The Temptations and Augustana take Homecoming stage


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As current Hawkeyes, alumni, and people in the community celebrate Homecoming Week, the Homecoming Council and SCOPE will join in with their sixth-annual concert on the Pentacrest.

The event will feature the rock band Augustana as well as Motown giant the Temptations. The concert will take place on Friday following the pep rally and parade downtown. Admission is free.

Raquel Case, the Homecoming Committee’s SCOPE liaison, said the organizers tried to focus on getting “big names that people know” to perform.

“We try to make sure we get [bands] that people are going to be turned on to,” she said. “What the students prefer.”

Since 2006, the concert organizers have paired a newer act, such as Augustana, with an older group, such as the Temptations.

“The combination of a new and old act comes from the idea that Homecoming should bring together alumni, students, and the entire Iowa City/Coralville community,” SCOPE general manager Theodore Lockhart wrote in an e-mail. “In that spirit, we try to bring two acts that complement each other and their respective fan bases.”

Lockhart said the goals when looking for bands for the Homecoming concert is to “bring acts that students and community members will enjoy seeing.

“In this particular case, we were extremely luck to book the Temptations, one of the most successful Motown groups of all time and Augustana, a band with considerable recognition,” Lockhart wrote.

Augustana, which SCOPE billed as being “known for its piano-driven, instrumental folk rock,” will open the show. The group scored a big hit in 2005 with the piano ballad “Boston,” which has been featured on such television shows as “Scrubs” and “One Tree Hill.” The band’s latest album, Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt, came out in 2008.

Nearly 50 years prior to that, in 1960, the Temptations formed. The band became one of Motown Records’ biggest acts of the ’60s and ’70s with such hits as “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone.”

“The Temptations is a group that embodies the spirit of Motown,” Lockhart wrote. “Its hits are staples of the American soundtrack.”

The organizers of the concert looked for a group such as the Temptations in order to attract more alumni to the show.

“Homecoming is such a big alumni event,” Case said. “We always try to get a nostalgia [act] that’s targeted more toward an older crowd.”

The Temptations were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame 10 years later. The group’s latest album, the soul-cover record Back to Front, was released in 2007.

This year’s concert will cost around $70,000. The funding comes from SCOPE, the Homecoming Committee, UI Student Government, and corporate sponsors.

“[The concert is] one of our biggest chunks of the budget of the year,” Case said.

The annual Homecoming concert got its start in 2004, when Des Moines-based rock band the Nadas played in the street near Iowa Book, 8 S. Clinton St. In 2006, the concert moved onto the Pentacrest, where it remains today, and it began featuring two bands instead of one.

Since then, the concert has grown in popularity. Lockhart estimates that around 12,000 people attended the shows in 2006 and 2007, and around 14,000 were in attendance for last year’s Chuck Berry and Rooney show.

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