This past Saturday, VCU’s Activities Programming Board held their Java Open Mic Show in the Virginia Room of the University Student Commons. Led by VCU’s award-winning poetry slam team, “Good Clear Sound,” students gathered for a showcase of performances from their peers,
Lasting for two and half hours, doors to the event opened promptly at 7 p.m. As the students entered, they were given raffle tickets and were encouraged to partake in free coffee, tea and finger foods before they took their seats for the show.
Things got going at 7:20, with the first performance coming from “Good Clear Sound.” Performing an emotional, racially driven piece titled “The Rules”, the group received a standing ovation from the estimated 85 students in attendance.
Saidu Tejan-Thomas, a member of “Good Clear Sound”, appreciated the crowd’s reaction to the group’s performance.
“The crowd seemed to enjoy our performance because they clapped at the end. The other performers were equally entertaining,” Tejan-Thomas said.
Tejan-Thomas enjoyed his time performing with his fellow group members and had a great time.
“We had an awesome time performing because we hadn’t done that group piece in a while and it is a piece that is dear to us given the racial climate in the country,” Tejan-Thomas said.
Giving perspective and shedding light on societal issues, many of the performances that followed featured a similar subject matter. Things transitioned midway through the show when Country band “Harry and Josh” performed two original songs.
After a brief 10-minute intermission, raffle prizes were handed out. There were a variety of prizes awarded, including mugs, cups and ponchos.
The final stretch of performances featured musicians giving their own renditions of popular hits, making way for great crowd involvement. Renditions from popular artists like Ed Sheeran, Trey Songz and Alicia Keys prompted multiple singalongs from the crowd.
“It was fun,” said junior Cody Kinsler. “The performances were good, I met some new people and hey, I was able to get some free coffee.” After 15 performances, the event came to an end.
The date for the next “Java Mic Night” has yet to be scheduled.