Country duo Maddie and Tae will perform on campus

Country+music+duo+Maddie+and+Tae+will+perform+at+the+Vandament+Arena+at+8+p.m.+on+Friday%2C+April+27%2C+in+a+concert+hosted+by+NMU+and+Northern+Arts+and+Entertainment.%0APhoto+courtesy+of+Northern+Arts+and+Enternainment%0A

Country music duo Maddie and Tae will perform at the Vandament Arena at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 27, in a concert hosted by NMU and Northern Arts and Entertainment. Photo courtesy of Northern Arts and Enternainment

Jackie Jahfetson

A twangy Texan voice sings about how the world has gone wrong in the realm of country music. A place where girls are regarded for their looks and wearing “painted on cut- off jeans.” Her voice sends a message to the bros of country music, saying “we ain’t a cliche.” Another voice harmonizes in and together, they expose the level of sexism in country music.

From Nashville to Marquette, Maddie and Tae will bring their power anthems and country flair to NMU on Friday, April 27.

Doors of the Vandament Arena will open at 7 p.m. with two local opening acts beginning at 8 p.m. The event is hosted by NMU and Northern Arts and Entertainment (NAE).

As a student organization, NAE strives to provide the NMU student body with a diverse amount of entertainment and after doing some research, Maddie and Tae seemed to fit the package, said junior graphic design major and NAE President Megan Hillier.

“We haven’t had a female act in three-and-a-half years. We think it’s important to focus on all acts we can possibly bring,” Hillier
said. “It’s going to be a fun show.”

With previous acts being rap artists, it’s important to “cater to the diversity” on NMU’s campus, Hillier said. Maddie and Tae’s music is upbeat and fun but they also have ballad songs that are catchy. And this is an opportunity for students and the Marquette community to see an upcoming big name in country music, she added.

I’ve heard nothing but good things [about Maddie and Tae]
from people on the events page on Facebook. Country shows are always fun. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy country music, the shows that the country artists put on are always a good time.”

For opening acts like country soloist Martin Manderfield of Houghton, this concert is not only an opportunity to perform on a big stage in front of an attentive audience but it’s a chance to provide the community with a great show. Though Manderfield has experience playing in the local bar scene around the Houghton area and in Phoenix, Arizona, he said he’s been practicing every day to make sure he “complements” the rest of the show.

“It’s really exciting. I’m nervous but I’m looking forward to it,”
Manderfield said. “I think it’s going to be a good opportunity to see what I’m made of and I’m interested to see how it plays out.”

Performing alongside fellow opening act Stina Jay and the headliners, people can expect “quality entertainment,” Manderfield said. He got involved with this event after seeing a Facebook post on NAE’s page calling for local singers, Manderfield said. After sending in a SoundCloud audio clip and a video of one of his performances, Manderfield was approved to be one of the opening acts.

Though performing on a big stage like the Vandament Arena is a huge opportunity, Manderfield said he wakes up each morning rehearsing his three originals and two country covers to make sure he nails his 20 minute set.

With a country-genre atmosphere, there’s a “realness” to the lyrics in all of the performer’s music, Manderfield said, adding, Maddie and Tae will add a layer of “genuity” to the event.

“I think they’re phenomenal songwriters, singers and performers. I’m excited not only to meet them but watch them perform,” he said.

People can purchase tickets at any NMU Ticket Outlet with $20 general admission for NMU students and $25 for the general public. A total of 50 VIP tickets will be offered to NMU students only with a verification of their NMU ID. The $35 special ticket allows for students to enter the arena 30 minutes before the show and includes a signed event poster and a chance to meet Maddie and Tae. Tickets can also be purchased at tickets.nmu.edu.