NEMO, CUP spotlight on-campus summer concert series

By Kaitlin Keane

The sound of acoustic guitar and smooth lyrics floated through the library quad Monday, treating students to more than rare sunshine and a gentle breeze. Pausing on their way to classes, students experienced the musical stylings of Drew O’Doherty during the first concert in a series of seven summertime shows presented on the quad by New England Music Organization (NEMO) Music Festival and the Council for University Programs (CUP).

O’Doherty, a local musician with a laid-back sound and demeanor to match, kicked off the series with two hours of songs from his debut album, “The First New Recording in 28 Years.” Having spent more than a decade performing on the stages of local haunts like T.T. the Bear’s Place, O’Doherty said the NEMO NEU Summer Spotlight Series offers a unique opportunity for performers and audiences.

“I’ve been trying to get outside of playing bars and clubs,” he said. “It’s interesting to me to find spaces where music isn’t expected.”

NEMO Music Festival organizers hope students will agree. The Summer Spotlight Series will feature a variety of local talent, showcasing Djs, bands and singer/songwriters like O’Doherty to introduce Northeastern students to local talent they might not otherwise be exposed to.

“NEMO is designed to promote and support local music and music in general,” said Darlington Howland, one of the organizers of the series.

The Spotlight Series also serves as a preview of what is to come. In September, the NEMO Music Festival will present four nights of music all over the greater Boston area. The Music Conference and Showcases start Sept. 28 and feature local musicians of all genres at more than 30 venues around Boston. All of the performers in the Northeastern’s Music Spotlight Series will also be playing in the festival.

While performers of all ages playing a variety of music are involved in NEMO, Howland said the Spotlight Series will likely showcase more young musicians.

“We tend to have a lot of younger people play, because that’s who is inspired and trying to really get out there,” Howland said.

The next Spotlight Series Concert will be June 5, though the talent has not been finalized, Howland said. As the acts are booked, students will be able to find a list of concerts on NEMO’s website at

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