Rathskeller diners last Tuesday were greeted with a friendly, “Evening, Rat people!” by Mark DeRose who, along with singer/songwriter Huck, performed on Nov. 10. The College Union Board (CUB)-sponsored Playlist Night treated listeners to a mellow, yet cheerful acoustic sound.
Huck took the stage, relaxing the crowd with his low voice and acoustic guitar. Although he lacked the playful wit of DeRose on stage, he more than made up for it with cool disposition and husky crooning. Huck, who is recording an album in California, will embark on a West Coast tour in December with Sarah Bareilles, who also lends her vocals to his song “Princess.” When asked about the tour, he replied that he is “very excited … it’s something I’ve been working towards forever.”
DeRose kicked off the night with a series of original songs, which he performed solo. Although diners initially paid little attention, they were soon won over by his confident presence and quirky stage banter, such as proclaiming “Zanadu,” the word of the night, early on in his performance. A highlight of his set was his cover of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” which inspired an audience member to chime in on a portion of the chorus, much to DeRose’s delight. His original songs, such as “45” and “Carolina Smile,” were upbeat acoustic numbers about love, friendship and life.
Later in the night DeRose and Huck shared the stage, playing a number of original and cover songs based on the topics of love and hope in a set that DeRose described as being “face-melting.” Huck stole the show with his acoustic rendition of Kanye West’s “Heartless,” which was preceded by a rant about his ex-girlfriend that received cheers from the remaining audience.
DeRose and Huck also sang together on DeRose’s number “Hold On,” with Huck providing backup vocals.
By the end of the night there were only two tables left occupied, and the duo ended the show an hour earlier than anticipated. However, the two were more than happy to stick around and interact with fans, answering questions with friendly, open attitudes.
When asked what inspired them to start playing and touring, Huck joked, “I like driving. I really enjoy driving,” as DeRose laughed in the background. “No, I fucking love music and that’s what it’s all about,” Huck responded seriously.
“I love music without the expletive. I guess I don’t love it as much as him,” DeRose added with a grin. “Also, I love free food at the Rat.”
The two will reunite for another show during Snowball Weekend, a CUB sponsored overnight bus trip in February. Tickets for the event will go on sale in January.