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The watch on my wrist hints that it is close to 7:40 pm on a Saturday night. My suitemate to the NYU Shine and Coffeehouse Kimmel, a Christian acapella group here to perform original and cover pieces they have been practicing all semester long.
We are just getting ready to start and I noticed that the place has reached a full house, yet many people are moving around the back to socialize so there was still a ton of empty seat. I notice a few people sitting with their thick winter coats still on indoors and choose to sit in the seats behind them. Just not a whole lot of room to walk. The room is decorated with a few Christmas lights and streamers. The room set up was a bit small for the amount of people that ended showing up as it became very difficult to move around. There was only one door we could exit out of and everyone seemed to be crowded around that area just to talking and getting food.
Everyone here seems to be either a young college student coming to cheer on their friends or a family member watching to see what their child has been up to the past few months. Only three people outside of the acapella group are helping out with this production; a man who is in his 40’s running the sound booth, a student photographer who only moves along the left aisle as he avoids disturbing anyone, and my suitemate working the video camera.
The show is ready to start and everyone bows their head in silence as we get ready to pray for this wonderful opportunity to share the music together on such a beautiful wintery night. Amen. People start to sing and clap along to songs they recognize and occasionally I hear them uttering words and making comments on their opinions of the show. Surprisingly, during the duration of the show, very few people pulled out their camera phones to record the performance.
There were few disturbances during the performances. A man rushes in late and sits behind me in the 4th row with his friends, then 5 minutes later another group of 4 shuffles to the front out of breath. During the transition of each act the performers struggled to reposition their microphone setup, so someone out in the audience began to scream out his suggestions to fix the issues. Another man rushes out of the room just as the sound tech guy accidentally hits the button to close and open the blinds a couple of times. As the performance continues a few people stop paying attention, and now I see the phones coming out. Because there was so little space, a few of the artists had lined up their instruments in the left aisle, which had ended up blocking a major walkway. There was a couple of time people had accidentally walked into and knocked over the guitars and ukuleles unstably leaning against the wall.
The group of performers had chipped in to buy insomnia cookies, milk, and soda for their guests. By intermission, all of this food had disappeared, yet there was still a lot of soda left over. Many people crowd around the back and both sides once again as the performers prepare for the next act in the front. Just as I thought the room was cramped, slowly this crowd of people moved towards the middle aisle making it even harder to move around.
As the second set of performances start people who had not been sitting in seats for the performance start to sit on the floor. One of the performers informed them that there were still a lot of seats that are comfortable and available. But, no one would budge. She shrugged and began singing again. During the second set of acts, a lot more people started to get into the spirit of the performance and put their phones down to sing along and cheer on the performers.