Mississippi State University's Music Maker Productions (MMP) hosted their Halloween concert, "Fright Night" on Oct. 24. The spooky show featured the bands Bedon and Flight Attendant and took place in Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall. To go along with the theme, students were encouraged to dress up, and members of MMP put careful thought and effort into transforming the venue into a fall-themed Halloween town.
Clad in costumes, students walked in through doors decorated with cobwebs and fake spiders. Once they checked in with their netID, they were given glow sticks and entered an auditorium lit up with orange lights and blaring classic Halloween music. As the lights went down and the first act took the stage, students stood up in their socially-distanced seats.
As the first band to perform, Bedon was incredibly interactive and succeeded in getting the crowd warmed up. The band's enthusiasm and energy filled the room as the members bounced around the stage. The lead singer, Bedon Lancaster, said part of their zeal was due to the fact that they had not played live since Feb. 22.
"Live music is my favorite thing in the world," Lancaster said. "As an artist, it is the best way to keep the fuel in yourself. You receive affirmation and know, 'Ok, I'm doing something right.'"
He explained live music is a vital part of his journey and development.
"Making records, writing songs and recording is fun in some ways, but it's hard. It's challenging and is the area you have to push yourself the most in as an artist. Playing live is the play off, it's what makes that entire process worth it," Lancaster said.
From their opening song to their last, Bedon's passion and gratitude for live music took center stage. Lancaster provided insight into what it is like to experience a COVID-19 concert as a performer.
"It feels like you have to work more for intimacy. The last song was so special. It was just the guitar at the beginning, and it was so quiet, which sounded so cool to me. It was very intimate. It's cool to have that during COVID, to have it feel intimate and not be all at the same time," Lancaster said.
After Bedon performed, the winners for the costume contest were announced. The winner was dressed as Sriracha hot sauce, with a trio of ghosts taking second place, and a student dressed as Mike Wazowski coming in third. Following the announcement of the winners, Flight Attendant took the stage.
Madeline Emery, a senior majoring in kinesiology, is the director of MMP. Emery expressed her appreciation for Bedon and Flight Attendant as local artists.
"Now is a unique time to bring local artists, and that is something we really want to focus on. Local doesn't just mean Starkville. Bedon is local, and he is from Oxford. And Flight Attendant is a local band from Nashville," Emery said.
Emery said she was particularly excited about Flight Attendant.
"One thing I am really excited about is that Flight Attendant is a group with a female lead. Many times local artists tend to be all male groups, so this is really awesome," Emery said.
The band featured a psych rock sound and shared in Bedon's enthusiasm to play live music once more. They strutted around the stage in their Halloween costumes as they played originals and covers such as Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams."
Gabriel Bowman, a junior majoring in communication, is the public relations chair for MMP. Bowman was thrilled with the opportunity to once again bring live music to the Bettersworth Auditorium via MMP.
"With us being in the middle of a pandemic, of course providing students and faculty with something else to do is always great," Bowman said. "I am super excited that MMP is able to put on something in the midst of the coronavirus. I'm happy to be part of the organization, and I'm just so happy that we have the opportunity to provide this outlet during this time."