Country benefit concert gets rave reviews from crowd

The Band Perry played a concert at WKU benefitting Global Volunteer Network’s “Eat So They Can.” The concert was presented by Omega Phi Alpha on Thursday.

Joanna Williams

People lined up as early as 1 p.m. Thursday to get into Diddle Arena for The Band Perry concert that night, eventually filling the arena with at least a couple thousand people.

The concert, put on by Omega Phi Alpha, was a benefit to raise money for Global Volunteer Network’s “Eat So They Can” program, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the charity, said Kayla Clausen, an alumna of OPA who worked since last summer to organize the event.

Opening for the band was Bowling Green-based country group “Floored.” After they were done with their set of six songs, The Band Perry took the stage.

The crowd was packed with screaming fans both old and young for The Band Perry, a country group made up of siblings Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry, whose debut album just achieved gold certification earlier this week, according to a press release from their record label.

The band performed a number of songs including their hits “If I Die Young,” “Hip to My Heart” and “Postcard to Paris.” During the concert they announced they were up for an American Country Music Award.

Kimberly, the lead singer, kept the crowd cheering as she shared stories of life on the road and the band’s childhood.

After they were done performing they promised to meet every single person afterwards during a meet and greet.

Many students raved about the band, including Louisville sophomore Allie Jaggers.

“It was awesome,” Jaggers said. “They were a lot better in person than I thought they would be.”

Clausen said she didn’t know how many tickets were sold, but that judging from attendance the show had been a success.

“I felt like the crowd was wonderful,” she said. “I think it was a wonderful show. I don’t know numbers very well but it seemed pretty full.”

OPA President Katie Stillwell, a junior from Bowling Green, said she thinks the attendance was just an ode to how helpful people in Bowling Green are willing to help one another.

“I think the people of Western and the people of Bowling Green really showed what they were made of tonight,” she said. “I mean, they came to a benefit on a Thursday night.”

The concert didn’t just attract people from the campus community, but many people came from the region as well.

Nashville resident Kirsten Studley said this was her fourth time seeing the band perform and that it was safe to say they are her favorite band.

“I always feel like they sound better live than they sound on their CD,” she said.

Peggy Lewooten from Glasgow said she and her daughter have both been fans of The Band Perry for about a year. Affordability and distance were deciding factors in whether they came or not.

“I think that it’s a great cause,” she said. “There should be more concerts like this. And I liked that the tickets were affordable, especially with this economy.”