Open Mic Night: A Review by Cassey Smith

The Chestatee Review kicked off its fall semester activity line-up with a bang as talented UNG students and faculty took over the Gainesville campus’s café Wednesday, September 19th, for Open Mic Night. The night had a great turnout. Many students and faculty members gathered to support each other’s creativity and abilities. The Nighthawks dazzled with their singing, instrumental songs, poetry readings, and a dash of comedy.
The night had a surprisingly musical beginning with Brittany, singing a powerful cover of Maxwell’s “This Woman’s Work” to start off the show. Jordan Siggs and Ryan Molina followed her performance with an original song, “Runaway,” followed by an amazing cover of Adele’s “Best for Last” by Chelsea Bellzaine.
Possibly the most unexpected performance was Professor Steve Pearson’s impromptu cover of Cole Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The most surprising aspect of his mini-concert is that he hadn’t planned on performing at all; rather he was kindly volunteered by Professor Karen Dodson, who followed his performance with a reading of her original poetry, as did her predecessor, Professor Elizabeth Fields.
The faculty kick started the poetry and short story reading portion of the night, each playing with identity issues, abuse, religion, and life. The most notable reading was from Dan Gordon, a Chestatee Review member, who shared his experience of being in New York during 9/11. It was emotional to say the least. He moved the audience with his story and almost brought everyone to tears. Amber Nelms also touched a sensitive subject—abuse. Her poem perfectly balanced dark subject matter with, as she described it, “very nerdy” references.
Perhaps the most ambitious performer of the night was Ryan Molina who had multiple performances throughout the night. He performed another song with Jordan Siggs, a cover of George Strait’s “Check Yes or No,” and went on to perform two more times—once showcasing his talents with a wooden flute, playing “Colors of the Wind,” and then with a stand-up routine which was the night’s last performance. His comedic act featured hilarious subject matter relating to both American and Native American cultures. Perhaps the most memorable part of his act was his play on his many nicknames, which include “The Hobbit” and “Indian Taco.” In all, the night proved that the UNG Nighthawks are a talented bunch.

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