As a resident of Alumni Lawn, I didn’t even have to leave my dorm room to hear Rites this year! During the days leading up to Rites, I saw the entire structure being built, along with fences set up around Alumni Lawn, building the excitement for the two day event. This year’s Rites was the first I attended, since I didn’t go last year. The lineup was a little different than the usual, since Vandy normally has a rap artist as the headliner. But I was really excited to hear that Mat Kearney and NEEDTOBREATHE would be performing.
Friday night I chose not to go and instead listened to Miguel and Rusko from the comforts of my room. Saturday morning I could hear all the bands sound checking while I was studying. While Rites starts around 4 or 5, it is very chill so you can stay the entire time or go just for your favorite acts. They also had three food trucks and a bunch of other food options, all of which were on meal plan! My friend Julia and I took advantage of this for dinner as we both ate delicious Thai food from the Deg Thai truck. We also splurged and got dessert from the doughnut truck next door. They literally had doughnuts with either strawberries and frosting or brownies on top. What could be better?!
After eating tons of delicious food, we went to hear Mat Kearney. I absolutely love his music, so when he came on stage all my friends and I were screaming. Sensing our excitement, an older woman standing next to us introduced herself as Mat Kearney’s mother-in-law! She was standing with her husband and Mat Kearney’s wife, since they’re from Nashville. Not quite as cool as meeting Mat Kearney, but it was still pretty exciting. She was clearly very proud of him, which was totally adorable. Mat Kearney did a great job of including the audience into his performance- he crowd-surfed at one point and brought someone in the crowd up on stage to play drums with him! All in all, he put on a great show.
Next up was NEEDTOBREATHE, for which we went and got blankets to sit on since it was getting a little chilly. They also put on a wonderful performance and even played one of their new songs from their album that hasn’t been released yet. Overall, Rites was tons of fun between the yummy food and the incredible musicians!