Program Council is notorious for throwing events on campus with great turnouts. Although the turnout was not as great as I had expected, Open Mic Night held on September 9th was entertaining. Host, Tim Qualls, the former host of Open Mic Night at Stardust, kept the crowd laughing and kept the musicians organized.
With seven performers, Open Mic lasted from 7pm to 10pm. Each musician would play a few original songs in hopes of entertaining the crowd. Opening act, Brad Basker played five relaxing tunes that crowd member Tim Davis described as “reggae/blues.” Although excellent on the guitar, Basker surprised everyone while playing his last song, “Melody.” About halfway through “Melody”, Basker completely forgot the words. Most musicians will pick it back up almost immediately, but Basker, on the other hand, repeatedly asked friends and family from the crowd to help him remember the words.
Second on the list of musical hopefuls was Cody Walker. Walker played the guitar well and had a great voice to match. Although the performers were asked to only play original songs, Walker sang “What I Got” by Sublime. The crowd enjoyed his rendition of the popular song as they laughed and sang along.
Breaking away from the guitar-players was Jacob Carr. Carr played the piano wonderfully and was accompanied by an impressive cello player from the Sam Houston orchestra. With only four performers left, several people began to pack up and leave, but those who stayed had a treat in store for them! Sara Hammon was the only female vocalist of the night and she stepped up to the plate. When asked who was the best of the show, audience member Lindsey Fagan voted Sara Hammon. Hammon had a strong voice and great lyrics.
This program wasn’t just for students, however, Dr. Trent Hanna, a professor here at Sam Houston, played a couple compositions on the piano. Dr. Hanna was amazing on the piano, and he has released a CD. After those soothing compositions, K.P and Mike T, a.k.a. “Havoc,” switched up the pace with the first rap group of the night. I was disappointed in this performance, because as Basker had done, K.P. didn’t know the lyrics. K.P. did not simply forget the lyrics; however, he didn’t bother to learn them before the show and in turn made himself and his comrade look unprepared as he walked around the stage mumbling every other word. Stepping up the game was The Last Great Assault, who also played for Program Council’s “Battle of the Bands” last year. This rock band is familiar with good showmanship since they have toured with Warped Tour before and closed out the evening’s show.
Overall, the effort was great and the musicians were wonderful, but Program Council needs to look into a way to get the word out so that more people can come enjoy the music scene of Sam Houston State. SHSU Student Edwin Calvillo said that he really liked the fact that a professor participated and that Open Mic Night shows that the students are still focused on their music.
Open Mic Night will be held six times throughout the semester, the next being on the 23rd of September, so keep an eye and ear out and make sure to attend.