Tony Lucca appeared in the blind auditions on “The Voice” on Feb. 5, performing Ray LaMontagne’s song, “Trouble.” All four judges pressed their “I Want You” buttons for Lucca. Next semester, on Jan. 29,Maryville College students will have the chance to attend a performance by Lucca for no charge. With the help of funding from the MC Student Government Association, the Student Programming Board (SPB) will be hosting Lucca on campus, where he will perform an acoustic show at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre in the Clayton Center for the Arts.
“This event is different from all our others in that it is a well known entertainer that people are likely to recognize from television,” said student programming board presiden- Leah Petr. In addition to the show being free to MC students, and it will also be open to the public. The tickets for those who are not part of the MC community will be $5. This will ensure that students will be able to see Lucca perform. SPB chose the date in January for the performance because of “ideal timing.” According to Alison Fox, student activities coordinator, the date was selected because it falls after the end of J-Term, but before the beginning of the next semester. This date will allow students to attend a rare event at a time that they will typically not have much to do. This, SPB hopes, will increase student attendance exponentially. For years there has been a near constant call by students for SPB to bring bigger and more popular shows and acts to campus, Fox said.
Lucca performed on the “The Voice,” a show that was shown on national television, and he came in third place. It will be a rare opportunity for students to see an act of this magnitude on campus. On “The Voice,” Lucca’s talent put in the position to be faced with the difficult decision of choosing between all four of the judges: Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. All of these well-known names in the music industry wanted him on their teams. He eventually chose Adam Levine to be his coach. Before “The Voice,” Lucca got his start as a performer on the Mickey Mouse Club. He was fellow Mouseketeers with Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. After the cancellation of the show, he took to the independent music circuit.
At first, Aguilera did not actually realize who Lucca was, or that she had previously performed with him. However, after she realized that he had been on the Mickey Mouse Club with her, she ran backstage to congratulate him for making it past the blind auditions. Later in the season, however, he performed Jay-Z’s song, “99 Problems,” and was criticized by Aguilera for performing a song that she saw as derogatory to women. However, the line of the song that she was referencing was not actually sung by Lucca, which incited a strong reaction from viewers and Aguilera’s fellow coaches, including Lucca’s.
Levine defended Lucca’s performance against near constant jabs by Aguilera. Lucca made his last performance on the show in a duet with another contestant. They sang the Fleetwood Mac song, “Go Your Own Way.” It was announced later that he had came in third in the competition. He was signed to the record label of Adam Levine after the competition. Lucca’s music has been featured on television shows, such as “Friday Night Lights,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Shark” and “Felicity.” He has also appeared as a performing musician on the show, “Parenthood.” He has shared the stage with performers, like NSYNC, Marc Anthony and Sara Bareilles, and his performances on “The Voice” made it to the top 10 chart of iTunes. “I watched and listened to him on Youtube when we were talking about possibly bringing him to campus. He seemed fun and was really entertaining.
His acoustic set was especially amazing,” said Cayce Crisp, special events team leader of SPB The chance that will be offered to MC students to see the artist for free is definitely a special opportunity. Having an artist of such renown on the MC campus is not an event that occurs often, and that is why SPB is encouraging students to come out for this event, according to Fox. Closer to the time of the event, SPB plans to create large amounts of publicity for the concert. They will, as always, make banners to hang around campus, make a post on MC Today, create a Facebook event and chalk up the sidewalks in front of key buildings on campus. However, they plan on taking the extra step of designing flyers to be displayed across campus, as well as in locations across the local community. “We are hoping to make this an extremely well publicized event in the school and in the community to include all MC community partners,” said Katie Fair, publicity team leader of SPB.
With this extra publicity, SPB hopes to fill the Nutt Theatre to its capacity for Lucca’s performance. They see it as a chance to create an event that will not only be amusing and enjoyable for the students, but also be a chance to connect the local community with the MC community. SPB believes that there is the possibility that if this event is well attended, then more events of this type can be attempted in the future.
“This could quite possibly be the start of a major change in student activities on the MC campus, and students are welcomed to experience it for absolutely free,” Fox said. In other words, the future seems bright for student activity programming on the MC campus.