakes Rooms. It is free for students and $5 for non-students.
Editor’s note: Anne Bradley is a contributing writer for The North Wind.