The Emory community expressed mixed emotions about this year’s Homecoming artists, DJ Rehab and American alternative rock band Smash Mouth, who were selected by the Student Programming Council (SPC). While some Emory students and alumni look forward to Smash Mouth, others are unfamiliar with DJ Rehab. DJ Rehab will perform Friday, Sept. 23, and Smash Mouth, Saturday, Sept. 24, on McDonough Field, according to SPC.
SPC began selecting this year’s artists in May, the Wheel reported.
“We would reach out to different talent agencies to get their rosters for the specific budget that we’re working with,” SPC Band Party Chair and College senior Robbie Jacobs said.
SPC ultimately negotiated with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment to book Rehab and with Monterey International to book Smash Mouth, the Wheel reported.
SPC Band Party Chair and Goizueta Business School senior David Lawson said that SPC especially considers student reactions to past Homecoming performers.
“We … look at [artists] who performed in the past, so we can look at what has worked, what hasn’t worked [and] if we have gotten backlash from certain performers,” Lawson said.
This year’s combination of two distinct genres — DJ Rehab’s electronic dance music (EDM) and Smash Mouth’s alternative rock — could result in “a good turnout for Homecoming,” Lawson added.
Emory alumni expressed mixed reactions to the artist announcements.
“Oh, I don’t know Rehab,” Emory alumnus Paul Kagan (16B) said. “But Smash Mouth is obviously a childhood dream, right? Who didn’t like Smash Mouth growing up? They were like the band you were thinking about when you were seven, eight years old, so I’m jealous to say the least … I would definitely be in Atlanta if I could.”
Emory alumnus Joe Oliver (15C) said that he will not attend Homecoming either. “Honestly, I think that Rehab was a good get for you guys, [but] I don’t think Smash Mouth is that fantastic. I think people know one song from them, but I think Rehab will draw a lot more people, especially younger undergraduates.” He added, “I think they could’ve gotten somebody a little bit stronger [than Smash Mouth].”
Emory alumna Anika Rastgir (16C) shared Oliver’s sentiment about Smash Mouth.
“Smash Mouth has that one song, which is Emory’s specialty for SPC, getting artists that have that one song,” Rastgir said. “They always have a night DJ that’s a lot of fun, [and] they always have that one approachable band that people know something about but aren’t super excited about, so that’s the trend that they’re keeping.”
SPC selected American rapper Shwayze and folk rock band Indigo Girls to headline last year’s Homecoming concerts. EDM trio Cash Cash and American rock band Sugar Ray were chosen to perform in 2014.
Rastgir added that she will not attend either of the concerts.
“Homecoming is definitely not going to be a reason to bring me back [to Emory], especially if those are the two [artists] that are being offered,” she said.
Although Emory alumnus Raheem Ismaili (15B) is unsure if he will attend Homecoming this year, he said that he attended Homecoming concerts every year he was a student. Ismaili added that regardless of the popularity of each year’s Homecoming artists, SPC’s selections always inspired him to explore new music.
“I remember SPC brought out Big Boi from Outkast, which made many students look into his music, so [the Homecoming concert] does increase awareness and excitement for lesser-known artists,” Ismaili said.
Some current Emory students said they are looking forward to this year’s concerts.
“[I was] kind of intrigued by [SPC’s] choices this year because they’re very different,” College senior Jessica Burton said.
While Burton recognized that DJ Rehab is a lesser-known and more “up-and-coming” artist, she said that she looks forward to experiencing the overall concert environment.
As someone who has never attended Homecoming, College freshman Keely Heise plans to attend both performances and experience the two distinct artists perform live.
“I’ve always been a big Smash Mouth fan so I’m really pumped for them to come,” Heise said. “I [also] think DJ Rehab will definitely get the crowd excited.”
However, other students said that they are “indifferent” toward this year’s choice of artist.
“Alternative and EDM aren’t my favorite genres of music, but I don’t mind them,” College sophomore Pamela Liou said. “I don’t know either of the artists very well, so I’m not sure if I’m going to attend.”