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Welcome Back Concert headlined by Sam Adams, Travis Porter

By Anthony Lauriello     8/17/12 7:00pm

While Rice celebrates the well-known ac- ademics and leaders it recruited to speak at the Centennial lectures in Tudor Fieldhouse this October, a decidedly different scene will take place on Saturday at the 2012 RPC Wel- come Back Concert. Instead of a Supreme Court Chief Justice who writes lofty opinions about the constitution there will be rap trio Travis Porter with a song about ordering biscuits at Waffle House while intoxicated. Instead of a renowned scientist dedicated to bringing more women into her field, there will be Sam Adams, whose most famous song is titled "I Hate College." Of course, the main purpose of these colorful music acts is not to elucidate but to entertain as part of an all out effort by the RPC to welcome new and old students to the 2012-2013 school year.

The party begins with a Welcome Back Festival from 5-7 p.m. The Facebook event promises inflatable entertainment such as boxing and jousting and of course beer for those of age. Perhaps worried that these of- ferings would not be enough to lure students

to Tudor Fieldhouse before the concert, the RPC has decided to hand the tickets out at the festival itself, providing an extra incen- tive to attend. They are also trying to further integrate the festivities with Outreach Day, a popular volunteering program for freshmen by providing an Orientation Week tent with different colored shirts and other "perks."

At 7:00 p.m. the music begins with an opening act presented by KTRU. The band is the "Tontons," a name referencing the "tauntaun" creature that Han Solo and Luke Skywalker camp out in during "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back." Luck- ily for us, the quartet sounds far better than their name's inspiration, which "Star Wars" fans will remember has a call that somehow resembles both a horse and a duck.

Instead, the Houston band has an indie rock sound with heavy jazz influences. Their music video "Leon" does a good job of dem- onstrating their feel while showcasing many scenes and restaurants that should be famil- iar to any Houstonian.

At 8:00 p.m. comes Travis Porter. The rap group comes from the ATL, a now mythical place in counterparty music where the girls are called shawtys and the choruses are re- petitive, simple and unbelievably catchy. The group's most known song is "Make it Rain" which has made several appearances at Rice public parties. While the song's content might be objectionable to some (hint: it does not actually concern precipitation), it has an undeniable way of getting stuck in your head. Other songs include "Bring it Back," and their Waffle House viral music video, which is as ridiculous as it is enjoyable.

Sam Adams will take the stage at 9:00 p.m. Not too long ago the rapper was a regu- lar college student at Trinity College in Hart- ford, Conn., until his remix of Asher Roth's "I Love College," entitled "I Hate College," became a sensation a few years ago. The Bos- ton native is now pursuing music full time. While Sam Adams rapping about his home- town is certainly not unique, it is the only mainstream act I know of in which you will hear about places like Cambridge and Nan- tucket. Other popular songs include "Blow Up" and "Only One."

With the exception of the opening act, this year's Welcome Back Concert will cer- tainly be in the category of "guilty plea- sures." However, with an arduous school year set to begin, everyone could use some carefree entertainment.

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