Today@Sam Article

Country, Rap Artists Highlight Sammypalooza Concert Lineup

Feb. 1, 2017
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

Sam Houston State University will welcome the Eli Young Band and A$AP Ferg on March 29 for the spring Sammypalooza concert series.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m., with A$AP Ferg opening for the headlining Eli Young Band. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

“Eli Young Band was selected because there is a big country fan base here at SHSU and we have not had a headlined country act in a long time; we felt they were a great choice for our university,” said Steven Begnaud, assistant director in the Department of Student Activities. “We also put out a Twitter poll that garnered more than 3,000 votes, with 50 percent of the total votes going toward A$AP Ferg. At that point, the choice was easy.”

Comprised of lead vocalist Mike Eli, guitarist James Young, bassist Jon Jones, and drummer Chris Thompson, the Texas-based Eli Young Band began performing together in 2000 while attending the University of North Texas.

Eli Young Band
Eli Young Band

The band started playing in tiny clubs, honing their skills on the Lone Star State’s competitive music circuit by building a rabid fan base who appreciated their potent live shows and the edgy, passionate indie albums that preceded their major label ascension. 

Graduating to packing out theatres and mid-size venues as a headliner, the band has earned three No. 1 hits and major academy recognitions via their Republic Nashville-produced album “Life at Best,” as well as an opening slot playing stadiums on the Kenny Chesney tour. 

The 2011 release of “Life at Best” scored the group its first No. 1 hit with “Crazy Girl,” which went double platinum and became the No. 1 most played country song of the year on Billboard’s 2011 year-end chart and earned them a Grammy nomination and the Academy of Country Music Award for “Song of the Year.” No. 1 hits from the album also included the platinum single “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” which also earned Grammy nods and ACM and Country Music Association recognitions; as well as the Josh Osborne and Laura Veltz-penned song “Drunk Last Night.”

All of the miles on the road and visits to 10,000 towns coalesced in their new album, their second through Republic Nashville, called “10,000 Towns.”

The second single “Dust”—a rock-tinged number about a girl leaving small town life behind and taking charge of her future—was the No. 1 most added song on the chart the first week, with a massive 62 stations on board.

A$AP Ferg
A$AP Ferg

The next member of the A$AP Mob collective to have a solo project, A$AP Ferg hails from a block in Harlem notoriously known as “Hungry Ham” (Hamilton Heights) and has worked throughout his career to break those barriers by launching clothing and jewelry lines and attending art school.

His reputation for constantly bobbing and weaving past expectations carries over to his career as a rapper, in which unpredictability remains his only calling card; he seamlessly slips from gruff, gritty rhymes to soaring singing in his A$AP Worldwide-debut mixtape “Trap Lord.”

Eventually, his hustle, creativity and business acumen extended to music; in 2010, Ferg and A$AP Rocky teamed up for the viral hits “Get High,” “Kissin’ Pink,” and the explosive “Ghetto Symphony” from Rocky’s chart-topping major label 2013 debut “LONG.LIVE.A$AP.” 

Ferg’s formal introduction to music came via his first single “Work,” which resounds with “gutter-fabulous production” from Chinza & Fly—whom he found on tumblr while touring with Rocky on Drake’s Club Paradise Tour. Upon its release, the music video quickly racked up more than 2 million online views and was dubbed one of the “50 Best Songs of 2012” by tastemaker 

Student tickets will be available on Wednesday (Feb. 15) and can be obtained at Johnson Coliseum Box Office No. 2. Students are eligible to receive up to two free tickets with an active Bearkat OneCard.

Public tickets will go on sale for $20 on March 8 and also can be purchased at Johnson Coliseum Box Office No. 2 or by phone at 936.294.3021.

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