MEC and Story House concert strives to “Amplify” female and non-binary voices

The “Amplify” concert celebrated female and non-binary voices in the Lair Friday night. The concert featured three artists, including Ingrid Streitz ’23, Bazeen – a band from St. Olaf – and the headliner K.Raydio, an artist from the Twin Cities. The event, put on as a collaboration between the Music Entertainment Committee (MEC) and The Story House aimed to provide a space for female and non-binary voices on the St. Olaf campus. The event was so popular that students were spilling out the doors of the Lair.

The first artist, Streitz, sang and played guitar to a medley of pop ballads including “Royals” by Lorde. Although none of the music she performed was original, the acoustic versions of the songs she sang were fun to listen to, especially when accompanied by Streitz’s melodious voice. Streitz seemed a little nervous, but she kept playing even through little fumbles and by the end of the set was a definite favorite as the crowd snapped and sang along with her music.

The second group, “Bazeen,” included Mason Tacke ’20 on bass, Omara Esteghal ’21 on guitar, Hesham Amin ’20 on drums and Alina Villa ’20 singing. The group played all original music, including a song they wrote “last night.” Their music was grungy, psychedelic and layered with fascinating instrumentals. The thick instrumentals were topped with relatable lyrics written by current and former members of the band and sung by Villa’s soulful voice. The lead singer added fun facts to each song – for example, the song “Heart–Shaped Hole” was inspired by a heart shaped hole in a piece of spinach they found during the tornado drill last year. Another song, “Pay For It,” the one that the band wrote the night before the concert, sang of the annoyance of school and how awful it is to go to the classes during the winter. Overall, the band performed a mostly polished set that had the audience moving to the beat.

The third and final act, K.Raydio, was the headliner of the night. The singer, songwriter and producer hails from the Twin Cities. K.Raydio is influenced by R&B but pairs her soul music with a futuristic tone. She sang most of her music with tracks, but near the end of her set performed a song a capella. The artist spoke personally about her debilitating anxiety and how performing a cappella serves as a way to battle against her anxiety. At the end of her set, K.Raydio offered free CD’s to any student who wanted one. Students lined up and the artist took a few minutes to talk to each person who loved her music, taking the time to learn their names and hand them both a CD and a few words from the artist herself.