On Thursday 31st January CUSU hosted its first (and hopefully not last) Open Mic event of the year at The Dark Room, Phoenix. Planning for this event took place well over a month ago and since the moment the first email went out I was inundated with comedians, dancers, bands, singers, poets all requesting slots to perform! The interest in this event was much higher than I could’ve expected.
Unfortunately due to the high demand I had to work on a ‘first come first serve basis’ which meant quite a few people were left disappointed- who knows, I may have told the next John Legend he couldn’t perform?! Nevertheless with around 15 acts scheduled to perform and a variety of different talents I knew it was going to be a night that kept everyone interested.
Sound check was at 7pm with the first act set to perform at 8pm, so there was very little time to get set up and this is where my knowledge of music tech (which was limited to plugging in my phone) began to be exposed, with one of the artists asking if I could out some ‘Reverb’ onto his mic?? Thankfully a good poker face and a quick YouTube video quickly sorted the situation out, and by the time all artists were happy with the setup the room was beginning to fill up with the audience- which consisted of friends, family and even some lecturers!
The brave first student up to perform was Lucille Jousselin, who performed a brilliant rendition of ‘Sandcastles’ by Beyoncé and then showed her versatility by performing acapella in French. The crowd responded amazingly and the support shown for her really set the tone for the rest of the evening. With personal highlights including a 53 year old Post-Graduate student dancing on stage by himself to Haddaway’s ‘What is Love’ and probably getting the best reaction of all the audience with them cheering ‘Encore Encore Encore’ at the end of his performance. Followed by a first time comedian reciting hilarious antics from his time in Japan- which included being recognised as Tom Cruise in town and having numerous dinners being bought for him, to being kicked out of a Primary School for resembling a bear- there wasn’t a dry eye in the house whilst he was on stage.
Whilst originally there was only 15 acts scheduled to perform, the reaction of the crowd (who reached capacity of 100 at the Dark Room!) to all of the students made it hard for me to turn people away who turned up on the day hoping to perform- as a result there were nearly 25 acts over the course of 3 hours. When the last act took the stage I would’ve thought the crowd may have lost their energy and would have resided in their seats… How wrong I was. Performing one of his own tracks on stage Edward ‘Adonte’ Adonteng was having the crowd out for their seats and singing his lyrics back to him, whilst even inviting some members on stage to perform with him. What started out as an Acoustic Open Mic night developed into a full-blown concert!
The event was a huge success and I was thrilled at the response from everyone involved, it was a great feeling being able to provide the students with this platform to showcase their talents and see how talented our students are!
The next Open Mic night has been booked for Thursday 28th February so keep an eye out and please come show your support- this will not be an event you want to miss!