October 27, 2012 6:40:47 PM
When synth pop-rockers Neon Trees last week suddenly canceled their fall college tour -- which included Bulldog Bash in Starkville Nov. 2 -- Mississippi State's Student Association was sent scrambling to secure another co-headline act on short notice. The fates were with them.
The association announced Tuesday that the Eli Young Band will now join a lineup that already includes pop singer/songwriter Andy Grammer, Academy of County Music Award winners Gloriana and DJ Archnemesis performing in Starkville's historic Cotton District Friday.
The celebrated act, often coined as EYB, is based in Denton, Texas. They will visit the Golden Triangle directly after an appearance Nov. 1 on the 46th annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, broadcast on ABC. Their single "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," written by Will Hoge and Eric Paslay, is nominated for Song of the Year. EYB is also nominated for Vocal Group of the Year. They've already garnered a 2012 American County Music Award for Song of the Year, with "Crazy Girl."
"The Student Association was really excited to get the Eli Young Band; they're up for Vocal Group of the Year the night before and that's really exciting," said Sara Vance, co-director of Bulldog Bash. "We definitely didn't expect Neon Trees' tour to be canceled, but after that happened, we just kept rolling."
Organizers say Bulldog Bash is the largest free outdoor concert event in Mississippi, drawing approximately 35,000 visitors. Past performers include The Avett Brothers, Jason Mraz, Third Eye Blind, Gavin Degraw, Eric Church and many others.
Various businesses, organizations and restaurants will fill the Cotton District with booths and tempting aromas of food prepared on-site. Family-friendly FanFare, with plenty of children's activities, begins at 3 p.m., followed by an MSU pep rally at 5:30 p.m., according to a schedule posted at msubulldogbash.org.
Live music on the Clark Beverage Group Main Stage begins at 6 p.m., with area musicians Surviving Allison, winners of a recent Battle of the Bands. Andy Grammer is scheduled to go on at 7 p.m., Gloriana at 8:15 p.m. and the Eli Young Band from 9:30-11:30 p.m. DJ Archnemesis will play between sets. Events are free.
"We've gotten great feedback from the student body and the public, and we're expecting a fantastic event," said Vance.
For more information, including street closings, go to msubulldogbash.org, or contact MSU's Center for Student Activities at 662-325-2930, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.