'Live from the Basement' hosts Intimate MSU Music Maker concert

MSU Music Makers hosted their fifth show of the series "Live from the Basement" Wednesday night in the basement of the 929 Coffeehouse.

The lineup featured Bedon, opening for Bulldog Bash, McKenzie Lockhart, currently on a Southern tour and playing at the Underground 119 in Jackson Oct. 13, and John Hart, a former Mississippi State University graduate, who was promoted as the main act. All three artists' music can be found on Spotify.

Bailey Berry, a member of Music Makers, said while Music Makers usually reaches out to artists, the artists reached out to the organization about a Starkville performance. Berry said she was happy to oblige to a more acoustic-style show for this series.

"These shows are always so much fun because it feels more intimate in the tight basement atmosphere," Berry said. "For many people, 929 might be a stressful place because they come here to study, but during this time, we want to turn it into a place where they can relax, have fun and listen to good music."

Berry also said this set was unique since it was the first strictly-acoustic set for Music Makers. She noted the aim of "Live from the Basement" sets is diversity, as the organization wanted to bring together both students and the Starkville community at large.

An intimate setting with good music was delivered as promised. Opening the session with Bedon, a fun but quiet crowd began to fill the basement. Though Bedon noted he is more comfortable with a full band, the artist compromised well for the acoustic stage.

Beginning with just his guitar and a few original songs, Bedon ended his set with a guitar and harmonica, conversing with the audience from the stage and asking for requests.

Next in line, the Americana artist McKenzie Lockhart set a very personal tone, sharing the story behind each of her songs. The crowd grew quieter and began to sit down on the basement floor, mirroring the contemplative theme of her lyrics.

Contrary to popular belief about crowd interaction, Lockhart noted how when it comes to her music, she believes a quiet crowd is good.

Lastly, John Hart ended the night with a louder sound. Yet Hart held true to the personal manner of the event, giving testimonies to each song’s origin before performing.

The height of the performance was his song, "Terry’s Song," written about his close friend who passed away.

Though the crowd was largely students, the age group was diverse as a few older faces could be found. Whether it was young families with children or MSU students, the show was an overall success for the entire audience.

Chris Stacy, an MSU junior, said he has seen the artists before, but was impressed by the overall structure and ambiance of this event in particular.

"I’ve seen these artists play before, and they always put on a great show," Stacy said. "929 has an awesome set up, and the atmosphere was really cool. I feel like they were just jamming out, and the room was really loving it. I would really like to see more acoustic sets here at 929. They are very fitting."

Bri Morgan, an MSU sophomore, echoed Stacy’s sentiment, and hopes there will be more intimate music events in the future.

"It was nice to sit and listen with friends away from the big crowd atmosphere. I would like to see more small events like this, the ones that make you feel important," Morgan said. "I felt like I was a part of the show."

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