Student soloists warm up Rat crowd at snow-day show

By Stephanie Petit
Correspondent

rat_thumbAn abundance of snow was accompanied by an abundance of talent as student performers took the stage at the Rathskeller in an open mic night on Saturday Feb. 6.

Performances included four soloists playing both original songs and covers of popular music and concluded with two comedians.

College Union Board (CUB) put together the open mic in addition to movies, free games at the Brower Student Center and other activities in anticipation of the heavy snow.

“This show was literally put together in two days,” said Estephanie Betances, senior psychology major and co-chair of the CUB-Rat Board in charge of the event. “We found out about the snow and immediately the snow day activity-planning began. We basically wanted students to have something to do while they remain safe on campus during the storm.”

Despite having been invited to perform on short notice, the students each performed full and varied sets.

To start the night, senior communication studies major Cat Cosentino announced her guitar case was open and she “accepted points.” Her set full of lovely original songs was livened up by her fun covers of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” and Weezer’s “Can’t Stop Partying,” to which the crowd sang along. By the end of her set, audience members had left a few dollars, as well as a poem and an origami flower, in her guitar case.

Matt Huston, sophomore journalism major and Signal Arts & Entertainment Editor, performed an enjoyable second act. He played original songs such as “Barracuda” and “Curtains” along with a cover of Radiohead’s “You and Whose Army?”

Next was sophomore communication studies major Jake Ehrlich with a lighthearted set full of original songs and many covers of songs written by friends. Playing both the ukulele and guitar, he kept the crowd giggling with quirky songs including one about the struggle to find the perfect spot for a “freaky painting” and another about swallowing gum.

The final soloist of the event was sophomore history major Brian Gross. His impressive guitar playing was definitely a standout. For his final two originals, he invited friend Tiki Kennedy, sophomore psychology major, to join him on stage. Gross sang the chorus while Kennedy rapped the clever lyrics of the verses. Despite Kennedy’s claim that he “just wrote them a couple hours ago,” the songs were a fun departure from the previous performances.

The comedic portion of the night began with Mark Smith, a junior communication studies major. He described some problems he had about advice from his No. 1 girl, his mother. For example, when encouraged to play “Where’s Waldo?” Smith found himself with questions as to why the location was so overpopulated and why Waldo was wearing a red-and-white-striped sweater in the middle of Egypt.

The second comedian was freshman biology major Frank Liu with a comedic take on his trouble with girls and growing up. He described his perfect date, a trip to the Liberty Science Center, which included a trip through the “touch tunnel.”

Liu had the crowd laughing with his story about how he tracked down a girl in order to tell her he was not stalking her. “Because if I was stalking her … she wouldn’t find out,” he said.