Launching the first stop of the Crocs Next Step Campus Tour, the two acts will be blasting out Lawlor Events Center Friday, speaking to crowds of back-to-schoolers with the primary language of youth: rock and roll angst.
Headlining Atlanta-based band Cartel will kick off the show right, with some of their chart-topping hits like "Honestly" from their debut album "Chroma" reminding fans why the group received such sudden success in 2006.
The quintet includes Will Pugh on guitar and main vocals, Joseph Pepper on guitar, Nic Hudson on guitar, Jeff Lett on bass guitar and Kevin Sanders on drums. Having already received praise from the likes of Rolling Stone and USA Today, the members of Cartel have proved themselves as more than "one-hit wonders" and have released their sophomore album, self-entitled "Cartel."
These MTV wonders are perhaps most recognized for their stint on the show "Band in a Bubble," where they produced an entire album trapped in a transparent bubble. Since then, hits like "Lose It" and "Georgia" off their second record are gaining radio play and showing that life outside the bubble hasn't slowed the band down.
Band members attribute much of their musical influences to the likes of the all-time greats The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Radiohead to name a few. And their music is full of it.
Newcomer MC Lars will be alongside Cartel, showing a different side of the youth generation.
Having labeled himself as coming from the "iGeneration" born during the mid- to late-1980s, MC Lars is part of the upcoming wave of post-punk laptop rappers.
MC Lars, a Berkley, Calif. native, is an underground rapper who has collaborated with the likes of rappers Nerdcore and MC Chris and is known for denouncing the recording industry as a whole with his first hit "Download This Song" poking fun at the pressure of having to get the latest "trendy" songs.
"I'd love to have some mainstream exposure to subversively bring my ideas into the popular eye, as long as I don't have to compromise what I'm doing for the sake of popularity," MC Lars said in a preview press release.
Borrowing and mimicking lines from Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" and from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," MC Lars mixes up his punk rock, hip-hop and rap music with looped recordings from his computer to make for an eclectic combination.
Between both MC Lars and Cartel, there's something sure to wow crowds Friday night at 8 p.m.
Opening bands include Tree Woodz, Who Cares, Royal Bliss and Reno's local band Days No Different.
Tickets are $20 for students with a valid student ID card and $22 for public general admission and can be purchased at the Lawlor Events Center box office or by visiting www.tickets.com.