Though the concert went off without a hitch, there was much work involved in the behind-the-scenes process of getting MAGIC GIANT on the stage.
The first step, according to SAB’s Concert Executive Matthew Sechrist, was to sit down with his team and think about what genre they wanted to showcase for this year’s concert. From there, Sechrist listened to plenty of music on Spotify and read articles about trending bands to further determine the direction he was looking to go before reaching out to potential artists.
“Then we’ll send off a bid and, fingers crossed, we’ll get it,” Sechrist said. “This spring it was a little tedious because we sent off probably about ten bids.”
One of those bids was sent to MAGIC GIANT, a West Coast group that has drawn comparisons to Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers and Walk the Moon. They accepted, and Sechrist could move on to the next steps.
SAB is required to pass any artist, film or activity they plan to bring to campus through a filter called “TRAQ”, so Sechrist had to make sure the college would be on board with having MAGIC GIANT perform.
“Part of my role is trying, in a way, to justify why [MAGIC GIANT is] going to be good,” Sechrist said. “I’ll just talk about the truth they’ll bring to campus and some of the positives.”
With Messiah on board, it was time to talk contracts with MAGIC GIANT.
“We looked at their contract, they looked at our contract, sent a few copies back and forth until we got a good copy of the final edition where we were both happy,” Sechrist said.
Once both parties are happy with the contract terms, SAB begins working on logistics for the stage, food for the band and other aspects of the concert itself.
SAB isn’t the only organization on campus that gets involved behind the curtain when it comes to putting on a campus concert. The Department of Safety also plays a large role in making sure the show is comfortable, enjoyable and safe for everyone in attendance.
Part of that role includes staffing the concert venue with Student Traffic Officers to act as part of the security team during the night’s show. Xie Lin Yong is a freshman on the student safety team, and one of the lucky team members to be chosen for the task.
“It’s always intrigued me—being behind the scenes of things,” Yong said. “Coming to this college I saw lots of opportunities to actually see what it’s like standing in shoes of people who are working to make sure we’re safe and taking care of us.”
Working behind the scenes of a Messiah concert is certainly not without its perks. “Some of us get to go to the green room and take pictures with them,” Yong said. “I didn’t get to go but I saw them. I got to shake their hands and things like that. It was pretty cool.”
Sechrist did have the privilege to interact with MAGIC GIANT backstage before the show, as well as the openers, Los Elk. “Both bands were awesome people and super down to earth,” he said. “MAGIC GIANT especially were a blast to hang out with and share a meal with.”
After months of hard work to get MAGIC GIANT to the stage, Sechrist said it felt really good to finally see his and SAB’s efforts come to fruition. “It was nice to see people enjoy something I put a lot of time and energy into.”
Sechrist will continue serving as SAB’s Concert Executive next year and has plans to start searching for the next big act over the summer. After the excitement and success of Saturday’s show, Sechrist said, “It gets me pumped to start the process over again and try to make it even better.”