Aromas opens the mic for the night
MILES MITCHELL | THE USD VISTA | ASSISTANT ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR
A dimly lit Aromas Cafe was reverberating with the sounds of talented Toreros on Wednesday night for Torero Program Board’s Open Mic Night. The first open mic of the semester featured passionate student performers who were eager to share their talents and meet others who share their enthusiasm for performing.
Performances primarily involved musical talents, but stand-up and dancing acts were also included in the night’s entertainment. Some performers were open mic regulars while others took to the spotlight for their first time.
Senior Taz De Alencar was among the many first-time-performer acts at open mic.
“I was in class when I came down for a coffee at Aromas and saw the whole set up,” Alencar said. “My friends and I jam all the time, but I’ve never played in front of an audience. So we decided to sign up for the fun of it.”
Audience members, were happy to support their peers and friends in the intimate setting. Junior Victoria Simon attended the event and enjoyed the Torero performers.
“The open mic night had an amazing atmosphere on Wednesday and it was great to see new performers and open mic usuals,” Simon said. “Everyone was supporting each other and it created a great vibe.”
Senior Andrew Irwin played an original guitar song of his, “Beatnik Nation” for the Aromas crowd. Irwin, amongst many others, appreciated the opportunity to play in a comfortable environment where he could share his talent and connect with other musicians.
“The quaint warm feeling of the room allowed for inspiration to bring aspiring musicians together,” Irwin said.
Unlike musicians such as Irwin who came with thoroughly practiced material, other performers, including Alencar and senior Brian Lynch, thrive on improvisation. Both students performed a well received, impromptu song in which Lynch and Alencar handed off freestyle verses.
Other types of talents included junior Crash Ketcham’s lively dance routine that provided the audience with a refreshing change of scene from the many guitar acts that tend to dominate the open mics.
Of course, there could be room for improvement. Attracting and maintaining audience numbers is always a challenge. TPB offered Baked Bear ice-cream sandwiches at the open mic as an incentive for people to stop by. As the event neared its end, the numbers in the audience slowly fell, but the performances continued enthusiastically. Regardless of the numbers in the crowd, the sign-up list for the open mic was full for the night and the entertainment was sustained.
Ketcham believes that this may be contributed to a lack of performing arts in the university scene.
“Since performing arts are not a part of USD culture, I feel like this event lets performers do their thing, myself included,” Ketcham said.
“I went up there and everybody was so welcoming; I honestly just felt like I was jamming in my living room,” Alencar said. “[The event had] really good vibes and I definitely want to do it again.”
TPB regularly hosts the evening event and has scheduled the next open mic for April 6. Those interested in performing, should contact TPB After Dark Coordinator, Robby Hanlon for more information.
The ambiance that these open mics provide keep student performers returning and others mustering up the courage to share their passions for their first time on the mic.