On Friday, November 3rd, members of the Mount community came to Knott Auditorium to enjoy and judge the talent of several different students in a battle of acoustic, music performances. As the audience filed into the auditorium, whispers and chuckles could be heard as everyone eagerly awaited to see just what the talent had in store for them that night. There were even groups of friends of the contestants that brought along posters and signs with encouraging words written on them as a way to give their support. Everyone was ready for an exciting night of music and fun.
Once the lights went off and the multicolored spotlights flooded the stage, the crowd burst into a roar of cheering for the show to begin. The hosts of the show helped build the thrill more as they encouraged the crowd during their introduction to the Acoustic Battle. They explained the rules of judgement for the contestants to the crowd, as it was partially the responsibility of the audience to decide who would come on top over the others in the art of music. With that, the show could finally begin.
The first contestant, Justin, already had the crowd fired up for a great show. As a theology major with many friends in the audience to support him, he proved to be quite popular during the performance. As his friends excitedly cheered him on, Justin used his acoustic guitar to play three popular songs from three different decades. He came on strong with Walk The Moon’s “Shut up and Dance with Me”, slowed things down with Matchbox Twenty’s “Unwell”, and finally got the crowd pumped up with The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”. Overall, Justin’s performance was passionate, and was the perfect start to the battle.
The second round had a duo named Bryan and Pat on the drums and guitar. Pat was the most vocal during their time on stage, but Bryan brought plenty of personality with his expressions and use of the drums he had. Together, they created a more emotional and soulful vibe to the battle with their performances of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”, Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule The World”, and Train’s “Drops of Jupiter”. They truly had poured their hearts into the performance, and their on-stage personalities truly made an amazing show. They were even able to get the audience to use their cellphones to light up the auditorium with the look of a starry night sky. A perfect setting for their final song of the evening.
The third round had a senior trio of Belen, Mackenzie, and Kara. Two were paired together for vocals while Kara provided a lovely performance on the piano. Their performance focused less on upbeat songs, and used slow, calming ballads to entertain the crowd. During their second song of Kenny Lattimore’s “For You”, they added more entertainment by having two actors join them onstage to play out the love, breakup, and reconnection of the couple depicted within the lyrics of their song. It may have been more quiet than the others, but the trio knew how to use more of the space on the stage.
The fourth round had a biochem major duo named Joey and Erick on vocals and guitar. Together, they started off quietly, no doubt building up for a strong finish. They started off with Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and Radiohead’s “Creep” before ending their time with a passionate jam of Sublime’s “What I Got”. They may not have been the most vocal of all the performers, but from the words of the judges, they certainly improved more from their performance at last year’s Acoustic Battle.
The final performance of the night stood out above the rest with a freshmen rugby player named Isaiah. With a more boyish appearance and a look similar to Bruno Mars (which he was happy to point out), Isaiah proved to be quite popular with the crowd. He even encouraged as much participation as possible with his performances. He started off with Barry Louis Polisar’s “All I Want is You” on the guitar, and switched to ukulele for Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me” and Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”. Overall, he had quite a bit of personality for his performance.
After a word from the judges, a calculation of audience votes, and a spontaneous rap battle with two audience members, the winner was announced. In the end, Isaiah was named the winner, which led to a roar of applause and joy from the audience. Isaiah truly earned the title, and we hope he’ll continue his musical talents throughout his time at the Mount.