The audience for the Feb. 3 Open Mic Night didn’t know what was about to hit them when junior Zach Hampl nervously got on stage with his electric guitar.
Wearing a suit and tie, glasses, and a bright yellow guitar strap that said, “Hazard,” Hampl was literally shaking.
Then, he began to play.
His Quickly, he grabbed the audience’s attention when his fingers were moving like lightening, playing favorites from AC/DC, Guns and Roses and Eric Clapton. Hampl was shredding, even playing the guitar behind his head. At one point his glasses flew off his face and the audience was going wild.
When he was done he said, “thank you,” and quickly scurried off the stage.
“I do it because I love it … I get lost in it. I start seeing swirls and triangles and interesting shapes,” he said.
“Zach, you literally just killed me,” Open Mic Night coordinator Kevin Kareckas told him seconds after his performance.
But Hampl wasn’t the only one who blew the audience away.
Junior Alden Bisson’s stand-up comedy routine had them howling.
With jokes regarding shits, tits, and “pics of shits and tits,” the crowd was roaring with laughter.
“At age 6, Brittney Spears gave me my first boner,” he said at one point in the routine.
“Alden is a fucking piece of work … he’s my favorite tonight, he just says what he thinks,” said junior Katelyn Curtis.
Bisson said he thought it went well.
“People laughed,” he said. “I got more comfortable when I got up there.”
There was also a wide variety of artists and genres. Musicians including seniors Brendan Harris and his girlfriend Kali Trautwein sang mainstream music, assistant lacrosse coach and alumnus Nicole Adams belted out country, freshman Sage King sang originals, and Huden worker Ron Vaughn with freshman Lawrence Hathaway played southern rock and roll.
“I didn’t expect it to be like this,” said sophomore Aminah Orogi. “It’s really cool!”
Kareckas was thrilled too.
“This was awesome for the first week … music is awesome for natural community development,” he said.
Kareckas admitted that he first started performing at open mic nights himself at Benson’s West Coast Tacos on Taco Tuesdays. He was part of a reggae band called, “Roots, Rhythm, Dub” and has enjoyed it ever since.
“Come and take a risk in front of friends.”
The Campus Activities Board has plans to make Open Mic Night into a consistent, Tuesday night event.