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REVIEW: 2016 Urban/Pop Showcase brings unique sound despite audio issues

Urban/Pop Showcase '16

With the second preview day of the semester come and gone, Saturday night ended on a high note with the 2016 Urban/Pop Showcase.

The Urban/Pop Showcase brought students and parents to the Curb Event Center Saturday to see the four chosen performers. No bands made the cut this year, so it was all single performers taking center stage.

Tyra Thompson opened up the night, bringing her unique voice to the stage.

Unfortunately, as was a common theme through the night, the instruments drowned out her singing. However, Thompson was able to work the stage with her band – all dressed in some form of denim – and make a great performance. Her voice may not be to everyone’s preference, but there’s no denying her talent.

Benjamin Poss took the stage next, sporting sunglasses inside the already-dark arena. The first thing Poss did onstage was invite audience members to the front. The audience in general was more involved and energetic than that of the Christian Showcase and flocked to the line of fences and stayed there for Poss’s entire set.

As far as music, Poss brought his own originals with “Paradise,” but he also brought out a classic that had the audience singing along with his performance of “Stop! In the Name of Love” by The Supremes.

“How many people have had their heart broken?” Poss said. “It’s so much fun, isn’t it?”

There was one common theme throughout Poss’s set: dance.

Following Poss’s performance, Estef was the only singer who was able to conquer the microphone issues from start to finish, and it may be part of the reason she won the showcase. Her voice had a funky quality to it, something echoed by her clothing choice of a purple jumpsuit and black platform boots as well as her song choices, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” as well as two original songs called “Said It All” and “Admit It.”

“Feel free to bop along if you’re feeling it,” Estef said to the lingering audience members at the front of the stage.

The final performer, Nathan A-Ron, definitely focused more on the music than the singing. It worked to his benefit, because the same issues that plagued Thompson happened here – A-Ron’s voice couldn’t stand out from the loud instrumental. Unlike Thompson, however, he wasn’t able to overcome it during his set.

His jumpy and erratic performance made him stand out from his fellow performers, but anyone looking for deep lyrical meaning didn’t find it with A-Ron.

Overall, aside from a few audio issues, the Urban/Pop Showcase had another successful run. Although the performers may not appeal to everyone, they each showcased their talent and proved why they were on the stage Saturday night.

If you missed the showcase, make sure to put the Rock Showcase on your calendar for Nov. 5.

Review by Rebecca Arnold. Photos by Carina Eudy.

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