Pete Francis, singer and songwriter of the former rock band Dispatch, helped students kick off Earth Month at Sunday night’s environmentally themed concert, “Reduce, Re-Use, Rock Out,” in the Marvin Center’s Hippodrome.
Francis and acoustic folk band Barefoot Truth performed songs from their recently released collaborative album, “Wake the Mountain.” The group is currently touring together to promote the album.
Admission was free for students, but concert organizers asked attendees to donate recyclable items.
Green GW, the Revolution Green living and learning cohort and Students for Sustainability joined forces to host the event.
Sarah Yardley, a sophomore and member of Revolution Green who helped organize the concert, said the event was meant to promote green issues in a way that was appealing to students.
“Being green is as easy as recycling,” Yardley said. “And I think that making a concert out of recycling couldn’t be any more fun.”
In addition, she said bringing the other on-campus environmental groups on board with the event served a more internal purpose.
“There’s a lot of different green student groups at GW and they’re always telling you to do this and that and it’s not at all connected,” said Yardley. “So this is a way for the green student groups to come together and be one cohesive unit.”
Taylor Carson, a musician based out of Arlington, Va., opened for the headliners with an acoustic guitar and vocal performance.
By the time Francis and Barefoot Truth hit the stage, the Hippodrome was swarming with students. A large part of the audience sat on the floor in front of the stage, while the rest lounged in sofa chairs behind them.
Fans clapped and cheered at the start of each new song they recognized. When the ensemble performed the more uptempo songs like “Broken Road” and “Go Ridin’,” students got on their feet and danced to the music. By the group’s final number of the night, the entire dance floor was filled with students dancing only inches from the performers.
Will Evans, drummer for Barefoot Truth, said they were happy to perform for the intimate yet enthusiastic crowd.
“It’s a beautiful day to perform and it’s a cool event,” he said. “So that’s something we’re into.”
Seth Sprinkle, a sophomore and director of policy for Green GW, said he hopes the excitement about the concert will lend longevity to the issues that green student organizations are trying raise awareness about.
“It’s cool to go green right now,” he said. “But I’m hoping that this is now the time when it’s going to take root at GW in a big way.”
Ultimately, he said, the event was an ideal way to rally students around Earth Month.
“It’s great just because I feel like especially at GW sometimes you have a hard time mobilizing people behind a cause,” he said. “Any time that you can really kick it off, run with and get sponsors behind it and really get the school invested, it makes it much easier to get the student body behind the cause.”