‘Live At The Apollo’ captivates campus

By Peter Zemeske

Black Male Initiative hosted “Live at the Apollo” at the Holmes Student Center Thursday night as their annual spring event. The night had contestants competing for a $300 prize with the winner determined by three judges. Many different kinds of acts were performed, from slam poetry to magic, and there wasn’t a dull moment throughout the night.

The Carl Sandburg auditorium was packed with students eager to see their peers perform. The show was supposed to start at 7 p.m. but didn’t start until around 7:40 p.m., but the wait was well worth it. One key difference between this event and other open mic style events was the audience was encouraged to boo any act not up to snuff.

If an act received enough booing, the “sandman” was allowed to “sweep” the contestant off the stage. The very first act, a slam poet named Cindy, received an onslaught of boos because she wasn’t using a microphone. After she restarted her poem with a mic, the crowd quickly turned their boos into cheers.

Performers were given the opportunity to touch the “good luck log” before they performed to ensure their act went smoothly. Fortunately, most of the acts performed went without a hitch, creating a thoroughly entertaining atmosphere.

The night saw many talented performers show their expertise for about five minutes or less. It was great to see so many different kinds of unique skills NIU students have. One particular standout was an R&B singer Destiny who won the crowd over with her soulful voice.

The winner of the night was Jocelyn Mitchell, who performed her own original poetry. Congrats to Jocelyn and all the students who performed throughout the night. Check the NIU Black Male Initiative’s website at bminiu.org to see what future events the organization will bring.