The lights were low, the music was loud and the students were excited for the first Friday Night Jam this past weekend, featuring student rapper Nate Deezy and opener Dane Mallernee.
Friday Night Jam, hosted by Student Activities Council, was created to provide a stage for some of the many talented musicians on campus.
“The demand for more chances to play music by students is a big one on campus, and a quick Friday night performance will give the artists an opportunity to play for a lot of their listeners,” said Amber VanDusen, student activities council co-director. The artists have already claimed almost all the spots for Friday Night Jams, which will happen every few weeks throughout the year.
VanDusen was right about the demand for music, as several students came to the memorial chapel to see their fellow students perform.
The main attraction for the night was Deezy – stage name of sophomore music production major Nate Slaughter – who said that his goals for the night were to impact people and get them excited about God.
“I’m just an average musician. I don’t have the gift of speaking, I’m just an excitable guy and my job is to stir up people through music for God. I’m here to take off my mask,” said Deezy.
Dane Mallernee, sophomore bible and theology major, opened the show with a folk acoustic performance of four original songs.
Mallernee played guitar and sang backed by Kevin Chambers, a music production major also on guitar and Kevin Walters, who is not a Malone student.
Mallernee has only been playing and writing music for a few months, beginning at a camp he worked at this past summer. “The goal of my music is to share with others the ‘amazingness’ of the intimacy of Jesus Christ, and how that relationship is so much better than what the world has to offer,” said Mallernee.
Following the more laid-back, acoustic show came a much different performance by Deezy, who ran on stage to the sound of a pounding bass. He immediately started rapping about God’s love, people’s unworthiness and what a true relationship with God means.
Deezy has been writing hip hop/rap music ever since he was 10, but seriously picked it up about two years ago. He recently released an album called Another Poor College Kid, in the midst of filming a music video for his single “In the Sky” and recently played a show opening for popular Christian rapper Trip Lee.
It was one of the first times that one of Deezy’s performances included a full band, including Jacob Shar on guitar, K-Dub (Kevin Walter) on drums, Andy Haas on bass, Judah (Derrik Willis), KC Carter and special guest Tamayra with vocals.
Towards the end of the performance the band left the stage and Deezy gave his testimony in his song “My Story.” Following the song the music was shut off and Deezy asked the audience to sit down as he and drummer Walters gave their testimonies.
“I just want to show you guys how disgusting of a person I am and how amazing God is,” Deezy said. After the testimonies, Mallernee joined the stage again to lead worship.
Britta Miller, junior double major in business administration and bible and theology, attended the show and commented on the spiritual impact the show had on her.
“I think a lot is going to be happening on this campus this year, and God is letting everyone use their passion to glorify Him and it’s a beautiful thing,” she said.
Miller saw Deezy perform last year at the talent show and said the difference in him and his music from then to now can only be explained by God. “He is taking his music and anything that can be taken to idolize himself and turning it into glory for God,” Miller said.
Both performers seemed grateful for the opportunity to perform at a Friday Night Jam.
“It was so easy to market here. The bulk of my fan base is here. The sound system and set up by Mike Land and his staff made it flawless. They hook it up so well for every show they do,” said Deezy.
The next Friday Night Jam will be held on Oct. 8, with performers Steven Eric Berkenkemper and Elijah Wild.
Chelsea Weikart contributing writer for The Aviso.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment