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Coffeehouse Concert: 10-13

By Katie Webb, Assistant Entertainment Editor

The Coffeehouse Concert series, run by the Hofstra Concerts club on campus, held another Thursday night show at eight o'clock on October, 13 in the Netherlands Café.  This week had a bizarre start, and became even more humorous by the end of the night.

The first performer was a graduate student by the name of Brian Walker.  A Pennsylvania native this singer songwriter showed his loyalty by opening with songs from Philly area bands like Circa Survive.  His singing was that of your mainstream starving artist, in this case possibly starving student as well, with a quavering mumbled voice with a punk rock edge. 

What struck a chord deeper than his vocals was the manner in which he addressed, or rather comically berated, the audience.  There were only a few dozen students in the Netherlands Café that night seeking solace in a cup of coffee and a bit of acoustic music, but those few probably did not guess they would get a good laugh too.

While crooning out a few original songs, which had interesting themes to say the least ranging from one about the Adam Sandler movie "Click" to poverty in third world countries, strange events began to occur.  Walker yelled jokingly at passers-by for leaving the show, made odd puns in the middle of his songs, and told the audience, "I want you to clap and I'm going to yell in the middle of the song and it's going to be awkward like I've been this whole time."

It would be a lie to say Walker didn't highly entertain the audience, but the hilarity that ensued may not have been his first intention.  His quirky personality and awkward manner are all his own, and regardless of if you were heading for the door or staying for the strange show he definitely had a way of captivating attention unabashedly.

The second performer was Mike Petrow a Hofstra senior.  At this point the audience had been worked up into a frenzy of laughter, and was prepared for the comically infused rapping of Petrow.  From his appearance most unknowing audience members would not have guessed he was a rapper, but were pleasantly surprised by his talent. 

Although he only performed a few songs and had a false start on one of them, he was not half bad.  Most likely his slip-up came from the fact that he was ill or otherwise unwell because as he claimed, "I didn't want to be here tonight so that explains a lot," yet he commendably showed up anyway. 

Despite his own self-deprecating words before leaving the stage, his performance was rather impressive.  His skill came in two waves.  The first was the humor charged in his rapping and lyrics.  The second was the chaotic energy expounding from every part of his body as he moved about the stage, gesticulated wildly, and shot out rhymes without losing his breathe.  If he was feeling sick one can only imagine the effort he puts forth when he is at his best.

I did not learn the identities of the six man comedy clan that was featured as the last act of the night, or the nature of their inception, until the end of their showcase.  The guys, who later dubbed themselves "We've All Seen Good Burger," began their impromptu improv crew's twenty minute slot of pure shenanigans with a short anecdote to play off of.  One member spun a tale where he discovered his father's disturbing fetish for midget porn, as well as his cousin's strange proclivity for cats.

From there the group began acting out bits and pieces of alternate skits.  One story followed a forlorn man whose dreams of being a mermaid in the acting business are dashed by creeped out parents at a kid's birthday party.  Next the guys, who weren't afraid to sometimes play females, are a part of an outlandish bowling team made up of sex offenders whose arch nemeses are the heroin addict bowling team. 

Finally, after a crazed therapist runs around attacking everyone and the internet porn gags begin to tie together all the story lines the show ends with a third bowling team called the "destroy all humans" team killing everyone on stage.

The improv was refreshingly imaginative and had the audience bursting at the seams at the non-stop ridiculous, insane, and slightly sinister plot lines.  There was an equal amount of shocked gasps as there were glowing giggling faces. 

However, the real shock was not the quality of the material, or the talent of the players, but rather the fact that with all their visible comedic energy and rapport they had only just formed there group hours before.  Despite the fact that they had been thrown together on the spot there act seemed anything but.  The group consisted of Mike Bufardea, Adam Foster, Matt Grote, Sean Raftery, Tyler Higgins, and Cian Smith.  Although the troupe was first made for a one time show, one can only hope this was not there final bow at the Coffeehouse Concert series.

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