Students display talents at Open Mic Night

Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

It started off slowly in a room which was reminiscent of a jazzy coffee lounge, filled with the music of indie bands. People talked and whispered excitedly in their seats. Soon enough, the time had come and the show began. This was how the Open Mic Night hosted by Southern’s Crescent Players troupe opened up, and the evening quickly turned into a night of poetry, comedy, rap, and all manners of music.

The open mic set-up itself was simple. Students could sign up either beforehand or during the show itself as a “walk-in” to perform any style of performance art they wished, and was hosted by WSIN Radio’s own Joseph Amaronte and Gregory Gaglicerdi.

If it was a rap piece, a monologue from a play, songs, or even a performance with their band, students from Southern all showed their talents. While there were a few members from the Crescent Players themselves who performed, many more were students who wanted to present their works for an audience.

The opening act for the night was a duo band called “Grief Seeds” comprised of fifth year student, Will Durant and his, friend Luke Sheeran. The duo switched between playing the drums and guitar.

“We’ve been together for about a year now and we just have always liked improv, messing with our time signatures, we just really enjoy playing our music,” said Durant. “We both like similar musics like ‘Driveline’ and ‘Fugazi,’ but we really strive for our own sound.”

“Grief Seeds” played four songs and departed the stage, leaving an anticipating feeling for what else was to come in the lineup. Following them were a series of poets who read their works aloud.

Then there came to be a stand-up act, the only one of the show, performed by Crescent Player member Nathan Tracey. His routine centered around three instances where he and his friends got in trouble with the police because their group’s voice of reason had gone home for the weekend while they were eating “spaghetti”.

After the show when asked about his history with comedy, Tracey revealed a shocking truth.

“This was actually one of my first times ever doing comedy. I’ve always loved stand up, like George Carlin, all the ones I grew up with,” said Tracey.  “It was fun though and people laughed so hey, they must’ve liked it.”

One of the most recurring performances of the night was poetry reading,  ranging from humorous poems such as Clark Herring’s “Conn Hall” which satirized the stomach torture which sometimes happens after eating food from Conn, to a poem which had tugged on the hearts of the audience and had them all shouting “huzzah” at the end.

The poem in question is one performed by Joe DeFillipo, a senior, and was in honor of a friend of his named C.J. Landon who passed away last year. It was a heartfelt poem, to which he opened with “Now, I go to ren. fairs [Renaissance Fairs] and something that we do is give a cheer of hip hip, and then say huzzah. In memory of my friend C.J., I would just like to ask if you could give a huzzah.” The poem itself wasn’t just about his friend, it was one which reminded us all of the people we have lost in our lifetimes. Little to say the whole room deafened with a “huzzah” as Joe took his seat.

The night closed with a performance by Crescent Players’ Mike Benson’s band “Ten and Counting.” The night was exhilarating, emotional, and the crowd applauded every performance. After speaking to performers and audience members at the event, all of them said they would come back for more events like this.

Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor 


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