The Daily Gamecock

Acoustic Cafe gives student artists chance to perform

Russell House was hopping Tuesday night at Carolina Productions' Acoustic Cafe event. Held once a month, Acoustic Cafe gives student artists the opportunity to play music in front of their peers.

Fourth-year anthropology major Scott McFall, who has played at Russell House several times, kicked things off with a few original songs. 

“It's an interesting room," McFall said. "Some nights it's good, some nights it's bad ... it's an interesting vibe because half the people here are just here to eat dinner.”  

McFall has been into music since he was a kid and has been performing in front of others for a few years. 

“The reason I got a guitar was just because my older brother asked for one for Christmas, and he got one and I was just like ‘Woah ... That looks cool as heck’ and I got one as well," McFall said.

In terms of his writing process, McFall likes to “start with a guitar idea … and then I’ll have words separately and … I just try to fit them into the song.” Two of the songs McFall performed were ones that he wrote last summer about two different people. 

For the newer listeners, McFall also performed covers by popular artists including Carly Rae Jepsen, Taylor Swift and Bob Dylan. 

"It's cool to be able to hear your fellow students playing and just support Carolina musicians,” McFall said of the event.

While the band Low-Class Carnival Act played, audience member and second-year mechanical engineering student Brian Youngblood commented on his first time experiencing Acoustic Cafe, and the band's interesting instrumentation. 

"I think the drumming is a very fresh take on a regular drum set. Really interesting to hear someone use something as simple as a trashcan to turn it into really good music," Youngblood said.

Youngblood was referring to the band's choice of percussion instrument: an upside-down recycling bin. Although the signs originally attracted Youngblood as he got dinner, he appreciated seeing familiar faces up on stage and will be sure to attend future Acoustic Cafés. 

The Captains, Matthew Moore and close friend Mazen Cotran II, played as the night’s third and final act. The two have played drums since elementary school and met up later in high school to pursue the ambition further. Moore played on a very unique cajon box drum. 

Although the instruments used in tonight's performances were unconventional, Acoustic Cafe is open to all student musicians regardless of genre or skill-level. 

"It's literally whoever wants to perform," said Sam Esce, Carolina Productions concert coordinator. "It's just fun for people who are already sitting down eating food ... to listen to their student peers perform."