The Observatory had an aura of electricity as the venue reached nearly full capacity, kicking off the new year, for Open Mic night Jan. 31.
The event was hosted by Algonquin alumnus Pat Maloney. As the show commenced, the mood was set by Maloney with his soulful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s tonight will be fine, as well as a few original songs.
Carried by his quick-witted sense of humor and ability to fill in the silence between awkward transitions of musicians/acts, Maloney held the show together and kept people’s spirits high and mood positive.
The event was mechanically coordinated by Baldeep Randhawa, Student’s Association member and event programmer for the Algonquin Commons Theatre. His duties included transitioning the music tracks to be synchronized with the performers. As there were no technical difficulties or distorted amplifiers, Randhawa’s efforts were successful.
Throughout the night there was a mixture of collaborative acts as well as solo performances. Genres varied from original folk/country songs to hip hop inspired duo performances. A stand-up comedy routine brought some laughs, and a contemporary/creative dance routine drew the audience’s attention and applause.
The audience reacted with genuine applause and their undivided attention. Keeping an audiences attention throughout the three hour event was a feat the open mic triumphed.
The evening was a success, keeping the Ob packed until closing time. “This is the first time I’ve hosted open mic at the ‘Gonq,” said Maloney.
“It’s just about getting up there and getting used to speaking into a mic,”said Maloney when asked about the most significant thing to learn from open mic. Maloney is the 2015 winner of the Singer-Songwriter of the Year Award given by the Canadian Organization of Campus Activities.