As the leaves on campus begin to turn red and yellow, the Tigers Initiative for Gardening in Urban Settings (TIGUrS) unveiled a lineup of concerts that are to be hosted in the TIGUrS garden. The concerts take place every Thursday until the end of October. The three featured acts are Half Step Down, Keith Paluso and Savannah Brister.
Half Step Down performed Oct. 17 and features Dan Larsen and John Fleskes. Keith Paluso, who was a contestant on NBC’s The Voice, will perform Oct. 24 and Memphis’ own Savannah Brister, also a contestant on The Voice, will perform Oct. 31.
Half Step Down is no stranger to the garden nor its events as they have performed at multiple events. The garden is a great environment for relaxing music Larsen said.
“It’s very mellow here. It’s not a very intense environment,” Larsen said. “We like to joke with each other and have fun.”
Paluso is no stranger to the garden either as he performed there during the Earth Day celebration last spring. Before his singing career, Paluso was a park ranger and natural resource manager.
“I played at the garden for the Earth Day celebration this past spring and fell in love with the place,” Paluso said. “I’m happy to help promote ways for people to find better ways to spend time outdoors and care for our planet.”
Being a Memphis native, Brister is also no stranger to the UofM.
“I love playing just about anywhere,” Brister said. “But, I’m especially excited to do this gig because I’ve got a couple of friends that go to the UofM that can come.”
Since the concert series is located in the garden, it will be much more intimate than a normal concert.
“It’ll feel like we are all hanging out,” Brister said.
For Paluso, the smaller, more intimate setting does not change his intentions for his performance.
“The size of the crowd should not affect the amount of heart you put into your craft,” Paluso said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in front of thousands of people or just a handful, be open and be honest.”
The crowd started small Thursday evening but grew slightly as the evening progressed. Oscar Cabello, a current student at the UofM, and Anna Vo, a UofM alumni, were part of that crowd. Vo worked in the garden for three years while she was at the UofM, but she always finds a reason to come back.
“It’s a great outdoors, local event that is filled with good people, good music and good vibes,” Vo said. “The garden is a home away from home.”
Although small, the event proved to impact everyone in the audience in a personal way.
“It might be little, but to me, it’s big in its own way,” Cabello said.
Keegan Stewart is the brain behind the event. The concerts are meant to spread the message of sustainability and raise awareness of the resources that students have access to in the garden, Stewart said.
“I would like to see more events and more students out here participating, harvesting vegetables that we are growing,” Stewart said.
As well as being open to the public, the events are also dog-friendly Megan Farrell, a UofM student who also works in the garden, said.
“We really want to see more people out here,” Farrell said. “We always want more dogs here too.”