The UTM Music Club held their ’90s-themed open mic night last Wednesday evening in Kaneff. The proceeds from the $2 tickets (free for members) went to United Way.
Complete with snacks, ambient lighting, and a handful of dedicated attendees, the night started with host Joe Measures apologizing for the half-hour delay and promising a ’90s music–filled show.
The performances began with a band who played a grunge-y instrumental number on an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, and drums. They then smoothly transitioned into a mellow rendition of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge”, which was highlighted by a strong vocal performance.
The Lizards, who were lately the winners of this year’s ArtsFest show, stole the stage with an upbeat cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” followed by a strong cover of Rage Against the Machine’s single“Killing in the Name”.
“This is a drastic change from what we’ve just heard,” singer Nina De Silva told the crowd as she introduced herself and launched into passionate and soulful R&B covers of Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You” and All 4 One’s “I Can Love You Like That”.
During the 15-minute intermission that followed, the audience and performers helped themselves to snacks before the next half of the show.
To kick off the second half, solo performer Vinh-Khang Nguyen-Huu took the audience on a musical journey from east to west with his vibrant piano performances of “Appalachian Snowfall” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Eric Johnson’s guitar piece “Cliffs of Dover”.
“We’re performing a ’90s song from The Land Before Time,” said Katherine Nader to enthusiastic audience applause to introduce her singing Diana Ross’s “If We Hold on Together” with Sean Yokoyama.
The show closed with performances by UMC executives Faizan Ashraf, Steve Sothiratnam, and Umar Syed, who led a sing-along of “Hey Ya” by Outkast. UMC president Zain Ali Shah played an acoustic cover of “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M., and Measures sang a Matchbox 20 and Barenaked Ladies mashup.
UMC took the opportunity to promote their upcoming elections and their second CD launch concert on March 21. The 16-track CD features original music by UTM students, including some who were also featured on last year’s debut, The Original Chords. All proceeds from the CD sales will be donated to the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund.