Concert crazy: Hemingson and Todden attend multiple events each year

Assistant Professor of Biology Danielle Hemingson and Associate Professor of Exercise Science Chris Todden pose with Clair Dunn at a show in St. Joe, Missouri. Todden and Hemingson are notorious for attending many concerts throughout the summer.

Story by Sarah Day, News Editor

When thinking of concerts, most people reflect upon the fun times that they bring every so often. However, Assistant Professor of Biology Danielle Hemingson and Associate Professor of Exercise Science Chris Todden go to roughly 20 shows throughout each summer.

“It started as something we had in common,” Hemingson said. “He was more experienced at [going to concerts] than I was and taught me all the tips and tricks.”

Courtesy of Danielle Hemingson and Chris Todden
Hemingson and Todden attend a performance at Starlight Theatre.

Hemingson and Todden both agree that the atmosphere of the events is the most intriguing part.

“It’s kind of our thing. We’re drawn to the environment because everyone is happy and in it together,” Todden said.

In order to decide who they would like to see in the upcoming year, the pair said that they pick a budget and weigh artists against each other. Hemingson also asks her students for ideas.

“If they’ve been around for awhile, or they’re new and they’re good, then we try to go see them,” Todden said.

Courtesy of Danielle Hemingson and Chris Todden
Hemingson and Todden attend a Billy Currington concert.

Todden explained how many openers will play at local smaller venues while waiting for their headliner to arrive. He said that these shows are often very good.

“They’re in a smaller setting, so the vibe is different,” Todden said.

The pair has seen a variety of artists, but they both agreed that Ke$ha is the most embarrassing artist they have seen together.

“It was our very first official date before we got married,” said Hemingson. “He didn’t tell me what we were doing. At the end of the show he told me to wait, and we just sat there watching the maintenance workers sweeping glitter into piles.”

Courtesy of Danielle Hemingson and Chris Todden
Lee Brice preforms at Uptown Theater.

The unexpected is to be expected when thousands of people attend these events. Todden said that the pair has seen several medical emergencies, including one within actual artist.

“Tim McGraw sat down on the front of the stage during one of his songs,” said Todden. “All of a sudden out of nowhere Billy Currington came out to sing the song, and he clearly wasn’t dressed for stage. When Tim McGraw came back out he hardly sang and stayed in the shadows of the stage. I think he had heat exhaustion.”

Hemingson and Todden choose to see artists that they may not know much about. One of these concerts featured Ellie Goulding, whom they said they did not expect much satisfaction from and left pleasantly surprised.

“She blew us away,” Hemingson said. “One of her songs was the first song in our wedding.”

Hemingson and Todden prefer to stick to outdoor venues for concerts. Todden said most of these are located in the midwest, so they do not often travel for events. Hemingson expressed that shows take up much of their time during the summer.

“We have to schedule things around our concerts, which makes it hard when shows pops up and we can’t go,” Hemingson said. “We try to pair family events with concerts when it comes to traveling.”

Todden said that they are precise when it comes to taking part in concerts.

“We are careful ticket buyers — we know how to get the pre-sale deals and pick our seats carefully depending on the show,” he said.

Courtesy of Danielle Hemingson and Chris Todden
Pat Monahan, lead singer of Train, sings during a show.

The pair agrees that Train and The Fray are their favorite groups they have seen so far.

“I thought that it would be boring, but it was so entertaining and exciting,” Hemingson said. “The songs were even more heightened than on the radio and they were so on-pitch.”

Hemingson said that the pair will continue this lifestyle for years to come.

“We like music a lot — and all kinds of music,” she said. “When you’re at the concert and hear songs that you don’t know that are really good, or you hear a song you love, then you visualize the concert in your head every time you hear it.”