By: Missy Finnegan – Copy Editor
For those of you who haven’t been to Thursday Night Live at ArtStreet, I highly recommend you add it to your bucket list before you graduate.
The small, cozy setting with dim lighting and awesome live music is yet another reminder of what a wonderful community we have here at UD. TNL showcases three student performers every (yeah you guessed it) Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m.
From popular top hits to originals, the set lists were all different styles and genres.
“There are so many unbelievably talented people on this campus, and they continue to blow my mind every week,” Alyssa Argentine said. Argentine has worked at ArtStreet for four years now and coordinates TNL.
The night started off with Baron, a first-year music education major, singing and playing acoustic guitar. He apparently likes to perform in socks, which pairs nicely with his laid back vocals. The stage seems like a natural second home to him. He played original songs and covers from bands like Queen and The Killers.
“I love playing indie folk/folk when it comes to intimate acoustic settings (àla Bon Iver, Simon & Garfunkel), but I’m an indie rocker at heart,” Baron said.
Baron played at a Piano Bar in his hometown throughout high school and performed with a rock band called Dirty & the Dishes in the Chicago area. He played a Dirty & the Dishes song and encouraged everyone to check them out on Spotify.
The second performer was Mahar, a senior English major. He’s performed at TNL several times, but this was his last time, which he described as a bittersweet feeling. He played all original pieces with an acoustic guitar, occasionally accompanied by harmonica, about topics we can relate to such as hangovers and falling in love, and he even gave a shout out to our lovely Dayton, Ohio.
“Folk music in particular just has the lyrical emphasis that I really cherish as an artist,” Mahar said. In my opinion, his voice tells his stories beautifully. He even wrote one of his songs on the floor of Irving Commons and it was “the first good song I ever wrote.”
Like Baron, Mahar also plays in a band called A Girl Named Genny, based in Rochester, New York. He said playing in a band has helped boost his confidence and have a stronger stage presence. His biggest challenge is dialogue between songs, which was surprising because his lyrics are personal and emotional, but he isn’t nervous about that aspect at all.
Gogniat finished out the night performing covers on the acoustic guitar. She started off her set playing The Lumineers, and continued with songs by Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and the Chainsmokers (yes, “Closer”) to name a few.
“I’m currently starting to record my EP, “Popular Opinion”, at StreetSounds recording studio on campus,” Gognait said. “Playing my own songs tends to be a challenge sometimes for me and as a songwriter it’s sometimes difficult to play your own songs because they are so personal.”
She had the opportunity to work at Bluebird Café in Nashville over the summer, which is a famous place for up-and-coming artists. It’s where artists like Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks got their starts. She had the opportunity to meet artists and songwriters, while being around music constantly, which inspired her as a musician and songwriter.
Being in ArtStreet Café, the intimate setting and smaller crowd make the experience different for performers and audience members. It’s really interactive, allowing the performer’s to talk in between songs about not only the music, but also their lives and experiences, which gives the performances more depth in comparison to a bigger venue.
“I think the opportunity to play for a handful of people can be more special than playing a packed audience,” Mahar said. It takes courage to perform live, especially because most of the performers at TNL are new to the concept, so it’s a very real moment, according to Mahar.
“For me, I think the ability to connect with the audience is my favorite thing about performing,” Gogniat said. “Music has the ability to pinpoint exactly how you are feeling.” TNL is a welcoming, encouraging environment for these artists to express themselves genuinely with a receptive audience who wants them to be themselves.
Baron also enjoys the TNL atmosphere and says it is a great experience for performers and audience members. “Everyone who plays music is a special kind of human, and they deserve to be appreciated by the world,” he said.
ArtStreet Café also hosts a Spoken Word for comedians, poets, rappers and other storytellers to share their work. For more information about TNL and ArtStreet events, visit their website at www.udayton.edu/iact/ and check out their Facebook page @IACTudayton.
Photo Courtesy twicopy.org