Leysha Caraballo


REVIEW: Grace Potter rocks the Fillmore

Grace Potter comes out to a sold out crowd @ The Fillmore. All photos by Leysha Caraballo.
Grace Potter comes out to a sold out crowd at The Fillmore. All photos by Leysha Caraballa

The background music fades as the stage is illuminated, setting the scene for Grace Potter’s entrance. The crowd buzzes with anticipation as they wait for her to take the stage. The screams of excitement  are deafening. Potter opened with a song from her first solo album, “Midnight,”released August 14.

Potter made her her debut in 2004 with her original band, “Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.” They made their way up the charts with a jazzy and folk-influenced style, including one of their top hits, “Stars.” Even though the group received some success, Grace felt that she needed to try a solo career. Potter’s most popular song, “Alive Tonight,” is evidence that she can  handle being a solo act.

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Potter dominated the stage with her high-energy personality, as she made sure to cover all parts of the stage. At one point she was even flat on her back belting out a song. But more impressively, her skills on the electric guitar were astounding. Because of her prowess, she now has her very own “Grace Potter Signature Flying V” by Gibson Guitars.

With two drummers, three guitarists and a piano player, you’d think that Grace’s voice might be overpowered by the music, but it the opposite effect occurred. Her signature raspy voice that exudes soul flew over the riffs, beats, and bass. The crowd was mesmerized by her vocal strength and the deep emotions she conveyed through her lyrics.


This was her second trip to Charlotte with a sold out crowd. Grace Potter has made a name for herself not only through her band but also as a solo artist who can hold her own. The entire show was high energy, and the audience was a large part of that. Her loyal fans cheered through the whole night till the very end. Hopefully, Potter will keep Charlotte in mind on her next tour because this concert was an unforgettable experience.

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For full tour dates and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.gracepotter.com/#tour.

For more information on Grace Potter, visit:

Charlotte Green Initiative accepting green proposals

The campus student-led organization, Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI), is currently accepting proposals for green projects. Any UNC Charlotte student can write a proposal and submit it for review.

An application can be found on the CGI website which asks for a project description, budget, timeline, and justification. It is necessary to have a faculty advisor to assist in the project and its development, as well as the continuation for future years.

Photo by Leysha Caraballo.
Photo by Leysha Caraballo.

Current projects include bike racks for EPIC and Grigg Hall, an increase in the number of bottle filling stations, and battery charge posts for electric cars. Some CGI completed projects include the Zero Waste Football Stadium and the addition of compost bins across campus. The amount of money allocated for these projects ranges from a few hundred dollars to $30,000.

“Overall, this is the perfect time and method for students to get their ideas heard and make positive change on campus.  Students help support the green fee fund and we want as many as possible to utilize it,” said Head of the CGI Kaitlyn Chapman. “Even if it is still in the early stages. We have the resources available to help bring a good idea into fruition with your help.”

Chapman also went on to say that proposals are not limited to individual students, but that fraternities, sororities and other campus organizations can submit their ideas as a group.

The committee will be reviewing the proposals after the due date Nov. 2. Follow this link for further instructions and to submit yours: http://cgi.uncc.edu/cgi-challenge.

Author speaks of personal experiences during Freshman Common Reading Experience

Magary reads from his book, “The Postmortal". Photo by Leysha Caraballlo.
Magary reads from his book, “The Postmortal”. Photo by Leysha Caraballlo.

On Oct. 15, author Drew Magary gave an unconventional lecture.

Magary’s book, “The Postmortal,” was selected for the Freshman Common Reading Experience. Many professors who teach freshman courses decided to make this book a part of their curriculum for the fall semester. The book explores what could occur if a cure for aging were invented and legalized for everyone’s use.

This science fiction novel is a bit different from books assigned for the Common Reading in the past. Magary is also a different type of author, unafraid to drop more than a few expletives in his writing and speech.

His lecture consisted of a personal story that hit close to home for many college students, drunk driving.

This subject caught most students off guard, considering they attended the lecture expecting a breakdown of the novel. Far from what most expected, Magary’s keynote speech expounded on his life and experiences, talking about his mistakes and the process he went through to rectify them. He spoke of his tendency to drink and drive until he was stopped by the police.

