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Open Mike Eagle in Iowa City

by Georgia Sampson
Poster by Kenzi Rayelle

Poster created for the Open Mike Eagle concert on April 11th, 2019.  Courtesy of Kenzi Rayelle and Scope Productions .

Poster created for the Open Mike Eagle concert on April 11th, 2019. Courtesy of Kenzi Rayelle and Scope Productions.

On April 11th, the University of Iowa SCOPE Productions brought Open Mike Eagle and Video Dave to Gabe’s second-floor stage. The pair attracted the audience with nuanced rhymes, multimedia entertainment, and all around good beats to back itself up. The pair worked independently to amplify their own voices while simultaneously sharing an experience that could not be matched by many artists. Underneath the twinkling electric-lined lights of Gabe’s open dance floor and bar area, Open Mike Eagle and Video Dave shared their amplified version of the art with the Iowa City community.

Video Dave opened for Open Mike Eagle, and the crowd was already waiting close to the stage when the doors opened at 7:00pm. While he played his music for the crowd, the main draw for Video Dave were videos cast on to the screen behind him. Some videos featured a fun anecdote that Dave shared, and others acted as aesthetic visuals meant to complement the beats he overlaid.  

Open Mike Eagle followed Video Dave. Donning sweatpants and a sweatshirt, Open Mike Eagle greeted the crowd and began to bounce into his music. Heplayed fan favorites like “(How Could Anybody) Feel at Home” and “Big Pretty Bridges (3 Days off in Albuquerque)” using only a board, two pedals, his computer, and his voice. He took the audience in with the presence and passion that he gave in each stride he made on stage.

The most captivating part of the night was the way Open Mike Eagle and Video Dave worked together. During Open Mike Eagle’s set, Video Dave ran videos highlighting the message of the song on the screen in the back of the stage. During songs like “Ziggy Starfish (Anxiety Raps),” the videos amplified the song’s message by flashing “ANXIOUS” in bold fonts and colors. The two’s energy built alongside each other, electrifying the audience and one another.