Josh Abbott and his band walked nonchalantly onto a small wooden stage at the Hill Country Event Center Monday night, setting an intimate tone for the show they were about to play.
“We don’t just want to play songs,” Abbott said. “We want to talk to y’all.”
The response he received was screams and applause from 187 Alpha Delta Pi members in matching teal t-shirts and boots sitting anxiously to hear the concert they had worked so hard for.
Last semester, the women of Alpha Delta Pi decided to register for the Josh Abbott Band’s second annual spirit contest. The grand-prize winner showing the most love for the band via social media outlets would win a concert, $5,000 for philanthropy, pieces of Kendra Scott jewelry and a GiGi’s cupcake party.
Sofia Walker, education sophomore, volunteered to take on the task of organizing the entire contest. She did all the filming and editing of the four big videos the members submitted for the contest. Each of the videos would be judged based on the number of women participating in them, creativity and originality.
“When I found out I won, I cried,” Walker said. “I can’t believe I made that happen. It is so much money, and it is going to affect so many lives.”
The first video consisted of 100 reasons the women loved the Josh Abbott Band. Those filming recorded 100 different Alpha Delta Pi members saying some funny and serious reasons. Afterward, Abbott himself tweeted about the video and said they were setting the bar high.
The next two were creative videos that included a mock Ellen DeGeneres interview with Josh Abbott, along with clips incorporating him into scenes from TV shows and movies like “The Notebook.”
The fourth video was about Alpha Delta Pi’s philanthropy, The Ronald McDonald House. The women’s video was called “A Week in the Life of an ADPi” and featured the members participating in various service events throughout the community. After the video, there was a testimony from three Alpha Delta Pi members who had experienced the help of the Ronald McDonald House in their own lives.
Josh Abbott, a former member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Texas Tech, said the concert brought him back to his greek days. He and his fellow band member, fraternity brother and banjo player, Austin Davis, started the band back then.
“To be successful, you need the support of fraternities and sororities,” Abbott said. “I wanted to give the money and give back to them for all the hard work they do. We do it as a way to say thanks.”
Toward the end of the concert, a woman from inside the sea of teal yelled out that Josh should sing with Walker.
He grinned at Walker and said, “Do you sing?”
She smiled in response and followed his gesture for her to come on stage. The two began to sing the duet of “Oh Tonight,” which was followed by ‘aw’s, screams and applause.
“My favorite part of the concert was when Josh sang with Sofia,” said Ashton Douglas, fellow Alpha Delta Pi sister. “She really deserved that opportunity. I loved hearing her sing with him, and I know it made the night so special for her.”