A&O recruits Schapiro for Blowout announcement

Paulina Firozi, Campus Editor

This time it was no mistake.

Two years after University President Morton Schapiro caught A&O Productions off-guard by prematurely revealing its fall line-up, he announced Monday that rock band Young the Giant and rapper Nas will perform Oct. 12 at Welsh-Ryan Arena for A&O’s annual fall concert.

“They are both huge heavyweights in their respective genres,” A&O director of concerts Justin Lehmann said. “You would never see them or similar artists on the same stage other than at a music festival, and even then, I don’t know.”

During the president’s convocation Monday, Schapiro said NU is all about traditions. A&O Blowout began in 2009 when Schapiro decided to trade in University funding for his inaugural black-tie dinner for a student concert.

It is because of this connection that A&O members wanted Schapiro to announce the concert’s lineup to students.

A&O Chairman Logan Koepke said he talked with Schapiro throughout the summer about making the Blowout announcement during Wildcat Welcome Week.

“It was really a great way to highlight our partnership, to announce that to the freshmen and to let 2,000-plus people know,” he said.

At the convocation, Schapiro called Nas a “brilliant musician.” He said he had not heard of Young the Giant before but recently listened to the band’s song “Cough Syrup” on YouTube, prompting cheers from the audience.

Koepke said the two acts emerged as clear choices as A&O members whittle down their list of possible Blowout performers.

“Personally I love Young the Giant, and we have the greatest rapper of all time, Nas, coming to campus,” Koepke said.

He sad Blowout’s timing this year will make the event even more exciting.

“It’s only 12 school days into the year,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for a community gathering where half of Northwestern can come to the event and they won’t have midterms or quizzes yet.”

Blowout tickets are $10 for undergraduate students and $15 for graduate students. They will be available at the Norris Box Office and on its website.

Free shuttles will be provided for students to and from Welsh-Ryan Arena.