By KELLY EMMRICH
The first official Open Mic Night of the 2015 spring semester brought a relaxed and intimate feel to the Underground. The formerly named “UPC Live” event struggled last semester to take off in popularity, unlike other weekly functions such as karaoke, bingo and trivia. Several Underground event coordinators spoke about a typical Wednesday Karaoke night, calling it “incredibly hype” and noting the “staple crowd pleasers” of Taylor Swift and Frozen songs.
On a normal Wednesday night, the Underground usually hosts about sixty students and faculty with every table full and very little floor space available. This week, with the Open Mic Night, that was not the case. With less than thirty people in the underground, and most there for the Red Pepper Gouda, only one student was brave enough to perform.
Freshman Ryan Ford played an original song called “Insomnia.” Ford mainly writes his own music with a unique sound quality that correlates with the Indie scene. Ford has been playing guitar for around four years and has been singing for one. Even though this was not Ford’s first Open Mic Night, it was his first at the University of Mary Washington.
Ford, despite the fact that he is no stranger to the stage, said, “The best part of a performance is when it’s over.”
“It’s like racing,” said Ford. “While you’re doing it, it’s painful, but when it’s over there’s a certain satisfaction.”
Although he only played one song for the Underground’s Open Mic Night, Ford left a mark. Shortly after his performance, Rose Frechette commented on how Ford’s Indie rock voice and melodic guitar styling truly touched her.
“The atmosphere really changed from a typical night at the Underground into a concert. It’s a shift that that everyone felt, not just me,” said Frechette.
After just five minutes, Ford changed from an anonymous student to a star. In addition to Frechette, several other students and Open Mic Night coordinators came up to Ford after his set to compliment his impressive debut performance.
Even though the Open Mic Nights are currently poorly attended, hopefully more musical students will step up to the stage on future Wednesdays and more people will come out to see the talent.