Supporting friends, raising money for a Japanese school and attended by students looking for a fun evening, The JusticeNow Coffeehouse was a musical success.
The show was full of talent and featured a few unexpected invites to prom.
Patrick Wolber ’11 hosted the event and humorously introduced each act. He expressed his enthusiasm for the performers and crowd.
“The performers were fabulous; I think they set the right mood and performed in a way that showed sympathy and care for the concern of the fund raiser. When I looked into the crowd, I saw very happy faces,” said Wolber.
He described how he tried to keep the audience interested and curious while introducing the acts. “For the most part, I asked MJ Engel who was up next and thought of a small bit to say before they took the stage. I tried to be brief and to keep the audience on their toes a little bit; mostly, I just smiled,” said Wolber.
Karen Morales ’12 and Alex Morrow ’12 opened the event with a song dedicated to Alice Hoffman ‘13. Next up was Kate Taylor-Mighty ’11, playing her ukelele and singing “I’m In Peace” by Justin Nozuka and “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley.
“The way I adapt songs varies, but oftentimes I’ll take a cover that I’ve heard someone else do well and add a little of my own style to it. If I don’t want to be influenced at all, I’ll use a song that I’ve only heard once or twice, and then fill in the blanks with whatever comes to mind as I sing it. In terms of playing the song on my ukulele, I use guitar tab websites to find the chords for a particular song, then figure out strumming patterns and things as I practice” said Taylor-Mighty on preparing her songs.
Jack-Elliott Higgins ’14 performed an original song, singing and playing the guitar. He received applause and support from the audience.
The next song was “At All,” written and performed by Elizabeth Paul ’12. Following Paul was Will Adams ’11, who played “Black and Gold” by Sam Sparro.
The Yorkies gave a shining performance of “I’ll Be,” at the end of which Christopher Cameron ’11 asked Shannon McSweeney ’11 to prom. After the Yorkies, Azure sang “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green.
During the following act, Mimi Tanski ’11 sang and played the acoustic guitar while Midori Ishizuka ’11 played the electric guitar.
Taz Ahmad ’14 and Angelo Morlani ’13 performed a heart-warming rendition of Jason Castro’s song “Lets Just Fall In Love Again.”
“I prepared with Angelo by meeting with him a couple of times at Graves to go over and practice our songs for about an hour at a time. Since we’re friends, it was a lot of fun to spend time with him, and sing at the Coffeehouse! In the end, I think the performance came out great! I messed up a few times on the guitar, but it was a lot of fun to get up on stage and sing with Angelom,” said Ahmad on her preparation process.
Khalil Flemming ’12 offered a different type of act with just as much talent.
He performed two original proems, “Bad News,” about people causing problems in the world and the hope of something better, inspired by Hoffman. He also performed a love poem where he described himself, saying, “I feel like a clownfish finding Nemo”, a reference to which the audience reacted with enthusiastic laughter.
“I usually end up writing my poetry late at night, and my inspiration will come when I think of one line out of the blue. I think of a basic theme then see how much I can build off that and if I like it, I’ll write it all down. I also listen to slam poetry on youtube to get my mind working that way if I’m in the mood to write. If I am writing because of random inspiration, I usually end up finishing the poem in less than an hour (they tend to be pretty short), but if I am writing because I feel like it, I may just take a couple nights to put it together,” said Flemming.
Next Casey McQuillen ’11 played her song “Friends” about a failed relationship and her decision to not be friends.
The evening came to a close with Jeb Roberts ’11 and Sky Yoo ’11, who played “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once with Mimi Tanski ’11, “The General” by Dispatch and “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. At the end, they played “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne, which Jeb Roberts concluded by modifying the chorus and asking McQuillen to prom.
The Coffeehouse provided an extremely enjoyable source of entertainment for the Andover community, unveiling talent and supporting a school in Japan.