Country music star sparks excitement

Trent Podskalan

Rodney Atkins

Dust off your boots, pull out your cowboy hat and prepare for a night of country music in NMU’s Vandament Arena. Rodney Atkins will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 with openers Rose Falcon and Frankie Ballard.

The 44-year-old Tennessee native has had six number-one hits from his first three albums including “If You’re Going Through Hell” (2006), “These Are My People” (2006), “Farmer’s Daughter” (2010) and “Take A Back Road” (2011), according to his website. He has sold over four million singles since 2008. He released a new single, “Doin’ It Right,” that hit the airwaves Monday, Oct. 14.

Northern Arts and Entertainment (NAE) President Brittany Craighead said this is one of the first major tours NMU has been listed on.

“Getting on his tour is huge for us,” Craighead said. “People will want to come up here once they see we’re on his tour.”

Senior marketing major Roy Robert Owensby said this will be one of the first concerts he’s attended at NMU.

“I’m actually going to be able to know the music that’s being performed and sing along and have a good time,” Owensby said. “I’m really excited about that.”

Senior criminal justice major Kyle Grabowski said he’s always enjoyed the country concert atmosphere and it’s something he wants to get back into.

“I just like the laid-back style of country in general,” Grabowski said. “Not even just the concerts but the music and story the music can tell.”

Craighead said the Vandament wasn’t NAE’s first choice.

“Unfortunately there were some conflicts with reservations in the Berry already,” Craighead said. “But it’s going to be a good show no matter what.”

As of Monday, Oct. 14, Craighead said 689 tickets were sold. One-third the Vandament’s capacity was sold through Facebook and word-of-mouth before any other promotions occurred.

Craighead said you could get your tickets at no cost.

“Keep a watch on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and we’ll be posting about giveaways shortly,” Craighead said.

Look for “Northern Arts and Entertainment” on Facebook and “@NAEofNMU” on Twitter and Instagram to find updates.

“A lot of people are freaking out and don’t know what to wear,” Grabowski said. “[But] everybody seems to be super-excited.”

Craighead said no cameras will be allowed and bags will be checked.

“We’re going to make sure there is no alcohol or drugs,” Craighead said. “We’ll also have extra security there and walking around during the concert.”

Tickets are on sale now and are $18 for NMU students and $35 for the general public.

The concert is sponsored by NAE and the Student Activity Fee.  Doors open at 6 p.m.