The gods of rock ‘n’ roll smiled down on Dunn Meadow on Friday, as lightning did not strike and rain remained a drizzle, allowing State Radio to perform a free show for IU and those who traveled from faraway places like Madison, Wis., Northern Illinois University and Louisville, Ky.
Deuce Thevenow, co-director of the Business Careers and Entertainment Club, was the main organizer of the event, which required a year of planning. Thevenow drew his inspiration from his friend Charles “Corky” Owen McCormick IV, who died from an overdose of fentanyl.
Morgan “Amy” McCormick is a senior and Corky’s sister.
“I just wasn’t expecting this entire show, and Deuce is such a go-getter,” McCormick said. “I was impressed he was able to pull the whole thing off and the fact that he still cared after five years.”
“I’ve got friends that are going down the same path where they are starting to use hardcore painkillers, and a lot of them are addicted,” Thevenow said.
Addicted to Music presented the event with members of the club. Thevenow also helped create a documentary about IU students who have dealt with addiction problems in their family, featured on areyouaddicted.org.
“There’s a lot of people out there who want to quit, but don’t have the resources or the money or the ambition to do it,” Thevenow said.
Thevenow raised $32,000 to bring State Radio to IU. About $16,000 came from IUSA, and the rest was raised from numerous donors on campus. Thevenow ended up short some of the costs, but in the week leading up to the event, the Interfraternity Council stepped in and made the event possible, Thevenow said.
State Radio’s front man, Chad Urmston, was a member of the popular 1990s band Dispatch before the band separated in 2002.
State Radio is a band known for its involvement in community service projects and humanitarian aid. Through their organization, Calling All Crows, the band has recently worked to raise money to provide stoves for women in Darfur so they do not have to leave the confines of refugee camps to gather supplies and face potential acts of violence and rape from the Janjaweed, a band of armed militiamen hostile toward African farmers.
Artists’ incorporation of politics in their music usually faces heavy criticism or is highly praised, but Urmston is enthusiastic about it.
“Obviously I’m all for it – as an artist I feel kind of a responsibility,” Urmston said. “I think it’s not for everyone, but I’ve always enjoyed and been really influenced by musicians that have a message of some sort.”
At about 5 p.m., Urmston and Mike Najarian, drummer for State Radio, walked with event organizers and met students in the Arboretum for an open jam session, where many students brought their own instruments.
“I can’t say I’ve ever done anything like that before,” Najarian said.
Before the encore of State Radio, the crowd chanted Thevenow’s name, and he later crowd-surfed through the audience.
“I’m in heaven,” Thevenow said.
Thevenow said Sunday he could not be happier with the way the concert turned out. Addicted to Music raised $1,300 from poster and T-shirt sales, Thevenow said.
“Oh my God, it was amazing,” said concert attendee Todd Price. “They put on a great show. I mean, I couldn’t stop bobbing my head.”
Price was friends with Corky and was in the same graduating class.
“I woke up to go to the graduation, I got a phone call and it was one of the worst calls I’ve ever had in my life,” Price said. “It just goes to show how we all have to look out for each other.”