I absolutely love live music. In fact, I’ve been too close to the speakers at so many concerts that I have hearing loss in my left ear. When I was in high school, I went to at least one concert a month, if not more. I couldn’t get enough of the atmosphere, the fans, the memories, and the overall experience of a live show. When I got to college at SMU, I thought that I wouldn’t have nearly as much time or money to attend the amount of concerts that I wanted to.

Shortly after the start of my first semester, though, I realized that SMU would make my concert-loving dreams come true. Within a few weeks, I was at a free Aaron Carter concert – who, by the way, was my childhood crush – right outside my commons. At this concert, I happened to push my way to the front and Aaron Carter actually grabbed my phone and took a video of himself on it! Not too long after this, B.o.B. came to McFarlin Auditorium, a 2-minute walk from my residence hall, and SMU students got to open up for him. The next year, I got to not only see, but meet Kailin and and Myles, some vine-famous pop artists who I still listen to today. Chance the Rapper came to SMU that same year. This year, I got to break out my cowboy boots for a free Eli Young Band and Cam concert on the eve of SMU’s 100 year anniversary.

Outside of the free concerts that SMU provides for my friends and me at least a few times a year, we live in Dallas, TX, one of the best places for live music in the nation! I’ve been to countless shows for under $30 over the past few years as an SMU student at all kinds of incredible venues like the House of Blues, Southside Ballroom, or Gexa Energy Pavillion. Just south and west of downtown is my favorite venue ever: The Kessler Theatre. I don’t even have to drive to these concerts, either. SMU students get a $5 DART pass for all four years that we are here, which is the equivalent to two day passes. I can take the DART to pretty much any concert venue I want, and as long as I use my DART pass twice, it pays for itself!

Overall, SMU has provided an incredible experience for me as a live music fanatic. Not only can I walk outside my residential commons and watch free concerts multiple times a year, but I can take the DART for a few minutes and see inexpensive concerts in Dallas. In addition to all of this, as a Finance and English major with a musical performance hobby, I have been able to perform for my fellow students at the Family Weekend Talent Show, Celebration of Lights, and local coffee shops like Union, just a few miles from campus. SMU has already given me so many opportunities to enjoy listening to and performing music, and I still have a few more years to go. We’ll see which concert I see or perform in next!

-Jacqui Jacoby