A Night of Firsts at Pig N’ Whistle

Red velvet-lined walls. Dimmed lighting. Cushioned booths and small round tables. Cool, soothing music in the background. This might sound like a cute, romantic Valentine’s Day date, but it’s actually an acoustic show at the legendary Pig N’ Whistle restaurant where four students in the School of Music performed.

Junior soloist Krista Krause and Good San Juan (which consists of juniors Auston Wilkinson and Nick Green, and freshman Taylor Hudson) took the stage in front a full house of friends, family and other APU students for their 30-minute acoustic sets.

“The performers were extremely talented and it was obvious that they really enjoyed what they did and wanted to share their gifts with their audience,” junior psychology major Anjali Williams said. “I also liked the close atmosphere because it made the performances feel more intimate and personal.”

Krista Krause is junior biblical studies major with a minor in music from Escondido, CA. She the product of many years of vocal training and has performed in choirs, musicals and events since the age of 12. Similar to some female artists, she was inspired to perform because of a boy that she liked and was determined to become famous. However, Krause’s style contrasts with that of the typical estrogen-ridden female singer whose music pool consists of breakup songs and girl power anthems. Instead, she uses music as an outlet and strives to have her music reach out to her audience in order to show them that there has been at least one person that has had a similar experience to them.

“Things have changed a lot since then, and I am eternally thankful for God’s interventions through the years,” Krause said. “He has definitely broken down my pride and need for fame, and I hope I can show people how God’s grace has impacted me by how I live my life- not only by the decisions I make, but the attitude with which I approach problems.”

Last Friday night was a night of musical firsts for Krause. It was the first time she had ever performed a concert at the Pig N’ Whistle and was the first time that she had ever performed her entire EP. Opening with a haunting rendition of “Two Way Street” by one of her favorite artists, Kimbra, her set got off to a strong start. Her clean, pure, almost opera-like voice gave her ‘sad heartfelt lullabies’ an honest and emotional way of sharing her passion with the audience. She dedicated her show to giving a preview of her album in the works, and chose to do a chronological set list where each song that follows plays off of the one before it.

“I chose to perform my show this way because I thought that people should see the flow of emotion that I went through,” Krause said. “Each one of the songs that I wrote happened after a particular event in my life where I just had so much emotion at once and I really wanted people to see that while they listened to my music.”

Krause’s set guided Good San Juan into a smooth transition and a true concert-like feel with their duet of “Cold War,” an original song written by Wilkinson and Nicole Grover. The obvious Indie characteristics led into the fun, upbeat set that made the audience feel like they were witnessing a Vampire Weekend jam session.

Wilkinson is a junior commercial music major from Irvine, CA that has had years of experience performing in bands. He was always used to playing the bass guitar and background vocals, but one day he was inspired to break off from the supporting musician role and take on the responsibilities of a lead singer and songwriter. He grabbed his musical cohorts Nick Green (lead guitar) and Taylor Hudson (drums), and very shortly the California-sounding Good San Juan was born. Together, they strive to make music that sounds like what they themselves would want to listen to or, according to Wilkinson, how one would spend a ‘holiday with Ryan Gosling.’

“This band has been in the making for a long time,” Wilkinson said. “I’m finally at a place where I feel like my songs are pretty decent, I’m comfortable enough singing around other people and, just as importantly, I’ve finally got the right folks around me.”

Last Friday night was the first acoustic show that Good San Juan has done at the Pig N’ Whistle since they formed the group.

Green’s twangy guitar riffs evoked comparisons to Train, and combined with the relaxed yet structured beats of the wooden box drum that Hudson performed with accompanied Wilkinson’s quirky, energetic singing very well and made it difficult not to want to tap your feet to the beats of the songs— especially when they would blatantly engage the crowd and ask them to join in.

There was an eclectic mix of covers (including Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and “Someday” by The Strokes) and original songs co-written with other APU music students to keep the audience fully attentive and wondering when they plan to release recordings.

“Our main focus right now is to do more gigs, solidify our sound, and find out who our fans are before we cut an EP,” Wilkinson said. “Hopefully we can record a few tracks during the summer, but we’re not making any promises. I’ve got a good feeling like we could really take this somewhere. Stay tuned for more shows in the future.”

Krause and Good San Juan are just two artists that perform acoustic shows at the Pig N’ Whistle on Friday nights. If you’re looking for something to do on a Friday night, maybe take a trip into the city for a night of music while supporting your friends in the School of Music.