Four talented acts kicked off this year’s first Student Soloist Night at the Rathskeller last Friday, Sept. 3.
Junior communication studies major Mark Smith opened up the show with a stand up comedy routine. His jokes covered everything from move-in day to the recent 10-day traffic jam in China and also recounted an amusing conversation he heard on campus involving a student’s mix-up of the band Interpol and Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization. More than his jokes, though, Smith’s energy carried his set and made him fun to watch as he paced the stage, appearing to talk almost as much to himself as to the audience.
Colleen Napolitano, senior graphic design major, took the stage after Smith, performing under the name White Star City. Napolitano is no stranger to the Rat, having played there on a number of different occasions.
She once again showed off her husky vocals and her acoustic guitar skills, playing covers and original songs, as well as some new material. Towards the end of her set, Napolitano was joined by a friend from College Park, Md., who accompanied her on a few songs.
Up next were Marla Pachter, a College alumna who graduated last year with a degree in communication studies, and junior physics major Julian Starr.
Pachter sang lead vocals while Starr played the acoustic guitar and sang backup. The duo covered artists ranging from The Beatles to Death Cab for Cutie, even throwing Lady Gaga into the mix.
Although their set was short, it was entertaining, thanks in part to Pachter’s strong, clear vocals. The pair seemed at ease on the stage and their laidback, cheerful energy was infectious.
Closing out the night was Matt Huston, junior journalism major and Signal News Editor.
Huston performed a number of original songs on his accoustic guitar including “Keeping Quiet” and “Broken Lenses,” as well as a cover of a Radiohead’s “Karma Police.” Huston, too, is a Rat veteran, and seemed perfectly comfortable playing in front of an audience. His set created a mellow atmosphere, making it the perfect way to end the show.