Concert Board’s Winter Showcase in review

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Zayn Roohi / Photo Editor

Four Fairbanks bands took to the stage late Friday night for the Concert Board’s first acoustic winter showcase. The showcase, which took place in the Wood Center ballroom, brought Alisha Drumm, Bernie Bousa, Common Courtesy, and Dangerlot to UAF.

The winter showcase was starkly different from the Concert Board’s usual fall concert: between 30 and 40 people attended, it had two student hosts, and there was free desert for all in the back. Previous concerts have at minimum 300 people, and consisted of a famous musician performing for the students, with little to no audience interaction.

Despite the changes, the concert seemed to be a hit with all that attended.

UAF student Alisha Drumm took to the stage first, both singing and playing a mixture of original songs and covers. Her style was the most acoustic of the four, with smooth vocals, and a soft, calming guitar in the background. Even being the quietest performer of the night, she still managed to fill the room with her sound. Being the opening act is always the hardest, but she definitely managed to nail it.

While Drumm was setting up for her final song, student hosts Daniel Nero and Taylor Morgan got on stage and sang a slightly bizarre, yet slightly endearing cover of The Twelve Days of Christmas. They replaced each day with a student horror relating to finals, but forgot how the tune of the song went and spent at least a full minute on stage trying to figure out how to sing it.

Next up was Bernie Bousa. After a fairly normal first couple of songs, he livened up the audience by use of electronic drums, played in the background. The drums definitely added an electronic atmosphere, creating an interesting mix between acoustic and electronic.

The third act of the night was popular punk band Common Courtesy. They started off their segment off with a warning to the audience: just like a kayak going out to sea, their performance would get a little rough in the middle, but would smooth out towards the end.

It was definitely an accurate representation, with one of their first songs being about the Palestinian and Israeli crisis, and another that seemed to be an acoustic cover of a punk song. If they weren’t used to playing more acoustic pieces, it didn’t show, and they did manage to wow the audience into calling for more songs by the time they ended.

The final performance of the night was Nick Meurlott, from the band Dangerlot. More than any of the other bands, Meurlott managed to make the performance very audience involved.

Meurlott asked the audience to come sit in front of the stage, and then invited one audience member up onto stage to challenge her fear of attention, while he gave an what seemed to be a motivational speech. He also had his wife come up on and sing with him.

His actual performance consisted of several original songs. While not the best singer out there, Meurlott’s guitar playing was spectacular.

Though it may not be a replacement for the usual fall concert, it was nice to see the Concert Board highlighting Fairbanks music talent. It seemed that most people in the audience would agree that it was worthwhile to go, and would go to another.

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