I walked into the first Late Nights event of the semester, unsure of what to expect. Would it be a hazy room full of deep hipsters, spilling out their complicated hearts via poetry? Would there be snapping instead of clapping? Or perhaps it would be a cacophony of sounds, with some impromptu karaoke thrown in-between? Contrary to my imaginings, I was greeted with a warm café vibe. Students sat huddled around small round tables, with a crowd amassing along the sides of the room, enjoying USF’s talent. The ambiance was laidback, with students quietly chatting and snacking.
Late Nights, hosted by the Campus Activities Board (CAB), is a bi-weekly open-mic event held on the University Center’s first floor. It is a great place to hang with friends, mingle with some USF talent, and enjoy a diverse collection of performances from guitar, to ukulele, spoken word, acoustic numbers, and even banjo.
As I walked in, there was an air of unity and amity as the atmosphere buzzed with anticipation. A rendition of an Ed Sheeran song, sung by Eunice Hoo, started off the night. I was awestruck when she told the crowd that she had released an album in Malaysia and began to sing some incredible originals. Freshman trio Rochelle Son, Jane Lee, and Jared Lee were up next with an acoustic Ariana Grande and Drake medley. They were followed by more singers, mostly performing original work, and two spoken word pieces that had the audience impressed and captivated.
“I thought it was interesting to hear the variety of talent at our school,” said freshman Macky Lee. Most people in the audience, including CAB members, looked very pleased with the performances and the flow of the night.
“There is a great turnout and a lot of new faces. Tonight we had the highest attendance Late Nights has seen in a while,” Richard Suwa, CAB’s talent director, beamed.
CAB Late Nights is a welcoming space for student talent to be seen and heard, and for students to come together for a night of music, art, and fun. If you haven’t gone yet, run—don’t walk—to the next one, held Sept. 25th at 8:00 p.m. I will definitely be returning!