Got convictions? Forget about ’em

By Alex Fiore

DeKALB | It’s that time of year again.

A new class of freshman has made its way to NIU, bringing with them a diverse array of tastes, styles, and convictions.

Well, forget that.

College is time for exploration, experimentation and generally making yourself uncomfortable in the name of experience.

That is why I implore this year’s class of freshmen (and anyone else who is open to change) to broaden their horizons when it comes to the music they listen to.

DeKalb has a unique quality as the kind of town where you can hear music anywhere from a dive bar to a pristine auditorium to a sold-out Convocation Center.

So I ask again: Give everything a chance, whether you think you’ll like it or not.

The first great chance is Middlewest Fest in downtown DeKalb Sept. 9 and 10, where you’ll have the chance to hear over 50 different bands.

Go get your boogie on to Cornmeal, a bluegrass band that features violinist Allie Kral, who I’m fairly confident the Devil calls up when he needs fiddle lessons.

Channel your inner David Byrne when Talking Heads tribute This Must Be The Band takes the stage, or go watch Gene Ween play a raucous version of “Roses are Free.”

Come see the pretty lights when Pretty Lights rocks the Convo or spark your lighter high in the air during “Dust in the Wind” when Kansas rolls into DeKalb to play with the NIU Philharmonic Orchestra in October.

It’s not all about hearing music from established artists, either. Head to the East Lagoon or behind Neptune to see what your local campus troubadours are crooning about.

Head to the House Cafe, 263 E. Lincoln Highway on Mondays or Otto’s Nightclub and Underground, 188 W. Lincoln Highway, on Wednesdays to see open mic nights.

Take some time to go see some of NIU’s own classical and jazz musicians. Their performances are sure to leave you with a greater appreciation for the fine arts.

Plus, you never know when you might be witnessing history.

In 1991, the Duke Ellington Ballroom hosted a three-artist concert. The performers? Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, and Smashing Pumpkins.

That’s 1991, when Pearl Jam had just released “Ten” and RHCP were still playing “Seinfeld”-theme slapbass funk.

Whatever you do, keep an open mind because you might be surprised by what you hear.

Besides, don’t you want to brag to your friends in ten years that you saw the next Pearl Jam when they were playing a fraternity party?