Arts & EntertainmentCampus Life

It’s your time to shine: Performing arts at Anthem

There’s nothing quite like an open mic night. The sweet sound of music, the soft glow of warm lights and the well-bodied warmth of coffee makes for a really cozy artistic ex­perience. Anthem Coffee & Tea supports up and coming local artists by offering them a stage to share their voices and talent during their Open Mic Night. By partnering with UWT’s Student Activity Board, students are encouraged to come and be a part of the show — they even get a 10 percent discount on the menu if they bring their Husky student ID.

Last week’s Open Mic Night kicked off with a young man sharing two ener­getic, original songs. The vivid mural of an octopus crawling provided an impres­sive backdrop and a bright energy to the stage, and the sound of whirring from the espresso machine made for some additional percussion. The man strummed his sticker-covered guitar to a fast beat, and his original tunes had the whole cafe clapping and cheering for him. He shared that it was his first time taking part in an open mic and that he was anx­ious to perform.

Second to the stage was a young fe­male student that sang two acapella hymns. As she sang into the mic, the mood in the room shifted and everyone praised her brilliant use of vibrato and execution of runs. Her deep voice carried passion as she sung out the religious lyr­ics. The room’s high ceiling made for fantastic acoustics.

Next to perform was local high school student Abigail Neilson, who sang both original music and a cover. Decked out in tall cowboy boots and red lipstick, Neilson began her set with an original song called “Without You.”

“The song is just a fun love song about acknowledging that you’ve been in love before, but then realizing that the person you’re currently with is the one you ab­solutely can’t live without,” Neilson said.

The audience was captivated by her emotional lyrics and song-bird like voice. Their cheering encouraged her to share another song, and she ended her two-piece set with a unique cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” The well-known local artist announced the release of her most recent single before walking off the stage with a smile.

“I’ve always loved open mics and I’ve been going to them since I was 13,” Neil­son said. “It’s where I love to go and try new music and meet new people who love music like I do.”The diversity of acts continued with a segment of sultry show tunes and jazz numbers, some rapping and more. The audience grew as the eve­ning went on, and every artistic act was supported with the resounding sound of clapping and whistling.

That’s what open mics are really for: to share and get support for your own unique art form. Whether it be a poem, a cover or an epic musical number, it shows that your voice matters. Be brave and come express yourself at Anthem’s next Open Mic Night.

Wanna showcase your performing?

LiveLoud Open Mic

Date: Nov. 20
Time: 6–9 p.m.
Location: Anthem Coffee & Tea 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402