The Gustavian Weekly

Crowd favorite Ari Herstand returns to Gustavus for another performance

By Katie Volney Staff Writer | October 2, 2009 | variety

Ever since his first performance opening for Ben Folds two years ago, singer/songwriter Ari Herstand has become a favorite performer on campus.

“I was able to see Ari last year when he performed here in the Courtyard Café. He has a great voice and plays many instruments … well,” Sophomore Political Science Major Jen Fox said.

23-year-old Herstand is perhaps best known for his incredible live performances, in which he incorporates a medley of instruments: guitar, keyboard, trumpet, vocals and harmonica.

“I have been looking forward to Ari’s return since he was on campus last fall. He doesn’t just play guitar and sing—he has a live looping system that incorporates his guitar, keyboard, trumpet, harmonica, vocals and his ability to beat box,” Junior Communication Studies Major Michelle Tanner said.

He is a truly entertaining live performer and has opened for several artists, including Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin, Sister Hazel, the Bodeans and many others. Herstand has also performed at several large music festivals, such as Austin’s South by Southwest and Milwaukee’s Summerfest.

“We love having Ari play on campus because he is a very dynamic performer and appeals to a lot of different music fans. Ari puts on an amazing show, using loops and different instruments to create a full band sound. He is a true showman, and if you come out to his show, you will not be disappointed,” Senior English Major and Campus Activities Board Coffeehouse Coordinator Kady Johnson said.

Herstand’s large-scale success led him to take a break from touring to record a second album. His sophomore work, Whispering Endearments, is meant to “bring a sincere and honest glance” into Herstand’s life, according to a press release from the singer’s website. The album was released in September of last year.

“I think I enjoyed watching the audience the most. Due to Ari’s stage presence, everyone in the audience is very excited and they enjoy themselves very much. Ari is a great performer, he brings a lot of energy to the stage, he sings well and he is cute; hence, many Gusties enjoy the performance. He is such a great performer that we are expecting many to watch, so we put him in Alumni Hall. I am very looking forward to seeing Ari as well as many Gusties there,” Fox said.

Ari now returns to a string of live performances, including a stop at Alumni Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 7. The much-anticipated Homecoming show was moved to Alumni Hall instead of the Courtyard Café this year, due to the large turnout at Herstand’s previous Gustavus performances. The show is set to begin at 8:00 p.m. and is free to students.

“He’s not only a great musician, but he is wonderful at interacting with his audience and making sure everyone enjoys the show. His music is fun and easy to listen to. Last year the Courtyard Café was packed, and hopefully this year he has even more fans,” Tanner said.