Mike Mills, Others to Pay Tribute to Big Star on College Square Nov. 8

The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts announced this afternoon that it is partnering with Slingshot and UGA’s Music Business Program for an outdoor concert on College Square Saturday, Nov. 8. Headlining the show is Big Star Third, an all-star group of musicians paying tribute to iconic Memphis power-pop group Big Star.

The cast of players, which has been touring the tribute show since 2010, includes original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, as well as R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Wilco’s Pat Sansone, Ken Stringfellow of the Posies, Chris Stamey of the dB’s and Mitch Easter of Let’s Active.

Also on the bill are local cult favorites The Glands—who will also play Green Room Oct. 4, though that show has already sold out—New Madrid, Blacknerdninja and Ruby the RabbitFoot.

The concert, part of UGA’s Spotlight on the Arts festival, is free and open to the public.

Full press release below:

The Willson Center and the Music Business Program of the Terry College of Business present a special Spotlight on the Arts installment of the Slingshot festival of music, electronic art, and technology. Spotlight • Slingshot is a free public concert on College Square in downtown Athens featuring five acclaimed local and national acts, many including UGA graduates and attendees.

Topping the bill will be an orchestrated performance of 1970s Memphis band Big Star’s legendary Third album, with an all-star band featuring original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Chris Stamey of the dB’s, Mitch Easter of Let’s Active, Pat Sansone of Wilco, and Ken Stringfellow of Big Star and The Posies.

The group, augmented by a host of other musicians including a chamber orchestra and a varying cast of guest vocalists, performs the album – known both asThird and as Sister Lovers – in its entirety, as well as a selection of songs from the band’s other two albums and by original member Chris Bell. The concert, with original string, wind, and guitar parts transcribed from the album’s actual multitrack studio masters, has been performed around the world, including in London, Sydney, Chicago, Seattle, and New York’s Central Park. For the Athens performance, the orchestral section will be filled out by musicians from the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

Local acts The Glands, New Madrid, Blacknerdninja, and Ruby the RabbitFoot will share the bill.

The event is also supported by a grant from the Athens Downtown Development Authority.

“The Spotlight on the Arts festival is an ideal occasion for collaboration between artistic communities in the university and in Athens,” said Nicholas Allen, Franklin Professor of English and director of the Willson Center. “The Spotlight • Slingshot concert brings together a tremendous slate of rising and established performers with important ties to the city and to UGA, at the historic gateway between town and campus. Our ability to present world-class artists with such strong local connections speaks to the creative vibrancy of the whole community.”


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