Love and Theft Raise Money for Cancer Research at Spring Fling

By Hutton Jackson
A&E and Online Editor

This article was originally published in Issue 14, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (April 28, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue. 

Country duo Love and Theft performed at this years Spring Fling concert. Photo by Hutton Jackson.
Country duo Love and Theft performed at this years Spring Fling concert. Photo by Hutton Jackson.

DSU Live hosted its annual Spring Fling Concert on April 22, featuring the popular country duo Love and Theft.

This year also marked the first time DSU Live partnered with the DeSales chapter of Colleges Against Cancer, which was hosting its 10th annual Relay for Life (see Kimmie Semiday’s article here.) The result was the 2016 Spring Fling Concert for a Cure not only helped raise attendance for both events, but also raised money for the American Cancer Society with all proceeds from the Spring Fling ticket sales and 50 percent of the Love and Theft merchandise sold going to the organization.

“We decided to combine Relay and the concert for several reasons,” said junior Alec Roman, vice president of DSU Live. “One, we had scheduling conflicts that limited the availability of the DeSales University Center. Two, there was a country festival on the date we originally picked for the concert. Lastly, since we donate the money to a charity every year, we felt that this would be a great start of a tradition.”

The DSU Live team spent countless hours preparing to host the show long before the headlining band was even chosen.

“We started by putting out a survey to students to determine the genre for the band. That was put out in the fall of 2015,” continued Roman. “Once it was determined that country would be the genre, we worked with our agent to find bands within our budget that have traditionally done well at college shows. Love and Theft was at the top of the list and Tracy [Gallagher] was able to have the bid confirmed and the contract signed before Christmas break.”

The DSU Live team spent the entire spring semester promoting and organizing the show on campus and to the public through local radio networks and on the band’s webpage and social media outlets.

Gallagher, the assistant director of student engagement and leadership, secured all the logistics such as stage and lighting equipment, security, communication and coordination with the bands. Additionally, junior Olivia Reese was in charge of marketing and promoting the show, and Roman led the numerous other student members of DSU Live in conducting the logistics and other operations on the day of the show.

The result was an extremely energetic and interactive concert. Spring Fling opened with the Harrisburg band Mountain Road, who performed several of their own songs in addition to covers of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”

The main duo Stephen Barker Liles (middle left) and Eric Gunderson (middle right) both delivered energetic performances. Photo by Hutton Jackson.
The main duo Stephen Barker Liles (middle left) and Eric Gunderson (middle right) both delivered energetic performances. Photo by Hutton Jackson.

Then Love and Theft came on stage and raised the energy even more. Whether it was telling stories of how they wrote their songs or taking selfies with audience members, the band’s lead duo Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson interacted with audience members throughout the show.

They played a variety of songs including many of their classic hits like the number-one single “Angel Eyes,” as well as “Amen,” “Runaway” and “If You Ever Get Lonely,” along with covers of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.” Additionally, they also played several songs featured on their latest album “Whiskey on My Breath” such as the title track, “Anywhere,” “Tan Lines” and “Wrong Baby Wrong,” which they wrote for Martina McBride.

The 2016 Spring Fling Concert for a Cure was a huge success for DSU Live and Colleges Against Cancer. Roman said DSU Live hopes the partnership starts “a tradition of making this one big event on campus.”

“We felt partnering was important because we all are big supporters of Relay for Life here on campus,” said Roman.

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