Bands rock the Oval

Jen Rainey | Collegio Reporter

Students gathered around the Oval on Thursday, March 15, to eat dinner and listen to the local student band Dead Eye and national touring artist Jay Nash.
James Smith was in charge of the show, which was hosted by the Student Activities Council. He says club members decided to book Nash for this event after seeing him play last February in St. Louis, Mo.

Jay Nash performs in the Oval on Thursday, March 15.  Nash has opened for performers such as Katy Perry and Maroon 5. Photo by:Julie Huston/Collegioa

Jay Nash performs in the Oval on Thursday, March 15. Nash has opened for performers such as Katy Perry and Maroon 5. Photo by:Julie Huston/Collegioa

“We saw Jay Nash at NACA (National Association for Campus Activities) and liked him,” said Smith, senior in commercial graphics. “We figured it’d be good to have a chill event, have him play and grill some hot dogs before spring break.”
Smith says 150 to 200 students attended. Alejandra Aveaio says she attended the show because it was something new to do.
“This university has a lot going on and it’s always great to listen to live music,” said Aveaio, graduate student in English. “I liked that it was outside instead of being in the U-Club like events usually are. I liked it when he told how he wrote the songs. He was very funny and sincere.”
Nash connected with the audience by telling stories, like the first time he toured Europe or lost love. He explained what inspired him to write his music.
“You have to learn and experience things like relationships, art and your surroundings,” Nash said. “You soak it up and, hopefully regurgitate it.”
Nash has played more than 1,000 shows and sold more than 25,000 albums. He has toured from California to Europe and shared the stage with Katy Perry, Counting Crows, Maroon 5, Keb Mo and many others. He says his influences include The Grateful Dead, The Band, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan and Charley Parker, and he started playing music in middle school.
However, he began playing professionally part time while living in Los Angeles in 2003. He was running a club there where he could play his music and book other artists who wanted to do the same thing.
“I did that until my record, ‘Things You Think You Need,’ came out in 2008,” Nash said. “That got me out of the trenches a bit.”
Although he has played to large crowds all over the country, Nash also frequents the college scene, playing shows at a variety of campuses. He says he enjoyed performing for the students at Pittsburg State.
“It was delightful,” Nash said. “The weather was totally beautiful and Dead Eye was ferocious.”
Dead Eye, an all-female folk band, opened for Nash. The band consists of Pittsburg State University students Meg McCoy (cello), sophomore in music performance; Jenna McCarty (banjo), senior in nursing; Sam Mahon (guitar), senior in music; Taylor Rea (percussion), sophomore in music performance and Jennifer Murphy (saxophone), senior in music performance.
McCoy says she was grateful to perform at the show.
“The stage, the lights and all of our friends here … I can’t tell you how great that is, especially opening for Jay Nash.” McCoy said. “It was awesome.”

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