Folk rock group Whitacre to return to the M-Shop


Jillian Alt/Iowa State Daily

Paul Whitacre, of the band Whitacre, plays guitar during their performance Oct. 10, 2018, at the Maintenance Shop in the Memorial Union. Whitacre will return to the M-Shop with opening act Tom Hummer on Friday.

Collin Maguire

Fans of folk rock can anticipate the return of the Denver-based group, Whitacre. The 13th stop of their 16-show tour is set to take place at the Maintenance Shop in the Memorial Union. Experimental indie artist and Ames native Tom Hummer is set to open the show.

Continually establishing a growing fanbase, Whitacre finds themselves at the front of Denver’s folk-rock scene. Their lyrics tell stories of keeping hope through the struggles of life and accompany a gritty, yet lovely, folk sound. Casting this message of hope is important to the group, and their performances in the past have reflected that.

Finding inspiration anywhere from artists like Jimi Hendrix, Earl Scruggs, Mumford & Sons and many more, fans of the genre gravitate toward their hooking sound. Also, fans of The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers and Shakey Graves are going to truly appreciate the group’s aura. Denver-based 303 Magazine classified them as “Weezer with a banjo.”

Whitacre was founded in 2017 and consists of vocalist and guitarist Paul Whitacre, bass guitarist Joey Wenberg, banjo player Chase Perry, lead guitarist Robert Bullington and drummer Mark Cunningham. The band has accumulated over half a million streams on Spotify, led by their 2018 EP “Within the Mountains’ Shadow.”

The group has toured with Wilderado, Family and Friends and Wild Rivers. Whitacre also accompanied Mt. Joy, Birdtalker and Susto at sold out shows in the past. Whitacre performed at the M-Shop last year while touring with Wild Rivers as a debut for their “Within the Mountains’ Shadow” EP.

The band is using their fall headlining tour as a platform to present their new album “Seasons,” which can be heard Friday night. Whitacre began their fall tour with an emotional opening at their show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.  

Opening act Hummer has been creating music since 2010, releasing four albums in the nine-year span. The solo musician has been a guitarist in a variety of Iowa-based bands, while also co-hosting his podcast “The Velocities in Music.”

Hummer’s newest album “Real Life” is a tribute to the relationships he has established over the years of his life. Each song details the connections made within these relationships. The names of these people are written as parenthetical subtitles. 

Whitacre and Tom Hummer are set to perform Friday night at the M-Shop in the Memorial Union. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 ($8 with an ISU ID) and increase by $2 the day of the show.