Even after every seat was filled, people crammed into the Box’s gallery and foyer to catch Off Knox last Friday.
The open mic event was the first of the term and featured songs, poems, stories and stand-up acts.
“There are so many talented people here,” freshman Emy Alvarez said. It was her first time watching Off Knox and she was impressed by the show. It was not just the talent that impressed her, but also the feeling of community that the show created.
“You feel like you are just with your friends, hanging out in your room,” she said.
If she ever wanted to perform at Off Knox, Alvarez said that she would feel comfortable if the audience was like this one.
“I feel like the audience is really helpful,” she said.
Senior Erin McKinstry has been watching Off Knox since her freshman year and she still feels the same sense of community.
“It is very cool that it is a safe environment for people to share their art,” she said, even “if they’re not quite comfortable.”
Funny acts were more likely to become audience favorites. Junior Sienna Cittadino’s stand up comedy about going abroad and a how to about smuggling things in Texas airports flowed nicely into her song about diabetes. The song used the tune Jenny Owen Youngs’ “F*** Was I” with new lyrics written when Cittadino thought she had diabetes; she was accompanied by junior Hali Engelman on guitar.
Engelman was part of another favorite act; she joined with senior Maggie Linck and senior Annie Pittman to perform one of the most tender and melodic covers of Big Sean’s “Dance A**” ever performed. Their unassuming voices singing lyrics like “how your waist anorexic and then your a** is colossal” kept the audience in stitches.
Audiences were not sure if they should laugh or not at senior Joe Olvera’s story about the pig that killed his grandmother. Audience members tried valiantly to stifle giggles at the story’s dark humor. By the final sentence, when they were finally sure Olvera would not be offended; the audience could not keep themselves quiet and burst into laughter and applause.
Although the audience enjoyed funny performances, some serious acts were still revered.
Freshmen Oscar Hallas and Mikko Jimenezs’ musical duo was appreciated. Jimenez played the guitar and sang lead vocals while Hallas kept time with a drum to the songs The Black Keys’ “Your Touch” and The Beatles’ “Come Together.” The soulful simplicity of the duo’s music resonated with the audience, who responded with applause and whoops of approval after each song.