[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Pop punk quartet Cartel brought CampusFest 2014 to a close Saturday night.
The band, which boasts such hits as “Say Anything (Else)” and “Lose It,” rocked the Gemmell Multi-Purpose Room in an hour-long set, playing staple songs and new tracks from last year’s album “Collider.”
“I thought it was awesome,” said University Activity Board’s CampusFest chair Maggie Abrams. “It’s funny, they’ve [Cartel] been a band since 2003, but their vocals and everything are so strong. They have such a strong connection with each other and it was cool to see that on stage.”
This was the first show Cartel performed this year. Singer Will Pugh will be performing several acoustic shows in Australia next month.
“Collider” was released last March, and was made available digitally. Hard copies could be purchased through Cartel’s record label District Lines. The band also had hard copies on hand at CampusFest and said it would “probably” do this again in the future.
“You see the CD section at retailers just get smaller and smaller, and even on our biggest release days, people are like ‘Where is it? I can’t find it,’” said drummer Kevin Sanders. “It almost took all of that confusion away, and said ‘You can go to these three digital places with your fingers, your phone and your easiness and get it.’”
Cartel has been together for over 10 years now and has gone through a number of lineup changes over the years. Original guitarist Andy Lee left in 2004 and was replaced by current guitarist Nic Hudson. Bassist Ryan Roberts left in 2006 and was replaced by Jeff Lett, who left in 2011. Pugh now plays bass guitar along with being the band’s vocalist. Other past members include bassist Jeff Tolefson and guitarist Stephen Fucito.
“It was weird that first time, but it was so fast and so much was going on that first time,” said Sanders on the lineup changes.
“We’ve been on the road and working so much since it started that even when Andy left initially and Ryan left shortly thereafter, it was kind of like ‘OK,’” said Pugh. “We’ve known this guy [Hudson] forever, so it was like I forget we even had another guitar player sometimes.”
“Whenever we pick somebody else to replace somebody, they’re pretty competent musicians, so it’s usually not that hard,” said guitarist Joseph Pepper.
The band says times have changed for the music world since the band’s inception in late 2003.
“It seems like bands have to work so much harder. When we started, it was like ‘Update the MySpace, put the song on PureVolume. That’s all you gotta do,’” said Pugh. “And now it’s like you gotta update your Twitter every 15 minutes. You’ve gotta reply to fans every five seconds.”
“I couldn’t imagine being a new band now,” said Pepper. “There are more bands now than ever, especially younger, pop punk bands.”
The decision to have the band as well as the other CampusFest acts perform in the Gemmell MPR came after a plethora of variables, including the future renovation of Tippin Gymnasium and a growing demand for diversity by students, according to Abrams.
Seven hundred thirty tickets were sold or given away for the performance, which also hosted opening act Echosmith.
For next year, Abrams says much planning is needed before picking artists.
“It all depends on the Tippin renovations, and there’s a lot of stuff we need to look into before we can even look into artists,” said Abrams.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_facebook type=”standard”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_tweetmeme type=”horizontal”][/vc_column][/vc_row]