Eastern student to open for multi-platinum record band Sunday


Lamplighter Productions

Drew Cagle and The Reputation performed during their acoustic tour Haunted earlier this year.

Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief

Drew Cagle, a senior public relations major, and his band Drew Cagle and The Reputation are one of three bands opening for Puddle of MUDD on Sunday at Corn Crib Stadium in Normal.

Tickets are available for purchase online and to support the band enter promo code “DCTRSAVE2.”

Puddle of Mudd is an American rock band formed in Kansas City, Mo. in 1991. Selling more than seven million albums, the band has had multiple mainstream rock singles in the United States, like “Come Clean” selling more than 5 million copies.

The Reputation is a rock and roll band with more than 100,000 all-time album streams, 10,000 music video views and around 2,000 monthly listeners.

Based out of Champaign, The Reputation has performed at state fairs, festivals, showcases and toured several times.

Because this is the biggest gig The Reputation has had, they are excited about the attention they will get.

Cagle said for him the most exciting part is seeing if the band will nail the performance.

“Can I hit the high note that I hit the high note I hit on the album? Can the drummer do the fill he needs to do,” Cagle said. “Like you have all this tension and when the music starts to play the dice roll and that’s the real fun part for me.”

Puddle of MUDD recognized The Reputation after the popularity of their acoustic tour, The Haunted (Bare Bones) Tour.

The Haunted (Bare Bones) Tour was an acoustic tour of the band’s most popular album Haunted, released last year in October. Touring in 10 cities around the Midwest with his oldest band member Byron, the duo performed for hundreds of people.

Cagle said he enjoys the acoustic concerts but prefers the high-energy, crazy concerts.

“Whenever I perform, I run around the stage, I don’t want to stand there,” Cagle said. “I’m doing dumb shit, I’m getting up on top of my piano andI do that crazy dumb shit just to get the crowd involved.”

Drew Cagle sits and plays the piano in the Doudna Fine Arts Center. (Spencer Literal)

When he was 16 and in his junior year of high school, Cagle and his father went to see a Guns N’ Roses concert after the band had reunited.

While at the concert, he said audience members were exhilarated and had “nothing short of a religious experience” when he saw how the band controlled the crowd. This feeling stuck with him even after he left. 

When he returned to school, he had to write a book report for his English class on The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

Because he hated writing long-form essays and still felt the high from the concert, he asked his teacher if he could write a song about it.

His teacher allowed him to write the song and Cagle said he would turn in a video of him performing it.

Although he didn’t know how to play any instruments, he knew how to sing, so he thought it couldn’t be that hard.

That night, he came home and told his dad about the assignment. His dad scoffed, saying songwriting wasn’t as easy. Cagle soon found out how right his dad had been.

‘I’m sitting there and I’m like no this is a lot harder than I thought, and maybe I made a mistake,” Cagle said.

After hours of trying to write a song, he went to the kitchen to get a drink when he passed his dad playing a riff on his un-amped, electric guitar. 

He double-backed and asked his dad if the melody was from a preexisting song; he said it was just a freestyled melody.

Inspired by the chords, he later wrote his first single, “Off the Wall.”

Although he didn’t turn the project in, he passed the class. He told his teacher he would turn in the song, eventually.

Drew Cagle and The Reputation performs during their acoustic tour Haunted, earlier this year. (Lamplighter Productions)

Six years later, he released the fully produced version. Once released, he uploaded another video explaining the origins of the song.

When Cagle sent his former teacher the video, he said he loved it.

Five years later, producing two more singles and an album, he said his band sticks out from others because of the influence and energy he brings to the show.

“If I didn’t have something a little bit different than other bands, I wouldn’t have my name in the band,” Cagle said. “I know that sounds really egotistical, but it’s just I bring a real intense energy to the show.”

While performing, he controls the crowd, making them feel what he wants them to. 

He will “attack” the microphone, creating an intense feeling, and at others, he will ease up on the microphone to give the viewers room to breathe.

Cagle said many artists influenced how he approaches music like David Bowie with his eerie aura, Mick Jagger, who strutted around the stage and Axl Rose, who has an aggressive presence on stage. 

Incorporating some of those styles into his own, he wants to create a unique experience for listeners.

“I’m there to give you an experience you haven’t felt before and hopefully creating a memory in the process,” Cagle said. 

Rob Le Cates is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 217-581-2812.