Saturday, May 16, 2009

Side by Side

Musical collective display of talent/skill at Belltower
On Thursday, May 14th, Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month continued with “Side by Side”, a “unique collaboration of musical talents” featuring indie singer/songwriter, Jane Lui on the keyboard; pop songwriter/singer, David Choi on the acoustic guitar; acoustic pop singer, Kina Grannis on the acoustic guitar; and hip-hop violinist/singer, Paul Dateh, accompanied by his friend, Ken.

The night began at 5:50 p.m. with sound check as the sun shined intensely on the audience and artists. Technical difficulties would slow down the sound check and linger throughout the performances, but they would die down soon enough.

The set of performances was played in a roundtable jam session style. Around and around we went with each artist taking turns stepping up to the imaginary plate and hitting respective home runs with their songs. It was a music appreciation of sorts when one artist played, the other artists and audience would listen quietly as they bobbed their heads to the rhythm and tapped their feet to the beats. One song in particular, “Delicate” by Grannis, saw Lui and Dateh provide their musical talents to the song. Grannis exclaimed at the end, “Thank you for making that pretty.” It was pretty before, but their help made it a beautiful sight.

Song topics varied from college days and “growing up” (Lui), to falling for a girl and “Always [getting] Hurt” (Choi), to losing someone with “Cambridge” (Grannis), and to life not being fun anymore because of lost passion (Dateh). After Dateh’s song about lost passion, Lui claimed smoke came off of Dateh’s violin. It wouldn’t have been shocking, considering Dateh’s intensity and ferocity when singing and hitting the violin. They each displayed their passion in different ways, but they all share the same passion for music. Lui showed her passion with her little introductions to each of her songs, Choi and Grannis with their beautiful smiles throughout playing/singing, and Dateh’s intensity. Sometimes, passion is all you need. All in all, there was approximately 20+ songs with each having different stories and each artist offering their individual voice and musical prowess.

A random side note: Everyone got rickrolled with Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” during intermission, but no one really noticed. “We’re no strangers to love!” Haha, but moving on..

The ensemble of artists finished off the night with “One Time with You”, where each performer played their particular instruments and sang together as one. The song was happy and upbeat, especially with lyrics advising everyone to “mak[e] the best of everything we do”. It was a fitting end to a great night of performances from four amazing talents. All the performers stayed for the meet and greet with the crowd by signing autographs, taking pictures, and just hanging out.

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College student trying to live out the Videogame/Sports writer's dream of making IT. It's a work in progress, haha.