Campus News

Spotlight • Slingshot to feature concert of Big Star’s ‘Third’ album

Spotlight • Slingshot Mitch Easter Mike Mills Ken
Mitch Easter of Let's Active

The streets of downtown Athens will become a prominent venue for UGA’s Spotlight on the Arts festival with Spotlight • Slingshot, a free public concert Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. on College Square.

Topping the bill of five bands will be an orchestrated performance of Memphis band Big Star’s legendary “Third” album, with an all-star lineup featuring original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Chris Stamey of the dB’s, Mitch Easter of Let’s Active, Pat Sansone of Wilco and Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer, both of Big Star and The Posies.

Augmented by a host of other musicians, the group will perform the album known both as “Third” and “Sister Lovers” in its entirety as well as a selection of songs from the band’s other two albums and by original member Chris Bell.

The orchestral section will include student musicians from the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

The concert, with original string, wind and guitar parts transcribed from the album’s actual multitrack studio masters, has been performed around the world, including in London, Sydney, Chicago, Seattle and New York’s Central Park.

The Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and the Terry College of Business’ Music Business Program are sponsoring the concert, a special presentation of the Slingshot Festival of music, electronic art and technology. The event is supported by the Athens Downtown Development Authority, the UGA Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach.

“The Spotlight on the Arts festival is an ideal occasion for collaboration between artistic communities in the university and in Athens,” said Nicholas Allen, the Franklin Professor of English and director of the Willson Center. “The Spotlight • Slingshot concert brings together a tremendous slate of rising and established performers with important ties to the city and to UGA at the historic gateway between town and campus. Our ability to present world-class artists with such strong local connections speaks to the creative vibrancy of the whole community.”

Athens acts The Glands, New Madrid, Blacknerdninja and Ruby the RabbitFoot will share the Spotlight • Slingshot bill. The Glands, who released two acclaimed albums in 1997 and 2000, will be playing their second show in Athens since headlining AthFest in 2012.

Representatives from the local nonprofit organization Nuçi’s Space will be present at the event to offer information and accept donations for its fundraising campaign to restore St. Mary’s Steeple, all that remains of the church where R.E.M. played its first show on April 5, 1980.

More information on the orchestrated performance of Big Star’s “Third” is available at