Philadelphia welcomes back the college community

By Staff Writer
October 6, 2006

Hundreds of college students spanning the Greater Philadelphia region ventured to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as the city warmly welcomed them back to school with its annual Campus Philly Kick-Off free concert and festival on Saturday, Sept. 30.

This year’s concert showcased the musical styling of two industry headliners, Saves the Day and Fat Joe; it also included a performance by an emerging group from the west coast.

Campus Philly Kick-Off Week is more than just a festival and free concert, according to Campus Philly’s press release, it is intended to connect college students to activities in the Philadelphia community.

At 2:55 p.m. The Procussions, an up-and-coming group of progressive hip-hop artists were the first to take the main stage. With the infectious sounds blaring from the speakers, the energetic group quickly converted a scattered gathering of listeners into a crowd.

“I was at one of the booths registering to win a spring break trip to Europe, when I heard music coming from the main stage. I didn’t know who they were. I just knew I had to be wherever they were,” Tom Fury, a prospective student at Holy Family College, said.

For approximately thirty-minutes The Procussions ruled the stage; their unique sound, undeniable stage-presence, and determination to knock down musical stereotypes transformed passers-by into fans, as the first-time listeners immediately lined-up to purchase the groups second CD, “5 Sparrows for 2 Cents.”

“Buy our CD because we make good music. Buy it because you like us, not because of whose label we are on. Support independent music. Support musicians that don’t have a big marketing machine behind them,” Mr. J. Mecleiros, said as he and his group-mates prepared to leave the stage.

Only 15 minutes after The Procussions left the stage, the number of people in the crowd multiplied; fans drew in from all corners of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway taking up nearly an entire city block and spilling out onto the lawn, all united by their love of veteran alternative rock band Saves the Day.

Like true rock gods, the moment they set foot on stage and announced their presence, Saves the Day thoroughly commanded the attention of hundreds upon hundreds of fans.

As the band began to play, it immediately became apparent that they were in control. Almost instantaneously, their music inspired heads to bang back and forth, fists to pump high into the air, and bodies to surf above the sea of people. Throughout the duration of their free concert, Saves the Day kept their fans entirely entranced and completely entertained with their music.

In conjunction to the day’s events and festivities, college students in attendance were also permitted to visit some of the areas most treasured museums entirely free of cost with a valid school identification card.

This spectacular cultural treat began in 1987 with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and has since been tagged “College Day on the Parkway.”

What began as an attempt by a single museum to introduce area college students to the amount of culture available in Philadelphia has sprouted into a citywide effort. There are now twelve participating museums and cultural centers, including the National Constitution Center, the Eastern State Penitentiary and the innovative Franklin Institute.

“I am a native Philadelphian and like so many I take for granted the historic treasures and the variety of culture that this city has to offer. Today thanks to Campus Philly and College Day on the Parkway, I was able to reach outside of my comfort zone and experience the city from another perspective. And, I am in love,” Sloan Harrison, a junior psychology major, said.

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