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(From left to right) Natalie Stovall, Kelleigh Bannen and Ruthie Collins will perform as Three Girls Walk Into a Bar as part of the Stage Door Series at 8 p.m. on Friday. 

"Three Girls Rock Into A Bar" performs at MemAud Friday, allows concertgoers to sit on stage

Concertgoers will get a closer view of performers on the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium stage Friday.

Three artists — Natalie Stovall, Ruthie Collins and Kelleigh Bannen — will perform under the tour title "Three Girls Rock Into A Bar" on the MemAud stage at 8 p.m. The concert is part of the Campus Involvement Center’s Stage Door Series. Admission is $10.

People who attend any of the events in Stage Door Series sit on stage with the performers. Andrew Holzaepfel, the senior associate director of student activities, said in an email that audience members being able to sit closer to artists “allows for a more intimate experience with the performers.”

The stage will be able to hold about 200 people, and the singers will perform on a smaller stage placed on the larger one, Holzaepfel said in an email. He added that they have five stage door series events scheduled for the year so far, the next one being Saturday featuring Diana Chittester & the Summoners.

Amanda Fischback, a senior studying communication and marketing, said being able to sit on the stage with the performers is interesting.

“I would definitely pay more attention sitting that close,” Fischback said.

The three singers were named some of Country Music Television’s "Next Women of Country.

When the country music artists played some of the same venues in Nashville, they decided to formally go on tour together with the name Three Girls Rock Into A Bar, according to the Performing Arts and Concert Series website.

“They’ve been touring it the last couple years,” Holzaepfel said. “They’re all friends — they have kinda popped in on each other’s shows.”

The singers will all perform separately — backed by Stovall’s band, The Drive — and come together for a few songs, Holzaepfel said.

According to Stovall’s website, she made her country music debut at the Grand Ole Opry when she was 12 years old. In 2012, she and her band were named Entertainers of the Year by Campus Activities Magazine. Her most-played single on Spotify — a music streaming website — with over 500,000 plays is “Mason Jar.”

Bannen did not start her music career until her college years, according to Billboard. Bannen has acquired over two million plays on her song “Famous.”

Collins released her first extended play, Vintage, in 2014. Her most-streamed song is a cover off the EP called “Ramblin’ Man,” which was originally sang by Hank Williams in 1953.

The experience of having audience members sit on stage is not a new style of concert for the Campus Involvement Center, Holzaepfel said in an email, because it conducted similar events 16 years ago, when Holzaepfel first started his position. The center is bringing back the idea after a hiatus of over a decade by creating a series around the concept.

“It is a very common experience (and) series for performing arts centers across the country,” Holzaepfel said in an email.

Casey Murph, a junior studying communication, said she has not heard of an event where people can sit on the stage with the performers. She added that she would go to a show that allowed the audience to sit where the performance takes place.

“I always want to be as close as I can to the performer,” Murph said. “I think it would be cool because it would be a more personal experience — more up close.”


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