The evening is brisk and blustery as we walk up university avenue, among the doves of others headed to Bruce Hall and one of the best events of the ANU arts shield; the big night out. For those not in the know, big night out is an inter-collegial battle of the bands; each college forming a band to perform a set of covers. As we join the throng waiting to enter, the sound of the crowd is already audible from within. Once through we join the milling crowd in front of the stage and begin the slow shoulder-shuffle towards the front whilst simultaneously peering over heads trying to find those friends you know will actually be fun to dance with. Speaking of friends, the show began with one that the majority of those in the audience seemed to know the words to; a sweet cover of I’ll Be There For You by the Rembrandts, best known as the theme from f.r.i.e.n.d.s, a fond 90’s classic. The amazing songs kept on coming though, with many other honorable mentions going out to; Johns with Dancing in the Moonlight, UniLodge and their spot on version of muse’s Feeling Good (man that guy can sing!) Bruce’s classic CCR Heard it Through the Grapevine, Griffin’s Teenage Dirtbag, and (my personal favorite) Huey Lewis’s Power of Love totally pulled off by Burgmann. The problem that big night out sometimes has is that of pacing, with eight individual bands playing sets there can often be a bit up and down in the energy of the crowd, however this year this was definitely not the case. With so many classic songs, mixed in with other new, more vibrant selections, there were lots of people getting very into it both dancing and getting to know each other better in the mosh pit.
We caught up with Claire from Johns to get her impressions on the evening:
Woroni: What was your favourite song overall for the night?
Claire: Come on Eileen! It’s an all time favorite and I was really impressed when it came up on someone’s songlist, and I was like; Damn! We should have done that!”
Woroni: How did it feel getting up on the stage?
Claire: Extremely nerve-racking! I get really nervous, so for me while everyone was standing up and we were coming on I was freaking out, but once the music starts and I can see people in the crowd and just pretend to sing to them I’m fine!
Woroni: What was your favorite moment of the night?
Claire: Probably our mash-up of Little Lion Man and Wrecking Ball, it was really fun to sing the backups to that and everyone went crazy in the audience!
Woroni: What inspired that mashup?
Claire: We were inspired a little by an existing one, but it was mostly a collaboration by everyone in the band, and really fun to work on together.
Johns ended up placing first at the end of the night followed by Bruce and then B&G. Overall the night seemed like a tremendous success, the amazing MC’ing of Josh Griffiths combining with a superb effort on the part of all of the performers all contributing to an amazing night, while big night out is technically a competitive event, it really didn’t feel like it, and the amount of support from the audience for all of the artists was lovely. Yet another year of proving why the event is one of the biggest nights out of the university year.