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Commentary: Country music a welcome choice in world of dupstep, rap overload

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The Band Perry is scheduled to perform at the 2013 Welcome Week Concert on Aug. 22. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

The Band Perry is scheduled to perform at the 2013 Welcome Week Concert on Aug. 22. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

In a world where dubstep, rap and throbbing bass dominate popular music, I like something a little more stripped down, with a little more twang and honest lyrics.

Country music is the soundtrack to small towns. While the town I grew up in doesn’t have dirt roads, it does have farms, cornfields, an abundance of bonfire pits and people who love Friday night football and trucks.

I love country music because I can relate to it.

Eric Church’s “Guys Like Me” reminds me of my friends from home, and “Springsteen” was our anthem. Songs like Tim McGraw’s “Felt Good On My Lips” and Luke Bryan’s “All My Friends Say” make me feel like it’s summer no matter the season and Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall” can make me cry after only a few verses.

So when the Ohio Union Activities Board started tweeting clues leading up to the announcement of the artist for its annual Welcome Week Concert, I could hardly contain my excitement. The first puzzle spelled out “saddle up,” and I was thrilled we were finally having a country concert on campus.

On Aug. 1, OUAB confirmed The Band Perry was headlining the free concert, with special guest Charlie Worsham.

Since I’ve been at Ohio State, OUAB has brought Smash Mouth, Boyz II Men, Skrillex, Mac Miller, Big Sean and 2Chainz to campus. From that group, I can name the title of exactly one song: “All Star” by Smash Mouth.

Friends, colleagues and floormates from my dorm freshman year were excited about some of the other shows, yes. But it is refreshing to see OUAB branch out beyond its recent, common theme of rap and R&B artists.

On a campus with nearly 60,000 students, it’s just about impossible to please everyone. Instantly after its announcement, OUAB’s Twitter account was blown up with responses from angry students who don’t like country music. But I’m sure the same thing happened with its past acts.

The thing about a campus this large, though, is there are all kinds of students who enjoy probably every type of music imaginable. Country music is finally getting its turn, and there will be plenty of students slipping into their cowboy boots and flannels, excited to celebrate their country roots on campus.

I hope exploring new genres is something OUAB continues, as it is an excellent way to ensure students have diverse experiences throughout their time as Buckeyes.

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