Ask and you shall receive. When MSU’s POP Entertainment began searching for bands to perform on campus, they went straight to the source for requests: the students. Motion City Sountrack was just one of the bands in POPular demand, and the group has been working since the summer months to bring them to the Erickson Kiva.
To compile the many ideas of thousands of students into one consensus and one decision on what bands should be brought to MSU, POP plants eyes and ears around campus. The organization has a street team, which promotes POP’s upcoming events but also pays attention to bands and musicians that students on campus are fizzing about. These student opinions are melded with those from students who stay up-to-date on POP’s e-mail list to determine which bands should ultimately be brought to MSU.
However, the decision-making does not truly end with the student’s voice. Other aspects must first be taken into consideration, including a venue, an affordable ticket price, popularity and especially the cost of bringing the band to MSU.
Operating on a large budget cut funded by ASMSU, POP has worked diligently to bring quality entertainment to MSU students while still pinching pennies. Once a band has been agreed to, the painstaking work begins. POP works with the band’s managers to secure the group and an agreeable contract. This is why POP begins securing bands for the fall in summer, as this process can be meticulous and time-consuming.
In Motion City Soundtrack’s case, the band was excited at the opportunity to perform for MSU students. The small and unique venue the Erickson Kiva provides, with only a capacity for 500, appealed to the band, said POP Entertainment director and political theory sophomore, Grant Lyman.
Motion City has cultivated a grass-roots fan base from small performances like these. Despite touring with popular bands like Simple Plan and MXPX, the members of Motion City still pile everything into their van to satisfy their fanbase, which has grown mostly through word-of-mouth. The band was inspired by techno, the 80s, and even Huey Luis and Elvis Costello. Justin Pierre, lead vocals; Jesse Johnson, keyboards; Tony Thaxton, drums and Matthew Taylor, bass, blend their musical tastes to form a not-so-gruff rock sound.
“The combination of rock and electronic is a very cool sound. I like. . . the mellow electronic music but a little edgier with the rock elements,” journalism junior Daniel Thai said. Thai became a fan of Motion City after a friend played their album, I am the Movie, for him.
Other students must also agree with Thai’s taking to the band, leaving only a few tickets left to be sold at the door on November 19.
“This is a killer band that’s up on the rise,” Lyman said. “They have a huge market in Grand Rapids and Detroit and were a sure bet in [bringing in] students.”
Tickets for the Motion City Soundtrack concert November 19 are available in Room 322 of the Union, Flat Black and Circular, and CD Warehouse. Students can contact POP Entertainment with ideas for performers at pop@msu.edu.

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