There’s always one person at karaoke that’s good enough to be a professional. Their bravery brings energy and makes everyone want to take a chance at showcasing their talent. Last Thursday, UC 1 filled with karaoke enthusiasts as the crowd waited for that one person to kick off the night. CAB Late Nights is hosted by the Campus Activities Board on the first and third Thursdays of the month from 8-10:30 p.m. The event itself started four years ago as a more instrumental, chill, open-mic space, but has evolved into a karaoke party that packs the house.
“CAB is a karaoke open mic night meant to give students an outlet to relax and have a good time as the week comes to a close,” said Gillian Ochoa, the sophomore CAB member in charge of Late Nights. “It’s a pre-weekend weekend.”
“You shouldn’t feel like you have to be completely done with your schoolwork before you stop by Late Nights. For a lot of people, it can serve as a study break to keep you from getting burnt out. Just stop by and have a good time, everyone’s welcome,” Ochoa added.
The stage is set, literally and figuratively, as 8 o’clock rolls around in Crossroads. A CAB crew enters with a portable stage, projector and screen as the ambiance shifts from study session to study break. There are three mics on stage, so don’t think you have to sing solo. The energy picked up around 8:20 p.m. when a crowd seated themselves around CAB’s temporary stage, and the sign up list for karaoke was being passed back up with the names of performers.
First up was a student named Shelly, singing “Killing Me Softly” by the Fugees. Clearly a great choice, judging by the screams across the café. Shelly delivered some awesome vocals. With every vibrato the audience cheered louder and the whole performance ended on a high-note. The next performers sang a duet of “Hey Now” from “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” The audience wasn’t afraid to clap and sing along to a song this generation remembers vividly.
The night escalated from there. By 9:30 p.m. there were over 20 people on the sign-up sheet to perform and it was growing by the minute. This was only the second Late Nights of the semester, so it was surprising how many people were there and ready to hop on stage. Ochoa explained, “If anything, it was the same amount that had come last time and I expect it’s only going to get bigger as the semester continues.”
So, get out there this Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. to see what’s happening at Late Nights! Bring some friends or make a few, there’s certain to be lots of company.
Featured Photo: USF students duet “Hey Now” from “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” Amie Lu/FOGHORN.