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Jackopierce performs concert tonight

April 24, 1997

Courtesy Photo

Jackopierce, pictured above, and the Grand Street Cryers will perform at 9 p.m., today, at Melody Ranch.

By Matthew Lester

Lariat Reporter

Baylor students have spent their college years growing up with Jackopierce. The band has grown from touring college towns to playing major venues.

Jackopierce performs at 9 p.m. today at Melody Ranch.

Waco has become a regular tour stop for the hard-touring band with two or three performances a year.

'The road has really become our home,' singer Jack O'Neill said in an A&M Records press release. 'It will be like that for a long time to come.'

The band was unavailable for an interview because of their intense touring schedule.

The band's new album, Finest Hour, is a product of hard work and dedication. The band has grown to national success with little publicity, no MTV videos and a lack of radio airplay. Jackopierce has sold more than 100,000 copies of their 1994 album Bringing on the Weather.

The success of the band can also be contributed to the diverse styles of the band members. Cary Pierce and Jack O'Neill have been compared to an Oreo cookie.

'The two are like an Oreo cookie, one dark, one light, but the combination is near perfect,' music critic Allison King said.

Pierce's writing often has an up-beat sound while O'Neill's lyrics are dark.

'I usually focus initially on the melodies and harmonies, while Jack is really into lyrics' Pierce said. 'My stuff can sometimes get too pop and Jack's can get real dark and moody.'

Jackopierce began in 1988 after Pierce and O'Neill met at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. They began to play as an acoustic duo and bought a beat-up Volkswagen van for touring. The band has become strong by not becoming an overnight success. Jackopierce's hard work has paid off. Examples of this dedication of both the band and the fans were seen during the tour.

The band performed in Washington, D.C. in February. Their show at the 600-person capacity Bayou Theater sold 750 advance tickets. That evening, 600 more people lined up in freezing weather in hopes of getting a ticket to see the show.

The band's lyrics focus on what they see around them.

'You absorb things all the time as an artist,' O'Neill said. 'If you pay attention to everything that revolves around you, it will affect you and come out in what you write.'

Pierce attempts to add new insight into emotions through his lyrics.

'Emotions on this earth are finite,' said Pierce. 'There are only so many we can feel. The challenge is to take something a million people have written about and make it unique.'

The Dallas band Grand Street Cryers will also perform tonight with Jackopierce. In addition, Grand Street Cryers will perform an acoustic performance at 5 p.m., today, at Common Grounds.

Tickets for tonight's concert at Melody Ranch are $15.

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