The annual Costa’s Greekfest continues its tradition of booking a mix of genres this weekend, when rapper Nelly and jam band Umphrey’s McGee play the fifth annual end-of-summer concert.
Greek organizations on the University of Alabama campus, with sponsorship from Costa, makers of sunglasses and outdoor apparel, put on the shows as back-to-school fundraisers, with past acts including Pretty Lights, Dierk Bentley, Robert Earl Keen, G. Love and Special Sauce, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Slightly Stoopid, Keller Williams and moe. The 2011 show raised $45,000 for UA Greek Relief and the Billfish Foundation.
The concert with Nelly and Umphrey’s McGee will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 on the intramural athletics fields on the east side of campus. Nelly’s hits include “Hot in Herre,” “Ride Wit Me,” “My Place,” “Air Force Ones,” “Over and Over,” “Grillz,” “Dilemma” and “Just a Dream.” Though the rapper has played Birmingham a handful of times, including City Stages and the Schaeffer Crawfish Boil in 2011, this seems to be his first Tuscaloosa show.
Progressive-rock jam band Umphrey’s McGee has played here numerous times, including a concert at the Bama Theatre in October. Although definitely a jam band in the sense of playing free-form improvisational shows, Umphrey’s McGee identifies more with the prog-rock or the art-rock sound of bands such as Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd than the laid-back psychedelia of the Grateful Dead.
Tickets are $25 each. UA students can buy one student and up to two guest tickets through their myBama accounts. Fraternity and sorority members may also get tickets through their houses.