Ted Leo and the Pharmacists will perform at Dillo Day 2008, Mayfest announced Thursday.
“We’ve been wanting to bring Ted Leo for many years, so it’s really exciting that they were able to come,” said Diana Richter, Mayfest’s director of concerts.
The indie band, headed by its eponymous lead singer, is the second act announced for May 31. Mayfest introduced Common as the night headline last week.
For Mayfest Co-Chair Ben Stix, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists add variety to the lineup.
“We thought that Ted Leo and the Pharmacists would appeal to a slightly different group of students’ musical taste than Common,” he said. “We wanted to get as broad of a spectrum of the student body as possible, and we think Ted Leo has a pretty universal appeal.”
The presence of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists on Dillo Day is partially due to the College Democrats, which is co-sponsoring the concert.
The band’s frontman, Ted Leo, is known for writing openly political songs. But for College Democrats President Lily Becker, this is not about propaganda.
“Although we feel that the band has a political message, we think it’s a way to reach out to people who normally wouldn’t go to our events,” she said.
Ryan Erickson, the former president of the College Democrats, was the one who came up with the idea of bringing the band. He said that the group was trying to find creative ways to use the money left over from his tenure as president when Mayfest approached them.
“We wanted to try a different kind of event, and you can’t get much better than Dillo Day. A lot of people think it’s one of the best things about Northwestern,” he said. “We think it’s a great idea because it’s a different way to look at political messages.”
Richter said she didn’t see a problem with a political student group being a Dillo Day co-sponsor.
“I think it’s something that Dillo Day hasn’t really been into before, but regardless of the fact that an artist is political or not, I think that it’s good that we’re working with more student groups and making Dillo Day better as a result,” she said.
“We’re not asking him to speak directly to politics or anything, but it’ll hopefully make students aware about artists with messages, because he’s a very articulate and intelligent musician.”