Cave Cafe hosts ‘Weezer and Shrek’ night

Photo+by+Avery+Johnson

Photo by Avery Johnson

“It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen on campus,” James Li said about last week’s Weezer Night, an event hosted by the Cave Cafe that showcases student bands and community events.

This particular event, held last Thursday, was different because it involved covers of songs from Weezer’s “Blue Album,” stand-up comedy and “Shrek” playing muted in the background.

Three bands, composed of Calvin alumni and students, played through most of the album, which the Facebook event calls Weezer’s “magnum opus.” In between sets students performed stand-up comedy.

The night was described by Grant Stiles, one of the performers, as “pretty rockin’.” The bands were given a chance to perform songs that they had known for years and amateur student comedians were able to test out their jokes on an audience.

Li said, “It’s a safe place to start trying something new,” in regards to the atmosphere of the night and the Cave at large. It also gave students a chance to be silly and let loose. “Anything can happen, literally anything,” Stiles said. “At the end, I took my shirt off and started beating my chest with a shoe.”

Besides the shirtless shoe pounding, one of the night’s highlights was the stand-up comedy performed by Tyler VanZanten, which playfully poked fun at his water polo class, the hockey team and people who watch the live feed from the rock wall. All in all, it was a night of tongue-in-cheek comedy and music.

When asked about how this event was put together, Li said, “Three individuals came to me wanting a night designated to Weezer covers. At the last minute we decided to put on ‘Shrek’ in the background.”

“The idea is mine actually,” said Stiles. No matter the consensus on who had the initial idea for the night, those involved agree that the night was a hit.

Both Li and Stiles described the event as something that reminded them of their childhood, which gave it “weird elementary school nostalgia,” according to Li. Adding to this, Stiles said, “I’ve loved Weezer since I was a kid, so it was nice that I already knew all the words.”

The Cave Cafe has hosted a variety of acts for its free Thursday night concerts since it began in the early 1980s, including Sufjan Stevens, Beach House and Pedro the Lion, to name a few.

Moving forward, the venue is hoping to have more events like this one and encourages more students to become involved. Li said there is some discussion about a Nirvana/Veggie Tales or Rolling Stones/Jurassic Park night in the future, but there is also hope for the emergence of new bands.

In the Surge Building next year, there is talk about a new music practicing space sponsored by the Student Activities Board and the music department.

In this space, students could practice and form bands, but also receive mentoring from professors and staff. “I think good bands will start there,” Li commented. After Thursday night’s event and the hope of a new practice space, the Cave Cafe is looking to a bright future.