The Red Barn’s stage featured more than a few “diamonds in the rough” during SAB’s open mic night on Tuesday, September 16. The acts ranged from singing, playing guitar, reciting original poetry, comedic haikus, spoken word and even an on the spot, improvised “first-world blues” played on harmonica.
Around 125 to 150 people showed up to watch their classmates perform on a stage, some of whom had never been on a stage before. SAB offered coffee, Insomnia Cookies and of course, a free show full of talented artists.
As the spectators saw people bolstering the courage to go onstage, they decided they too could perform live. The performers supported one another, including three or four times, when a performer would go up on stage and ask to borrow somebody’s guitar. Every time, a fellow performer gladly lent their guitar.
The performers ranged from freshman to seniors, and even included an athletic trainer. Some of the favorites included a harmonica act with an improvised “first world blues” about cellphone with no charge, a rendition of Bastille’s Pompeii, and a duet of Flashlight by The Front Bottoms. The duet delighted the crowd, because freshmen Robie Sumner and John Frisch performed it, having only met half an hour earlier. Sumner stood outside the Red Barn attempting to see if he could sing the song and play the guitar parts at the same time, because he had never been able to do so before. While Sumner practiced, Frisch came outside and instantly recognized the song Sumner practiced, so he grabbed his guitar and started playing along. After rehearsing the song, they decided to enter together. With Sumner on vocals and Frisch on guitar, they played one of the most dynamic performances of the night. Afterwards, the crowd greeted the pair with an uproar of applause and hugs from friends. The two swapped numbers and made plans to play together again.
SAB threw a masterful event, which showcased hidden gems in the UofL community. Its success ensured the continuation of an Open Mic Night at the Red Barn every third Tuesday of the month.