On Friday, January 18th, Red Rock Coffee and the Mountain View’s Youth Advisory Committee hosted a ‘Teens Unplugged’ night. Local teens who live in and around Mountain View got a chance to show off their musical talents in the cozy upstairs room of the cafe. Six performers were featured, including Libertine Circle, Mercy Street Project, Thomas Reidy, Emma Halliday, David Courter, Annaka Olson, and Gabe Muzzolini and Kyle Eke, most of whom attend MVHS. The completely acoustic event was a wonderful night full of laughter, audience-coordinated clapping, and passionate melodies.
The City of Mountain View Recreational center plans to put on events like this every few months, and another event is due to return in March.
“Teens don’t have the opportunity to express themselves often enough, especially with school and extracurricular activities taking up so much of their time. The ‘Teens Unplugged’ night gives them a creative outlet,” Kristine Pardini, the Recreation Coordinator for Mountain View, said.
The level of skill exhibited was very impressive. Several performers had written original songs, while others sang mostly covers. Even so, every performance was entertaining in its own way. Nervousness was evident in a few of the artists, and phones were used to remember tricky lyrics. Despite a few stumbles, it was still amazing to see how comfortable and mature all of the performers seemed. It was easy to spot who had performed many times previously, and one standout was Annaka Olson.
Olson, a sophomore at Los Altos High, has done open-mic events regularly and is inspired by indie musicians like the Decemberists, one of the bands she covered.
“When I started listening to indie music, I realized I wanted to create that,” Olson said. She hopes to continue playing music and performing in the future, but keeps going to college a priority. Another notable performance from the night was from MVHS Senior Kyle Dewitt of the band Libertine Circle. Although DeWitt only makes up one out of four members of Libertine Circle, his liveliness was enough to fill the whole room.
All in all, the ‘Unplugged’ night was an incredible success. Youth Advisory Committee member, Sarah Katsev commented that “It’s a great experience because so many people from the community are able to come together.”