On Sept. 1, the football team opened up the season with an annihilating win over Idaho, along with successfully starting off the new Run to Victory tradition this year.
The stands were packed to the rims, and the Red Wave returned once again, but another significant highlight of the night was the marching band’s new halftime show. The show started off with the popular ‘80s tune most of probably know, “Sweet Child Of Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. The band’s director, Steven McKeithen, chose this “huge rock classic” because he loves the song and wanted to pick something the crowd would be familiar with. He stated, “I don’t know how anybody could grow up in this country and have not heard it once.”
From playing Guns N’ Roses, the band swiftly jumped to another iconic rock band, Van Halen. The marching band performed the hit song “Eruption,’ which McKeithen said, “the song was really about Eddie Van Halen showing off.”
This time it was Fresno State faculty member, Corey Whitehead who got to show off on his electric guitar. Playing alongside other students accompanied him on their own rhythm and bass guitars, but Whitehead remained “the primary vehicle of the halftime show,” according to McKeithen.
The idea to feature Whitehead was spurred from an alumni performance last year by a guest saxophonist.
The last song that the band played in conjunction with “Eruption” was “You’ve Really Got Me.” The crowd went wild for its performance, and now the band is looking forward to performing its halftime show at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 15, when the Fresno State Bulldogs go head-to-head with the UCLA Bruins.