Beneath the clouds of an overcast late afternoon, students gathered together on March 29 for the semester’s second Open Mic Night, hosted by UNLV’s Rebel Events Board (REB).
Students enjoyed one another’s company and celebrated the talents of the performers, all while eating vegan tacos.
Additionally, this event also doubled as a celebration of Women’s History Month, which REB advertised on its Instagram page. Many performers called for a celebration in acknowledging both the momentous month and the performances taking place. One performer even ended their set with a celebratory “shout-out to women!” that garnered the applause of everyone in attendance.
Open Mic Night is free to attend, only requiring an event pass to sign up. After check-in, participants were able to watch the show, enjoy the food or sign up themselves to perform during the event.
However, the event had an unorthodox start. The weather, quite literally, rained on this parade, forcing a last-minute relocation of the event from Pida Plaza to the dryness below the Student Union’s (SU) balcony. The planned starting time of 5 p.m. was pushed to around 5:45 p.m. as members of REB hurriedly made last-minute changes; chairs, tables and equipment were moved to avoid the rain. Overhead string lights were replaced with the SU’s ambient lighting shining through tall glass windows. While the event experienced a change in its physical environment, the cozy, outdoor cafe vibe remained throughout.
Despite the weather conditions and impromptu start, students and performers alike turned out to watch singers, musicians, rappers and comedians share their talents on the proverbial stage. Performers covered songs by artists and bands like Alicia Keys, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Giveon, Crumb, The Script and The Beatles to name a few.
Casper Dadgar, a journalism major, performed first, kicking off the event with a cover of The Beatles’ “And I Love Her.” Dadgar added a twist to his performance by singing the song in the style of Kurt Cobain, complete with somber guitar chords and woozy vocals.
When asked about his choice to participate in the event, Dadgar stated “I need exposure therapy. I just want to perform in front of people.”
“It’s something good to work on [for] your creativity, and to share with other people,” shared performer Grace Blake Williams. “It was very nice, and it’s actually something I haven’t done in a long time.”
Williams also told the Free Press she had a fun time at the event, as she enjoyed both the vegan tacos and everyone’s performances. Williams performed a cover of Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady,” incorporating her own smooth and soulful vocals.
REB’s next event is Rebels After Dark on April 6 at 8 p.m. Further information can be found on REB’s Instagram page or their UNLV Involvement Center site.