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Only Tim can tell: concert draws crowd

Sydnee Weinbaum

Students crowded into Mildred and Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 2 for a performance by pop-soul band Tim Be Told. The fall concert was run by the Asian American Association and co-sponsored by the Chinese Culture Club, Japanese Club, Barkada and the Mars Hill Christian Ministry.

Tim Be Told, a big hit with the audience, has played with acts such as OK GO, Far East Movement and Hawk Nelson. The band is comprised of three members: lead singer and keyboardist Tim Ouyang, drummer Caleb Wu and guitarist Andrew Chae.

Before playing one of the band’s first hits, “Ordinary,” Ouyang spoke to the crowd about his inspiration for the song.

Tim Ouyang performs despite being diagnosed with a condition that threatens his vocal cords. (Janika Berridge / Photo Assistant)

“Be okay with who you are and be happy with who you are. Not everyone has to be spectacular. It’s okay to be ordinary,” he said.

The band also played its songs “Humanity,” “Winners and Losers” and “Reach for the Light.”

“Everything is perfect,” said senior international business major Kittiwan Skiassawaprasert.  “I liked his voice. His songs try to convey his feelings. I can feel what he is saying.”

The audience was in for a surprise when Ouyang announced that about two and a half years ago he was diagnosed with a condition that eats away at his vocal cords.
There was no cure for this disease and the drugs were not effective, he said. At first, Ouyang was shocked and he started falling apart physically. The band’s song

“Lament” is a reflection of Ouyang’s reaction, although the song ends with the hope that he will one day be free of this illness. Although Ouyang is still battling the disease, he said, “There must be some kind of reason for why I got sick.”

As the band began to play its last number, Ouyang said, “I hope you leave here with hope tonight.” “Reach for the Light” conveyed this sense of hope with lyrics like “Hope is alive.”

“Their music is not generic Christian music. It is from the soul,” sophomore chemistry major Vincent Wu said of the band.

Charlene Kaye opened the concert. Although Kaye claimed that she “never really plays solo,” she recieved a positive response from students.

Kaye’s songs included “Strike a Chord,” “Bring the Poison Apple to You” and “Animal Love 1.” She also sang two songs alone, though she usually sings these songs, “Dress and Tie” and “Skin and Bones,” with good friend and “Glee” star Darren Criss.

Vivacious on stage, Kaye interacted with the audience by breaking down her songs and allowing students to sing with her. Kaye’s new album, “Animal Love,” will be released by next spring.


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