Back in September, we hosted our first Open Mic event, and it was absolutely awesome.
I mean, just look at these pics.
Clearly, it was a pretty good time.
But we did something a bit different for this particular Open Mic. You see, we host these events and tons of talented people come in from across campus, but we never really get to know them. You think they'd be interesting people, right?
So we decided to talk to three acts before their set to get a better idea of who they were.
When we asked Jarod Burgardt if he was familiar with singing in front of people, he offered a surprising response.
"I tried it once," he said.
That meant that his Open Mic performance was the second time he had ever flexed his vocal chords for a crowd. Jarod, we seriously salute you.
Jarod has viewed singing as something to do for fun. "It's kind of a hobby that I do on and off," he said. His singing tendencies haven't gone far beyond his Let's Play channel – a genre of videos where individuals play games and offer commentary – that he shares with his friends on the streaming service Twitch.
"Sometimes I sing along to the songs that we have on," he said. "We play Super Smash Bros., Legend of Zelda; mostly Nintendo stuff."
On Open Mic Night, Jarod chose a personal favorite to sing: "Send Them On" by Bastille.
"I kind of like the band, but I really like the song," he said. Jarod depicted himself as a huge fan of alternative rock in general, but it was clear where his heart was.
Jarod: "AC/DC is the best."
BDP: "Can you sing like their vocalist?"
Jarod: "I could try, but afterwards...
...I would not be able to speak."
Fair enough, Jarod, fair enough.
When all was said and done, he made a triumphant spectacle with his performance. Sporting a particularly deep voice, Jarod conquered the song with confidence. When he got off stage, he seemed relieved. It's our hope that Open Mic gave him the courage to take his talents further.
During his sound check, Sidney Kukert gave us a taste of what was coming: dark and dirty tunes that could only be described by a marriage between Joy Division and Nirvana.
"Grunge punk is my kind of stuff," he affirmed; wearing a Nirvana shirt. It made sense.
Sidney was at Open Mic to play guitar and sing original songs and covers. He sounded great during the soundcheck so we asked him how long he'd been playing.
"Less than a year," he stated bashfully.
Ok, we definitely did not see that one coming.
Although Sidney's journey with guitar has been a short one, it turned out to be a fascinating glimpse into modern technology's ability to promote musicianship.
At a certain point in his life, Sidney said to himself that there just "wasn't many new video games coming out," or, at least, games he was interested in.
"[But] I see this game called Rocksmith," he said, reminiscing, "and I'm like, 'Hey, I'll learn!'"
"It's a video game and it teaches you how to play a real guitar," he informed us. The concept is especially interesting because the player needs an authentic "axe" to play. No plastic shredders here, people. Think Guitar Hero, but you're actually learning something.
The game helped him, and now he's climbing atop the Open Mic stage; showcasing determination and raw talent.