‘It’s the motivation that keeps me going,’ guitarist says

Students found their seats in front of the stage at Open Mic Night Tuesday, March 22. Photo by Eric Jacobs-Andresen.
Students found their seats in front of the stage at Open Mic Night Tuesday, March 22. Photo by Eric Jacobs-Andresen.

Acoustic guitar aficionados took Open Mic Night by storm at St. Cloud State Tuesday evening. The diverse collective of students came with their peers to show off their musical talents on stage playing both original tunes and covers from their favorite performers.

The first act of the night, Tim Thole, a music major at SCSU, covered Woodie Gutherie’s “Gypsy Daisy,” along with performing an original tune of his own. His finger picking style gave his performance a folk, blues-driven resonance that captivated the audience.

Thole said he picked up the guitar when he was just 13 years old after he listened to a Bob Dylan record. He cited him as one of his favorite singer-songwriters. Thole also said he is really into roots music: a popular genre amongst the west indies culture. Some of his favorite roots artists are Blind Willie Johnson, Reverend Gary Davis and Robert Johnson.

While folk, blues and roots music was Thole’s genre of choice, others took a different approach to the wooden six string beast. Any Fernstrom, a double major in women’s and communication studies, laid down some angsty pop-punk jams for the attendees, playing anthems like Pink’s “Perfect,” Backseat  Goodybye’s “Hello Yellow,”  Mumford and Son’s “Wake My Soul,” and Steam Powered Giraffe’s “Honey Bee.”

Fernstrom said she picked up the guitar when she was in fourth grade. She was a small child just “thirsty for attention,” she said.

She performed her very first gig at the St. Cloud art crawl before making her way to the Atwood Open Mic Night. Fernstrom said some of her biggest influences are Steam Powered Giraffe, Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco.

She has written originals, but not recently. “They were from a long time ago, back when I was in middle school, and I was sad about someone breaking up with me,” she said.

“I like to perform, because I am an adrenaline junkie,” she said. “You get a bit of a rush, seeing you completely vulnerable. I messed up a few times, but it’s the motivation that keeps me going and gives me the drive to keep performing.”

Other notable performances came from guitar and singing duo Mang and Vang, who performed Falling to Pieces by David Guetta featuring Sia, and Josh Perkins who performed a cover of Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival and an original tune called “Criminal Zoo.”  

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