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Surprise Show at Hawk’s Nest Rocks University of Hartford Campus

Saturday was like any other day in Connecticut; students relaxed, caught up on homework, and watched movies. That is until around 6 PM when members of the band We the Living arrived on campus and asked if they could play a surprise show at the Hawk’s Nest.

After phone calls shot around campus for about thirty minutes it was decided that we could not pass up the opportunity to have a band of this caliber not perform. A frenzy soon broke out with emails being delivered to everyone on campus and even the band walking around about an hour before show time promoting the event.

In two hours more promotion was done than anyone thought possible. Flyers were made, emails sent, posters posted and all without a sliver of doubt on anyone’s part that it would be a success, due to a killer effort by all of the students involved. Nine o’clock rolled around and We the Living met in the hallway before swarming on the nest.

The logistics of this show were made very easy by the band themselves. Touring the country complete with a sound system and full lighting setup essentially turned the Hawk’s Nest into a raging music venue.

About fifty people were on hand to witness what escalated into an epic night of music. Every single person in the crowd, ranging from passer byers to residential assistants to servers at the Hawk’s Nest, were blown away by the performance. Their set included songs “London Rain,” and “Best Laid Plans.”

Among these songs a heckler yelled “Freebird,” from the back of the room. Of course it is never something you want a band to cover, just something you might come up with in the moment. The band shot back with their “Freebird Policy,” which stated that anyone who yells out the infamous song name gets to come onstage and play it. The student didn’t play it, and to the benefit of the audience, it meant they could hear more from John Paul, Ben, Matt and Jasper, the members of We the Living.

The band said that touring is always the priority and they love the opportunity to come to a college and play an impromptu show. It gives them the chance to play to a new crowd, meet new fans, and make new friends.

We The Living was is currently on tour promoting their latest studio album “Heights of the Heavens,” and after the show spent over and hour meeting with every single person in attendance and signing every copy of the album that they had sold that evening.

This was followed by another impromptu appearance on the University of Hartford’s radio station. For seven hours a band came to campus, made the right calls, setup a show, played that show, conducted interviews and then was gone without anyone knowing they had ever arrived.

The greatest part of the entire night is how the campus united to bring an awesome event to campus in a matter of hours, not months. Any other time, an event such as this one may have taken months of meetings, negotiations and review before being approved. The nature of this event did not allow any of that to happen and it was a great success. There were students helping the band setup, sell merchandise, pack-up the trailer and help these strangers from California give us a night at the University of Hartford we will never forget.

To see pictures from this concert please visit: or find the link on the right in my recent posts

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