Underground Concert Series showcases student talent

Gavin+Maher+performs+in+front+of+a+crowd+of+students+on+Jan.+15.+He+was+the+first+artist+in+the+Underground%0AConcert+Series.
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Underground Concert Series showcases student talent

Gavin Maher performs in front of a crowd of students on Jan. 15. He was the first artist in the Underground
Concert Series.

Gavin Maher performs in front of a crowd of students on Jan. 15. He was the first artist in the Underground Concert Series.

Gavin Maher performs in front of a crowd of students on Jan. 15. He was the first artist in the Underground Concert Series.

Gavin Maher performs in front of a crowd of students on Jan. 15. He was the first artist in the Underground Concert Series.

Scott Wilson, Staff Reporter

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CWU’s campus activity crew kicked off a brand new underground concert series this winter that features student performers who want to show off their musical talent.

Special Events Coordinator Libby Akin explained that in winter quarter there are not as many activities for students to partake in, so her goal was to think of a creative way to get people out and about at night time.

“It was easy going and had a very cool low-key vibe where everyone was chatting and having a good time,” Akin said.

The crowd of 70 or so students who came to the first concert on Jan. 15 sat at tables in the coffee-shop-like, relaxing environment that was created. According to the performer that night, Gavin Maher, campus activities did a great job aesthetically by setting up Christmas lights, rolling out rugs, and providing powerful speakers. Maher complimented the event staff by saying that they gave it a good underground vibe, and that it’s not something you would usually see on a college campus.

The solo artist, who plays pop and hip-hop with alternative punk vibes, was the only performer in McConnell hall that night and gained some new fans with his original music. Maher said he has a 32-song catalog of original songs that he produced, wrote and sang. His beats are made from scratch with various instruments and his music doesn’t focus on any certain genre.

“I’d rather not be labeled as a singer or rapper, I want to be labeled as an artist who has the versatility to stand out,” Maher said.

The crowd was engaged with Maher, but he said that since he isn’t a big time artist yet it’s hard for an audience to really get into it. He described them to be staring like zombies at times but realizes that when he sings, those songs can have that effect on people.

“I can tap into other people’s minds in terms of their depression and anxiety, and filtering that in a special way that I can almost suppress it by allowing them to see the bigger picture and that it’s not just them dealing with that,” Maher said.

Maher included that the  crowd was especially engaged because he could relate his music to them, and he described that to be more intimidating when you know the crowd is listening to every word you say than it is actually being up on stage.

“Everything is gone and I’m in this weird zone of confidence where I almost don’t feel like myself. Seeing me grow into the person I am makes me happy,” Maher said.

Special events coordinator Ronnie Hindman pointed out that if students want to see a music show they usually have to drive two hours to Seattle, so the goal is to provide an environment for students to enjoy music on campus. Hindman stressed that the atmosphere is great and provides a positive space for students to relax and have a fun time.

The next two performers for the underground concert series include a duo named Light & Mend which plays acoustic covers, then a singer named Afton Prater along with a small band which plays country music. The next concert will be on Jan. 28 featuring Light & Mend and the last one on Feb. 12 featuring Afton Prater.

 

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