Inside the Silo, there is hardly room to stand. As I crawl around for a spot to settle, I step on a girl crouched on some steps and knock into another perched on a windowsill. Surely it’s a fire hazard, but nobody seems to mind the bustle. We are, considering the tragic circumstances, happy to be alive and well. But here we are, ready to celebrate our fellow students, their passion and their talent. And just like the rest of us, crammed between the curved brick walls, sitting among us or cornered into the shadows, are the performers ready to start the show.
The lights dim and The Remedy settles affront of us in combination. They begin with John Mayer’s “Waiting” and bring more energy than the song ever deserved, leaving enough room and fervor for a solo break from the pianist. They follow with two equally boisterous versions of George Ezra’s “Blame It On Me” and “Roll Your Stone Away” by Mumford and Sons. All the while, there is never a moment of dull silence or absence, never a draft in the warmth of their sound. There is a violin, floating about and swooping along with the song. Between songs, jokes and greetings are exchanged and everybody is in smiles. Alas, their set ends and they go back into the masses.
After The Remedy’s leave, Maddy McKay ’18 takes center, dressed in red, followed by her accompanying guitarist, Ezra Oliff-Lieberman ’18. They don’t make much room for introduction and they begin right away, performing Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” McKay sets that piece and their other two alight. She gives the impression of a real torch singer, smoky and passionate and tremendously voiced. Beside her, Oliff-Lieberman remains grounded and steady while she reaches loftier and brighter vocals. She and Oliff-Lieberman play two other songs, Ray Lamontagne’s “Jolene” and a grand rendition of Gregory Isakov’s “Stable Song.” Each song is sweeter than the last, and McKay and Oliff-Lieberman never fall out of step, never lose sight.
After they retire, Alisa Amador arrives to stage, carrying a great phantom of a guitar, a big white hollow-body. And in normal hands, the beast might buck unwieldy, but she leans on it like a brother and holds it with affection. She says her name with Latin flourish and tells us about her summer down in the Southern Cone and we are enchanted by her voice without even hearing her sing yet. She begins her set, which consists of songs entirely of her own invention, songs she says about anger, expectations, lost footing and fate. Mixed somewhere within the performance, she reminds us to celebrate living and being, and she exits with a duet shared with her friend Louisa.
The last duo, Ellie Miller ’16 and Jackson Moore ’16, perform as singer and guitarist, respectively. They cover Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” though their version longs and lingers more than the original. Towards the end of the song, Moore leans into the microphone and makes a duet. Miller keeps her hands flat on her hips and closes her eyes when she reaches and warbles; Moore remains in motion driving the song along with his busied hands. After, they share a few passing words and memories about James Jhun. They perform one of his personal favorites, “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, and with that they close the show.