The Night Owl Café at Keene State College filled with music on Thursday, Feb. 15, as country singer and former NBC Voice contestant Angie Keilhauer played an acoustic set of both original and covered songs. The singer opened with the Amy Winehouse classic, “Valerie” and concluded with “Gravity” by John Mayer.

Colton mccracken / senior photographer

Colton mccracken / senior photographer

Making connections with the music she performs and experiences in life, Keilhauer explained why Ed Sheeran’s song “Perfect” is currently her favorite song to play. “I know [Ed Sheeran] got engaged, and I find context in songs. I feel like I wrap myself around them more. Knowing that he just got engaged made the song more intense to listen to,” Keilhauer said.

During the show, Keilhauer took requests from audience members playing a diverse set from Dolly Parton to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When an audience member requested Keilhauer play Aerosmith, she did not shy away from the challenge. Impressing many listeners with her rendition of “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” first-year Lindsey Ljungberg identified that song in particular as her favorite. “I loved it she was really good. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but probably the Aerosmith song was the best,” Ljungberg said.

Throughout the performance, Keilhauer told stories about her musical voyage, and how she ended up where she is today. Teaching herself guitar from YouTube, Keilhauer began on her path of becoming a professional performer after she quit her job at an auto- salvage yard and signed a contract to be a full-time musician on a cruise ship. The job involved her playing three to four hours every day for six months. After returning from the cruise, the singer went on tour and later competed on The Voice in 2016.

“It was an incredible, unexplainable moment,” Keilhauer described the feeling when she saw the chairs turn around. “I remember being like, ‘You know what? I’m just going to love this experience and stop worrying about what’s going to happen afterwards. Just enjoy the moment,’ Keilhauer said. “I looked up at the crowd, and it felt like the crowd got louder when I looked up, and I remember getting lost in that sound and then all of a sudden looking down and three judges had turned around.”

Although three judges (Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams) turned around for Keilhauer, her journey on the competition show did not begin there. Keilhauer had auditioned multiple times to be on the show, but had not made it past the blind auditions until the 2016 season. However, Keilhauer did not view her failures as a reason to give up, but as a reason to try again. “I think that you have to have a relationship with failure, and actually seek it,” Keilhauer said. “You have to play the odds and fail often to get the success you want.”

Keilhauer has recently signed a contract with a manager from Nashville, and is scheduled to release a new album this summer, adding her total original music albums to three.

First-year Kim Kalis attended the KSC show, and was blown away by the singer’s performance. Kalis expressed, “I thought she was really good, I really like her. I’m probably going to listen to all her music right now. I was really impressed.”

Erin McNemar can be contacted at emcnemar@kscequinox.com