Neha Rahman, Editor-in-Chief
A phenomenal showcase of McGill talent with a casual and inviting vibe, the McGill Musician’s Collective Gerts’ Open Mic night was a stellar opportunity to enjoy new and familiar talent right on campus. Taking place in a small but inviting corner of Gerts, the show was organized and hosted by McGill’s Musician’s Collective, a student-run club that provides a space for musicians to practice, perform, or just jam out.
McGill students, Canadian and international, commanded the stage with an alluring confidence. The performances ranged from solo acoustic guitar ballads to small bands playing both covers and original songs. An amazing rap interlude from artist Super Freddy diversified the rather relaxed vibe into something incredibly upbeat and invigorating.
I spoke to one of the performers, Francesca Pastore of band Rue Blurry, about what it was like being in a band in university, and how the Musician’s Collective supports artists at McGill. Rue Blurry was one of the highlights of the night, playing music that was upbeat, melodic and strikingly intellectual. Their lyrics were poetically woven together by their collective musical capabilities, and they set the bar very high for the acts that followed.
Discussing the open mic night with the band was a fascinating experience. Francesca introduced herself: “I’m a U2 Philosophy major. I play guitar, sing, and write in the band.” With her was the lead singer of the band, Neale Oghigian, a U1 Political Science/History major, who also acts as a guitarist, singer and writer for the group. Both Francesca and Neale are the founding members. They were joined by their bassist Dylan and the drummer, Marius.
The band told me a little bit about how they got started. “We met in residence first year, and realized we had similar artistic interests and thought it’d be fun to try and play together. We clicked creatively and decided to start writing songs together.”
Of the Open Mic Night, the band reflected positively on their experience: “It’s always fun to play music. We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of people there were in the audience and how receptive everyone was. We’d never played for that many McGill students before, as our shows in the past haven’t
really been McGill centric, so I guess it was a nice community vibe.”
Support for McGill grown artists seems to start with the Musicians’ Collective. Rue Blurry reflected on their involvement with the club: “We played at the SSMU Musicians Collective Winter Showcase last year. It was our first performance as a full 4-piece band and we really enjoyed that experience. Their jam room space on campus is also a great resource; we book it a lot to practice for our performances.”
The open mic night seems to have had great effect in bringing the McGill community together, and making students aware of the amazing musicians that get their start here. Rue Blurry was only one of the many acts that greatly impressed me, and their stories of success excite me about the potential for musical talent on campus.