April 17, 2012
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech football fans will get a look into the future Friday night, as the annual Spring Football Game, is the featured event of Friday Night On The Flats. (Kickoff is at 7:45 p.m. For more information, click here.)
But football fans won’t be the only ones getting a chance to see future stars. Rock music fans will get that same opportunity following the game, when Wind-up Records recording artists Civil Twilight take center stage. The approximately 70-minute set is scheduled to start around 9:45 p.m., immediately upon the completion of the fireworks show presented by Atlantic Station.
The band was a perfect fit for Friday Night On The Flats.
“We have a long-running friendship with the band and they definitely wanted to do something with the station,” said Mike Kee, event manager for 99X and Rock 100.5. “This opportunity came up and it’s a perfect opportunity for them to play for a core [demographic] for them.
“With them having a new record coming out and really the thought here is that they’re going to blow up in the next six to eight months,” Kee added. “So with that being said, it’s a perfect opportunity to get out in the No. 7 market in the country, in a core demographic and then also in advance of what’s going to be a major, major play for them in the market here in mid-to-late September. (That event will be announced in the next 10-to-15 days).”
Consisting of Steven McKellar (vocals, bass, keyboards) his brother, Andrew (guitar, vocals), and childhood friend Richard Wouters (drums, percussion), Civil Twilight are from Cape Town, South Africa and headed toward big things.
The group began in 1996 almost by accident, while Andrew and Wouters were in the process of forming a band. While rehearsing and looking for the final pieces, they discovered that Steven would be perfect as a vocalist. He also would learn how to play the bass. Wouters, who also played guitar, agreed to play the drums and the lineup was set.
After perfecting their sound over the next several years, the trio finished school, then came to the United States, moving to Los Angeles in 2005 and released their first album, “Human,” (One October Records) in 2007.
Eager to see more of the U.S., they moved to South Carolina, then moved to Nashville, where they’ve put down roots.
The band signed with New York indie label Wind-up Records in 2010, with whom they released a self-titled album, then started to get some notoriety, as their song “Letters From the Sky” was used in several TV shows, including House, One Tree Hill, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
On March 26, 2012, they released their second album with Wind-up, “Holy Weather.” The album reached No. 124 in the Billboard Albums chart and also hit No. 31 among Rock Albums, No. 3 on the Heatseekers Albums and No. 20 on the Alternative Albums.
With a sound that has been compared to early U2 and Radiohead, Civil Twilight has seen its popularity continue to swell. The band has played Bonnaroo and Voodoo Fest and has opened for Smashing Pumpkins and Florence & the Machine.
Following Friday night’s show at Bobby Dodd, Civil Twilight heads to Dallas, to play at EdgeFest, where they’ll be on the Main Stage with The Black Keys, Garbage, Cake, Cage the Elephant, Arctic Monkeys, Neon Trees, Evanescence, Switchfoot and Aranda.
Twilight’s career arc is very much in line with the growth of Spring Games.
“On the heels of what happened last weekend — Alabama had like 80,000 people out for their Spring Game, Georgia had 38-to-40,000-plus out for theirs — the trend has been to take these spring games and use them as a launching pad for the entire season,” Kee said. “It really gets people energized about the team. So it’s a pretty big deal.”
The concert, which begins immediately after the fireworks show, may be a first for Georgia Tech’s Spring Game, but may not be the last for Georgia Tech Athletics.
“We’re talking to many of the folks at Tech about possibly doing more of these in the regular season, maybe the big games,” said Kee, “There was some initial discussion that if this goes very well and is well-received then we might expand it into another one or two during the regular season.”
Civil Twilight concludes the night, but Kee invited fans to come out early and see the pre-game entertainment, renowned local cover band Generation Now, which takes the stage at 6:30 and promises to get people even more energized for the game.
“They play some really fun, top-40, pop hits,” Kee said. “They’re really a fun band to watch and listen to. That will be interesting with all the sororities and fraternities out there. I think they’re going to play a really good mix of music that those guys will get into. I think we’ll have a good time before, then during the scrimmage, then afterwards.”
To learn more about Civil Twilight, visit www.civiltwilightband.com. “Holy Weather” and other music by Civil Twilight is available on iTunes, while the album can be heard on Spotify and the band’s MySpace page.