At the start of every school year, the Student Activites Board hunts down student musicians on BYU campus. Interested students sign up, are demoed in person or via email, then the board begins selecting performers for one of their most popular events: Acoustic Explosion.
They hold the event for free on Wednesday nights every couple months. For the Dec 4 show, five bands were on the program, and The Wall–the cafe and lounge in the basement of the Wikinsen Student Center–wass filled with students.
Genevieve Gantt is on the Student Activities Board (STAB) and helped set up. She was excited for the event.
“It’s really fun to just hang out with your friends, sit on a couch, eat French fries, and listen to really good music,” Gantt said.
The couches are a new development for this traditional student activity–a result of a change of venue from the auditorium-style Varsity Theatre to The Wall, which opened earlier this year.
Steven Fortney, a lead student for STAB, helped with the transition.
“We knew the Varsity Theater was kind of hard because people came in and they felt like they had to stay the whole time. We like The Wall more because of its more relaxed atmosphere,” said Fortney.
The Student Activities Board doesn’t need to pay for use of the venue.
“They love [hosting] because we bring in tons of business for them,” said Fortney.
Ginger Colony opened the show, and played at an Acoustic Explosion last year also. It took a few minutes once they got on stage for all the sound equipment to be properly set up, so they handled the time with their trademark awkward humor.
Taylor Woodward sings and plays guitar for the band, and thought the show went well.
“I pretty much look at it as, if we make the crowd laugh then we won, we won the game,” he said.
That said, they sounded good too, felt the other band member, Jace Norton.
“I felt like we were pretty in sync, and things were tight together,” Norton said. “It was good. I liked it.”
Judging by the hearty applause that followed theirs and each of the other acts that night, their fellow students did too.