STORY BY MOLLY ADAMSON
Good food, great music and Mother Earth came together this past Friday night at Earth Jam, a concert put on by the Drake Enviromental Action League (DEAL) for the fourth year.
The event is usually held outside, but due to weather it was brought inside to the Pomerantz Stage. Peformers at the concert included Drake student Chris Fairbank, Paul Doffing, The Iua Projeckt featuring Drake alumni Aaron Ehrlich, Twins, Foxholes and Teen Daad.
Along with the performers, who often had environmental messages of their own, DEAL provided education tools at the concert. Some members gathered up plastic bags that have been used on campus, to promote their goal of banning plastic bags in the C-store.
DEAL members also discussed their other goals, such as making surrounding community companies plastic bottle free and freezing the use of fossil fuels.
Their ultimate goal is to make Drake and the surrounding community more environmentally friendly.
Kaitlin Lacek, a sophomore environmental science and entrepreneurial management double major, who is a member of DEAL, spoke about the group’s goals for the event.
“It’s a way to bring people together to have fun, but also talk about the issues,” Lacek said. “It’s about not taking the environment for granted.”
One of the performers, Fairbank, is a current Drake senior majoring in marketing. Fairbank is from Denver, and he started his music career by first becoming interested in the piano in the 3rd grade, then moving on to guitar and singing in high school.
He even writes his own songs, and performed some new ones that will come out on his second album along with songs from his first.
During his performance, Fairbank talked about where he gets inspiration for his songs, especially when it came from being on campus.
One song came to him while he was in the KFC/Taco Bell location near campus. Another idea came to him when people he knew were drinking alcohol in the Jewett Residence Hall.
After saying this, he then advised, “Don’t drink in Jewett!”
“I think the Earth is important,” Fairbank said. “By bringing music as a medium, we were able to bring awareness of the issues at this year’s Earth Jam.”
Ehrlich, another musician who performed at Earth Jam, also attended Drake.
He graduated last spring, with degrees in computer science and music.
He came back this year with his band The Iua Projeckt, in which he plays the guitar.
Ehrlich became a part of this band when the singer Victor Araya contacted him through the Musicians Union.
Ehrlich and Araya were the founders of the band, and they soon got other members to join them.
Araya is originally from Nigeria, but he moved here two years ago in order to provide his daughter with a better life. The band performs African music reminiscent of Araya’s home.
The band was interacting with the crowd and seemed confident about their performance, but Ehrlich admitted that this was their first live performance.
“It was a blast. We didn’t expect the crowd to be so excited. It was electrifying,” Ehrlich said. “The whole purpose was to have fun. Our goal was to put a smile on people’s face and spread happiness.”
The Iua Projeckt and the other performers achieved that goal, with attendants jumping and dancing around the entire night. There was even a guy in a banana costume helping others get excited and dancing.
The event wasn’t just about music though. Students got the opportunity to learn about DEAL, the environment, and ways they could help keep Mother Earth safe and clean. DEAL members deemed it very successful.