Give them food and they will come. At least that was the thinking of Alex Hoteck, senior and co-president of the College Programming Board, who tried to get more people to attend Tuesday’s Open Mic Night at Linden Hall.
Tuesday’s Open Mic Night was attended by roughly 40 people including performers, but many attendees left after they taking their fill of free pasta and coffee. In previous years, Hoteck estimates that there have been crowds as large as 120 people and he is hopeful that crowds of that size will return in the future.
The festivities, which took place in the Linden Hall lounge, had an intimate feel and a professional-looking setup which included color changing lights that lit up the exposed brick behind the performers. It wasn’t just the setup that felt professional: some of the performers, like sophomore Alyssa Waters, who writes her own songs, were very confident and delivered polished performances.
“I’ve been writing my own music since I was 12, so about eight years,” Waters said.
While most of the performers played covers of their favorite tunes, Waters was one of the few acts who came with original material.
Senior Josh Tracey played three cover songs, creating a sound that fused the music of the late Jeff Buckley with the work of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder.
The senior appreciates the Open Mic Nights put on by the CPB: “I think the Open Mic Night is a great outlet for artists to play and it is also a great place to meet other people who sing and play music," he said.
That appreciation is shared by Waters, who is a regular performer at Linden Hall’s Open Mic Nights.
“It is just a really great experience to play in front of people and showcase your music,” she said.
Despite some artists being more experienced or polished than others, Hoteck assures the Open Mic Night is for anyone brave enough to sign up to perform.
“What is really nice about the Open Mic Night is that it is for everyone. We have people who are just beginning and others who are very experienced and can really command a crowd," he said.
The types of performances delivered at Open Mic Night vary greatly with each different show. One minute, audiences are listening to someone strum along to an old 90s song on an acoustic guitar, and the next minute there is a girl in full face paint that looks like an homage to the Joker from Batman singing a metal song that many in the audience had never heard before.