On Saturday, March 28, the Barge Canal Coffee Company brought in some local entertainment for its Saturday Nite Music Series. The Barge’s poster for the Saturday Nite Music Series announced that last Saturday’s performer, Colgate University junior Collin McLoughlin, was Mr. Colgate 2007. It turns out McLoughlin is a talented musician in addition to apparently being a highly skilled pageant contestant.
Opening for McLoughlin was junior Christopher Maccini. Maccini incorporated both the acoustic guitar and harmonica into his songs. He played two originals, including a new song that he described in banter characteristic of the night, “This is a new song. It’s an original. I wrote this song. Recently. That’s why it’s a new song.” Additionally, he performed a cover song from Disney’s Robin Hood.
McLoughlin also played the acoustic guitar. His style seemed to be somewhere between John Mayer, Matt Nathanson and Matt Costa. He certainly seemed to connect to John Mayer, as he performed several songs by the musician. He began by playing an original, “Awake.” The next song he explained is from the EP he recorded as a first-year student. He is trying to release another EP this summer, which he hopes will include his next song, “Nothing Else.” Next he performed a heartfelt cover of “Slow Dance In a Burning Room” by John Mayer. This was followed by an original song, “Can’t You See.” The next song was a complicated cover. The original song, “I’m On Fire,” was by Johnny Cash. The song was then covered by Bruce Springsteen, then John Mayer, then McLoughlin.
“Hold On” was performed after that, another song McLoughlin hopes to put on his new EP. Then he played “Burn Away,” the last song on the old EP. The following song was intended to be the last. Maccini rejoined McLoughlin on the stage where they performed a mash up of two acoustic piano songs, “Orange Sky” by Alexi Murdoch and “Brick” by Ben Folds, calling their collaboration “Orange Brick.” The song was followed by an unusual kind of encore. Rather than standing up and clapping and cheering, the audience simply began yelling “One more!” almost as if they were demanding it. McLoughlin succumbed and played “Meadows of Life Unfair,” a song he wrote in high school.
The concert became quite a democratic process at this point, with McLoughlin speaking with the audience to meet their demands. He said he didn’t know what to play. Someone suggested he play his favorite song, so he played a song by David Ryan Harris, a musician he promised none of the audience would have heard of. On the audience’s insistence that he sing a particular song that he couldn’t remember, he went searching among his things for the music while Maccini entertained the audience with a piano solo in the interim. Eventually, McLoughlin gave up his search and returned to play a mash up that included “Hello Brooklyn” by Jay-Z and Little Wayne, “Sweetest Girl” by Wyclef Jean and “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Once he reached “Under the Bridge,” he switched to just playing that song.
McLoughlin was clearly supported by the attendance of many friends for this concert. He was perpetually giving an appreciative nod to new arrivals who always looked proud to see him on stage. It is good to see that a former Mr. Colgate is representing the university well.