As a result, he began to attend Alcohol Anonymous meetings. Once he realized the magnitude of his mistakes, he stopped the vicious cycle of drinking and driving for his wife and family, but most of all, for himself.

Levine scholar,  Christopher McKinnis introduces the speaker. Photo by Leysha Freshman
Levine scholar, Christopher McKinnis introduces the speaker. Photo by Leysha Freshman

The crowd had mixed feelings about the speech, but many were interested in the use of a real-life story, rather than a summary of the book. In the conclusion of his story, he tied in his experience to the book, saying that self-awareness is a quality we must all develop and one that the main character of his novel, John Farrell, lacks.

Afterwards, he opened up the floor to questions about “The Postmortal.” The crowd had genuine questions that ranged from the themes of marriage and death to the characterization of women in the novel.

Magary intently answered each question with thought and clarity. He was witty and bold, as well as unafraid to ruffle some feathers. Once the lecture came to an end, he signed the books that students had brought with them.

Author Drew Magary speaks. Photo by  freshman Leysha Freshman
Author Drew Magary speaks. Photo by freshman Leysha Freshman

Silent jersey auction raises money for Levine Children’s Hospital

The UNC Charlotte Dance Marathon organization held a silent jersey auction at the men’s soccer game against the Virginia Tech Hokies Oct. 20.

The auction took place to raise funds for the Levine Children’s Hospital miracle kids. A few of the kids that the Dance Marathon raises money for were at the game. They were able to walk out with the players onto the field and during halftime, shot goals against Norm the Niner.

“Dance Marathon is beyond excited to have been able to partner with the Men’s Soccer team. Not only did this night contribute to our fundraising efforts for Levine Children’s Hospital, but we were also able to bring Miracle Families from the hospital to enjoy the great win against Virginia Tech,” said Emily Grassett, head of the Dance Marathon chapter at UNC Charlotte.

The Dance Marathon is 12 hours of non-stop dancing to support the Levine Children’s Hospital. It will be held Nov. 7, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in the Student Union. Registration is $10 with all the proceeds going towards the medical costs of the children.

To register or donate to the cause, follow this link: http://events.dancemarathon.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.event&eventID=677

Photos by Leysha Caraballo.

Latin awareness showcase kicks off Spanish Heritage Month

(photo by Leysha Caraballo)

UNC Charlotte’s Latino Student Services Office celebrated the start of Spanish Heritage month with its Latino Awareness Showcase. The event began with an open art gallery featuring works from local elementary students. The artwork expressed students’ response to immigration, as well as a series of paintings by Edwin Gil, a Colombian artist based in Charlotte. His works emphasized flowers, their transformation and “how beautiful life is.”

Afterwards, attendees enjoyed a talent show highlighting students from the Latin American Student Organization (L.A.S.O.), where members performed songs by Juanes and Prince Royce.  You may know Columbian musician and former Ekhymosis band member Juanes (Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez), from his song “Juntos/Together” featured in Disney’s 2015 drama, “McFarland USA.”

Dancers, including a cheerleader from the Charlotte Knights, performed Peruvian traditional and modern contemporary dance routines.

A UNC Charlotte student also recited her own spoken word poem entitled, “I Am / Yo Soy.” The poet chronicled her journey of finding herself through college and letting go of her past.

The night ended with a Mexican cuisine buffet and plenty of dancing.

Volunteers from Folclor Colombiano  Charlotte, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising Latin dance awareness and teaching children to dance, led a lesson on Salsa and Bachata.


Overall, the event was a successful showcase of Hispanic cultures and the supportive community of diverse students here at UNC Charlotte.

Spanish Heritage Months is celebrated from Sept. 15- Oct. 15. This time is used to acknowledge the contributions of Latino Americans to the United States. Sept. 15, a significant day in Hispanic culture, marks the anniversary of Latin American independence (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatamala, Honduras and Nicaragua). Shortly after, countries like Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence as well as Columbus Day, all falling within the 30-day period.  A tradition beginning in 1968 as Spanish Heritage Week.

The office of Latino Student Services works to build the Latino Community on campus. In doing so, they provide bi-lingual resources for families and collaborate with community organizations to increase college awareness and access.

The Latino Student Services Office is located in room 207A of the King building. For more information on how you can get involved, visit http://unccdso.uncc.edu/org/latinostudentservices or like them on Facebook at Latin Student Services.