The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

IC Singers and Songwriters Collective changes the tune of local aspiring artists

Performers, and music lovers connected with one another on Wednesday at the James Theater, a night full of live music and a stacked roster of musicians to listen to.
Isabella Tisdale
Eva Marie performs an original song during an Iowa City Songwriters Collective performance at The James Theater on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023.

Iowa City has no shortage of talented musicians waiting to be discovered. The Singer and Songwriter Collective at The James Theater on Wednesday brought together the musicians to connect, perform, and enjoy the ambiance of live music.

Formerly held at Elray’s Live & Dive, the collective’s new location at The James offers a new and intimate venue for the event that creates an impeccable atmosphere for observers and performers.

The event runner, James Tutson, spoke to the audience briefly about the change in venue and how it supports the trajectory of the collective’s mission. Audience members noted the impressive sound quality of the stage equipment, along with extremely comfortable seating that enhanced a pleasant viewing experience.

The roster of performers filled the whole hour-and-a-half time slot on Wednesday the event lasted for.

Guitarist Eva Marie opened the collective. Her five original songs filled the room with warmth and comfort, immediately allowing audience members to sink into their seats comfortably for the rest of the night.

“It’s awesome that this exists because we would probably never hear of someone like [Eva] otherwise,” UI student and attendee Alexander Gates said.

The crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy musician Joe Bacon. The performer had an incredibly unique sound, yet he announced he had no discoverable music online, making him one of the most captivating performers of the night.

Bacon’s elusive nature, electric guitar, and vocals had a quality about them that mystified the audience.

Attendee Gavin Egger, another UI student, also noticed this quality.

“I was kind of shocked by that guy,” Egger said. “He had this unique quality about him that I haven’t really heard before in an artist, especially one that lives here.”

This is another testament to the idea that there is a hub of talented artists in Iowa City who simply need more opportunities to showcase their skills in front of a crowd.

RELATED: Iowa City Songwriter Collective creates space for singer-songwriters

As the show proceeded, a wide variety of personalities took the stage and performed for the attentive audience. Time flew by while audience members were introduced to new artists with different backgrounds and styles every ten to 15 minutes.

“I feel like Iowa City usually isn’t people’s first thought when it comes to nightlife and a music scene, but I think things like this really show that talented people always exist in the cracks, they’re just hard to find sometimes,” Gates said.

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About the Contributors
Caden Gantenbein
Caden Gantenbein, Arts Reporter
Caden Gantenbein is a screenwriting major as well as a film minor. He is a junior starting this fall and this is his first semester at the DI.
Isabella Tisdale
Isabella Tisdale, Photojournalist
Isabella Tisdale is a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan and is a senior at West High school. In her free time, she stage manages for the theater program at West High. She plans to double major in political science and journalism.