Four students, each equipped with a guitar, performed at the Rathskeller on Friday, Nov. 16 for Student Soloist Night. Though the students all sang acoustically, each of them performed in their own style, making for a diverse night of music.
First to perform was junior business and music double major Louis Delia. He opened with a cover of Tokyo Police Club’s “Favorite Food” followed by his first self-written original song, “Crimson Sunrise,” a song about letting go. Delia played acoustically for each of his six songs and was able to accentuate his soulful playing. MGMT’s “Kids” was especially interesting to hear with just a guitar. Delia’s original songs were relatable, including the mellow “Something” in which he hit high notes and sang deep, meaningful lyrics.
“My whole style when I write stuff doesn’t necessarily come off as what I would listen to. I listen to so much music that it’s kind of hard to match it to anything. Most of the stuff that I would listen to is indie, which is generally what I played,” Delia said. “Designing the set list, I chose stuff that I felt I had a connection to, whether on an emotional level, or something that I really related to lyrically maybe, and I feel like when I cover it, it’s going to be something that I essentially connect to.”
Sophomore finance major Ben Warner was next to perform and opened with a cover of Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.” With his contemporary set list, Warner’s natural tone was able to bring a touch of innocence to his performance. His second song picked up tempo and was played with a heavier guitar sound, but regardless of what song he played, Warner sounded like he could be on the radio.
Taking no time to stop playing, with the exception of a couple short talks with some of the audience members at the front, Warner’s performance was smooth and the songs transitioned well into one another. Warner ended his set list with an audience sing-along of “Hallelujah” where he chose to emphasize the right notes at the right time.
The Gaslight Anthem’s “National Anthem” was the next song to be played, by junior civil engineering major Sam Moeller. Moeller then did a cover of Good Old War’s “Coney Island,” which seemed folk-inspired.
The audience applauded Moeller after he told them that his song “New Mexico” was the first time he had ever written and performed his song in front of people. A cover of Freelance Whales’ “Broken Horses” ended his set list.
The last performer of the night was freshman Rob Colonna who opened up with an original song. Pre-recorded drums gave him back-up. Colonna was talented at the guitar and his songs were upbeat.
Colonna performed his song “Last Chance” live for the first time. He also played a song that he wrote in his freshman year of high school and another that he wrote just three months ago, noting that he hoped that the audience could see an improvement in his writing.
Colonna’s favorite song that he ever wrote was his last song to be performed, “Vows,” which had refreshing lyrics.
Delia, Warner, Moeller and Colonna each had different styles of music to showcase at the Rat’s coffee house-like set-up. And, according to Delia, his experience playing for Student Soloist Night was a positive one.
“I think it’s great that CUB Rat does this and has this opportunity for student performers to get their music out there and also just to get paid,” Delia said. “They give you the freedom to do essentially whatever you’d want to do up there. And those 30 minutes are your 30 minutes to do whatever it is you want to do.”