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Protesting Sugar Ray is ridiculous

By Wildcat Opinions Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Feb. 19, 2002

In a Jan. 23 Wildcat letter to the editor, "Psycho" David Roberts, a KAMP Radio disc jockey, declared a full-out protest to tonight's Sugar Ray concert at Centennial Hall.

In his letter, Roberts' message was strong: "This is a call to arms, my friends! If you are tired of the New Wave of MTV-sponsored Wimpy-Ass Beach Rock, scream it out! Scream it at the top of your lungs! "'I agree with Psycho Dave! We don't want Sugar Lame!'"

While protecting and utilizing freedom of speech is sacred, protesting the Sugar Ray concert is ridiculous and meaningless.

For four reasons, the Wildcat does not support the objection to the University Activities Board's presentation of Sugar Ray.

First, no student is being forced to attend the concert. The band was not brought to UA through the use of tuition dollars, thus if you don't like Sugar Ray, your money is not supporting them. It is common sense capitalistically speaking.

Second, the university and Tucson have seen a wide flavor of music in the last several years, thus Roberts does not have a platform to accuse UAB Concerts of just bringing in MTV-type bands. Contrary to his allegations, UAB has brought in a variety of music over the years including Fishbone, Wyclef Jean, Ani DiFranco, Blues Traveler and My Superhero. As well, this spring it attempted to bring groups such as Alicia Keys, Outkast, not to mention Brooks & Dunn. That's right. We almost heard country music on this campus.

Unfortunately, though, due to the rigorous process that UAB must undergo to plan concerts, Sugar Ray was the only group to fit into the Centennial Hall's venue schedule. And let's not forget that UAB-sponsored O.A.R. concert on Sunday night at the Rialto Theatre, which is not a big-name band. The band, whose sound includes hints of Dave Matthews, reggae and hip-hop, has a strong UA following - 1,343 students attended the show.

Third, it is unfortunate that negative light shines on UAB, an organization compiled of student volunteers who work for the love of it. Their goal is to break even. In contrast, KAMP Radio receives $1 from every student, each school year. They have the economic freedom to explore underground and artistic college music. UAB is not that lucky. Concert sales keep the organization afloat.

Lastly, and most obviously, the fourth reason the Wildcat does not support Psycho Dave's protest is that neither UAB nor the City of Tucson can please everyone. Common sense. Apologies to Roberts and his following that this particular concert does not fit into what is "cool," seeing Sugar Ray as a "talentless band of pretty boys who only cares about making money and nothing for talent or artistic expression."

Whether we like it or not, UA is home to a moderate body of students, with an immensely diverse taste in music. If you want radical new underground music, either hit the local bars or transfer to Berkeley, UC-Davis or just move to Seattle. This school is full of people who look like Mark McGrath and enjoy moving to the grooves of Sugar Ray.

To put it simply, if Sugar Ray is not your cup of tea, then don't go to the concert. The Wildcat agrees with Andrew Sexton, a business and public administration senior who wrote a letter to the editor on Jan. 28: "If you don't like the band, then don't buy their music and don't see their concert. That's how American society decides if something is worthwhile - we vote with our dollars."

Good luck with your protest, Roberts. Try to stay warm outside Centennial Hall while everyone else has a kick-ass time enjoying the live music.

Staff editorials are the collaborative stance of the Arizona Daily Wildcat's opinions board.

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