Students strummed, sang and laughed their way into Keene State College’s very first open-mic night on Feb. 26. Hosted by the Night Owl Café and WKNH, the event reeled in students of many different talents to perform five-minute sets in the NOC.
Although only ten sets were able to perform, the night was jam-packed with stand-up comedy, slam poetry and acoustic and electric guitar accompanied by singing. Program Director of WKNH and open-mic night host Sean Malone said the first ever open-mic night “was a success.” Malone said professional staff members from the NOC approached WKNH to host the show.
In between sets, Malone did small bits of his own comedy. He told personal stories that made the audience giggle while others were setting up to perform. The most common set was the playing of electric or acoustic guitar, but first-year student Isaiah Lapierre took a different approach with stand-up comedy.
“I just did a little in high school,” Lapierre said about his stand-up, “but I haven’t performed in a long time.” He said he used to travel to University of Massachusetts Amherst to perform at comedy shows. As for Keene State’s first open mic, Lapierre said he saw the poster and decided to check it out. “I thought, ‘I should really try, I should just do it,’ so I came out here,” he said.
Along with Lapierre, two other students performed stand-up comedy and had the crowd throwing their heads back with laughter. Loud applauses were given after students performed on their guitars and others sang along side.
KSC student Alex Goss performed a song on his acoustic guitar as a tribute to Johnny Cash on the anniversary of Cash’s birthday. Cash would have been 83 on the night of open-mic.
Audience member Meghan Green said she thought the open-mic night was great. “The people performing were obviously very passionate and full of talent…I’ll definitely be going to the next open mic night,” she said.
Antonio Rivera was the last to perform and he brought something different to the stage. The sophomore performed his five-minute set with “slam poetry” he wrote himself. As a DJ at WKNH, Rivera said he wanted to contribute to the event. “I always like to write lyrics but I never completed them…but there was a couple clubs here on campus that did,” he said. Rivera said he started writing slam poetry during the fall semester of 2015.
The NOC and WKNH will be hosting open-mic nights every month for the rest of the school year. Make sure to be on the lookout for posters and don’t miss the chance to perform on March 26.
Mackenzie Clarke can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.