The Songwriter’s Club hosted an open mic at the Big O last night. I was expecting half a dozen freshman boys sporting Puka shell necklaces and playing catchy emo acoustic songs like a high school talent show. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by the talent present.
Although there was no shortage of shelled jewelry and even an acoustic rendition of “Karma Police,” most of the kids came out to jam and showcase their own original songs.
The event seemed to be well attended, but it was hard to tell who was there watching and who was there for the French fries and second-rate pizza. Most of the attendees seemed to be friends of the performers or other musicians enjoying some tunes while waiting for their two-song set. Some passerbys stopped to listen, and a freshman groupie even sat down to head-bang to the face-melting acoustics.
There were nearly 20 acts, and the members of the Songwriter’s Club warned the audience that guitars and a piano were the only instruments of the night. This didn’t deter one musician from thumping the mic with his necktie to add makeshift percussion to a performance of “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers.
Covers of popular songs, indie unknowns, and oldies alongside original music created a varied playlist for the evening. Some students even got crafty and mashed up popular radio hits (shout out to the girl who brought back Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River“). I was even surprised to see instrumental songs from kids who knew that actual notes, and not just chords, could be played on a guitar.
Despite some technical difficulty and a few missed notes, most people seemed to really enjoy the open mic night. Students were singing along, clapping, and bobbing to the beat. It was awesome to see the musical talent at such a low-key event and even cooler to see the audience’s groovin’ response.