Don’t Sleep Through Coffeehouse Open Mic Nights


Veronica Liow

Hunter Thompson, a freshman in Gallatin, prepares his performance for the Coffeehouse Open Mic Night

By Satish Reginald, Contributing Writer

Good vibes and compelling stanzas existed in perfect tandem at the Coffeehouse Open Mic on Wednesday, Jan. 25. One of Spring 2017 Welcome Week’s marquee events, the open mic at Kimmel’s Beverly and Arthur Shorin Performance Studio proved to be a diverse showcase of NYU’s talented student body as well as a fun event for the few hundred audience members who were treated to Insomnia Cookies, raffles, caffeine and live entertainment.

The performers were an eclectic mix of singer-songwriters, freestyle rappers, spoken word poets and everything in between. One performer sang an empowering response to Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” from a woman’s perspective. Tandon sophomore Michael Jide rapped a witty track from his new mixtape which referenced everything from the 2016 presidential election to Lebron James’ receding hairline. Steinhardt junior Yasmin Williams displayed her ever-engaging technique on the acoustic guitar with which she had won UltraViolet Live in 2015.

In one of the most memorable performances, LS sophomores Riana Baba and Robbi Sy, accompanied by Steinhardt junior Sam Kingston on guitar, serenaded the audience with a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Best Friends, Right?” The duo traded off solos and sang harmonies in tandem. Their tight arrangement juxtaposed the loose mood of the song, and they solidified their bond when they finished their act with a hug.

Throughout the night, spoken word poets delivered chilling pieces that touched on personal experiences and critiqued current societal and political climates. Their hauntingly earnest performances incited a range of emotions and were met with collective cheers and gasps that resonated throughout the space.

LS freshman Kira Burkhauser, a poet, closed out the night playing her ukulele and singing Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.” All told, NYU’s vibrant student body can surprise not only with sheer talent but also an urgent passion and commitment to creativity.

Look out for more performances by NYU artists in the future. It was a pleasure to watch all of the performers at the open mic night. For more fun events and opportunities to meet fellow classmates, check out other Spring 2017 Welcome Week activities.

Email Satish Reginald at [email protected]