Student talent high on energy sans caffeine

Joshua Holland, senior secondary education and English major, performed accoustic covers. (Christopher Lombardi / Staff Photographer)

By Kate Jenkins
Correspondent

The musical and poetic talents of students were showcased at the second session of WTSR’s Decaf at T-Dubs last Thursday Oct. 7.

Alec Plasker, sophomore communication studies major and WTSR promotions director, acted as emcee for the night’s performances, which included four solo acoustic guitar acts and one reading of original poetry, while an intimate crowd watched from the booths and tables.

The second junior history and secondary education major Danielle Steward began to strum her acoustic guitar during the closing minutes of the coffeehouse, the vocal talents of were evident.

Her six-song set included four original songs and two covers, “Real Real Sweet” by Meiko and “Sticks and Stones” by The Pierces.

Steward said that most of her musical inspiration came from female folk singers like Ingrid Michaelson and Jewel. A few of her original songs were written about relationships, but Steward made it clear that this wasn’t the only subject important to her.

“I try to make (my songs) more about life,” she said. “Most of my songs can be interpreted in a lot of different ways.”

WTSR’s Decaf was not the first time Steward had performed in front of an audience. She said she played at open mics prior to the coffeehouse and remembered when the excitement she now feels before shows was nervousness.

Before Steward’s closing act, four students took the stage to show the Decaf attendees their musical and poetic prowess.

Senior secondary education and English major Josh Holland performed acoustic covers of four songs, one of which he dedicated to his girlfriend sitting at the table closest to the stage.

He ended his set with a powerful rendition of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Love You More Than Life.”

The next musician to take the microphone was Colleen Napolitano, a senior graphic design major who plays under the alias “White Star City.” A regular at the Rathskeller, she was at ease on stage and gave an energetic performance of five acoustic covers, including Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Two Headed Boy Part 2.”

Freshman open options science major Shari Pollak was the third act of the night. She read four of her original poems to the audience, bringing diversity to the coffeehouse.

The last performance before Steward took the stage included the original music and falsetto vocalization of sophomore mechanical engineering major Alex Matteson. Matteson performed a number of written compositions and dedicated one bitter song in his set to the kid that stole his bike last summer.

The next installment of WTSR’s Decaf is slated for Thursday Nov. 4.