By Kellen Costantino
The cackle of amps being fired up, guitar strings being coaxed into tune, and the occasional nervous laugh from new performers. First to take the Monday night stage is Kimmy Kennedy, 21, with her bright red electric guitar. Silence fills the otherwise crowded J-lounge. Kennedy begins with a short bow, and starts us with a smooth rhythm, transitioning into some Steely Dan. Kennedy, like many others, has been coming to Open Mic. Night for some time.
“Consistently playing,” Kennedy says, “is the only way to get better.”
HSU students congregate weekly to share their music, poetry, and comedy. Open Mic Night gives everyone with something to share an opportunity to share it. No fees, deadlines, or due dates. It’s a totally inclusive venue that gives everyone a chance to show off their talent. Performer Kyle Herout says it’s a great experience.
“I love being able to share my music with other like-minded people,” Herout says. “The critiques I get are honest and insightful. Plus, it’s helped me kill my stage fright.”
Performances include covers of songs, as well as original works. Igors Spritz, 19, graces the crowd with his guitar/vocal rendition of “No Rain”, which was made popular by Blind Melon. It being his first time performing, and despite feeling nervous, Spritz says, “I don’t regret it at all, and I’ll definitely be here next week.”
The goal of Open Mic Night is to be a completely free and open venue for anyone who wants to perform. Every Monday night at 8, anyone who likes can come down and strut their stuff, or, is free to just watch.