UPC’s Open Mic night brings variety

John Hult

John Hult

Much like the Cavorts Talent competition earlier in the semester, the University Program Council-sponsored Open Mic Night last Tuesday was marked by variety, fun and an abundance of talent.

Around 200 people spilled out of Jack’s Place into the Outback Jack’s billiards area, and the stairwell leading to Jack’s Place to watch the competition, which featured originals, comedy and cover songs as well as a stand-up comedy act and one full band. All counted, there were 19 acts.

KSDJ station manager Ashley Allen, SA president Dan Hansen and sophomore Tyler Mahowald, along with University Program Council members Nick Wendel and Abby Bischoff, sat in the audience with rating sheets for each act.

The performers were judged in the categories of talent, audience reaction, stage presence, content and overall performance.

Singer/songwriter Krista Tschetter, who performed two original pieces, “Church Bells” and “Lonesome Day,” won the $100 first prize in the competition.

Clay Edwards won second place and $50 for his original comedy song “Rock Star.”

Edwards, along with Third place winners The Lug Nuts, who performed covers of “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Johnny B. Goode,” received a tremendous audience reaction.

Attendants clapped their hands and sang along to the oft-covered rock standards, while Edwards’ original tune had people laughing and singing along by the final chorus.

Allen said content made the difference in Tschetter’s win.

“What put Krista over the top for me was that she was performing her own material, she sold it onstage, and she just had talent–you could see that she had talent,” Allen said.

Allen said that there was talent to go around at the competition, however.

“Some of the other people were really good–they just didn’t have their own material,” he said.

Hopeful students with racked nerves lined the hallways facing the KSDJ studio and the UPC offices surrounded by acoustic guitars and dozens of other competitors throughout the show.

They looked over lyrics they had certainly seen a hundred times before, paced back and forth while singing to themselves and crossed their fingers in waiting for their turn at the stage.

Not all the competitors showed as much concern, however. Christina Abraham decided to sign up for an impromptu stand-up comedy session on a break from a KSDJ hot dog eating contest.

“I was bored with the sappy love songs,” Abraham said. “I saw all this Ani DiFranco, John Mayer stuff and I just wasn’t going to take that.”

Abraham said that she decided to improvise because of the rare day she’d had, which included a strange trip to Student Health.

“Pap smears student death–I think that’s pretty funny,” she said.

The crowd–for the most–part seemed to agree.