The houselights were down and the spotlight was up on the stage in the Gentile Gallery of the J.C. Williams Center at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, as students waited eagerly for a Franciscan alumnus to perform his original songs.
Once students were seated, indie singer and songwriter Kevin Heider took to the stage with his acoustic guitar. After pulling through some technical difficulties, the night finally started up with a song about the struggles that come with traveling on the road titled “How I Feel Sometimes: The Roadside Traveler Blues.” The audience members danced in their seats in excitement as the beat of the guitar picked up.
Heider kept the night ironically alive by saying, “You seem like you’re in the mood for a song about death.” He then proceeded to play “Those I Leave Behind,” with the guitar pulsating to the beat. Near the end of the song, Heider explained that he told his wife, who was eight months pregnant at the time, that he was writing a happy song about death, which was the premise of the last verse in the song.
Brining the night down with a slow song, Heider played a song entitled “The Man Who Refused to Dance,” which was all about a man singing to the love of his life saying he would only dance with her once on their wedding day. A line from the song stated the man’s fear, saying: “’Cause I can’t dance, and I won’t give you the chance to call out my bluff.”
Heider drew the crowd in for the next song by having his listeners sing its chorus: “Lord, take me down, down to the water.” Even though the crowd started to dwindle, the remaining people continued to dance in their seats.
The night continued with some slow songs about love and waiting for his future wife through the songs “Girl from Frederick” and “The Waiting.” He then proceeded to amuse the crowd with the sweet song “My Sweet Eleanor,” all about his daughter Eleanor.
Heider ended the night with some instrumental piano songs and a fun song called “Saint Brigid’s Fire” about St. Brigid of Ireland’s idea of Heaven being like a lake of beer.
Junior Cameron Erickson enjoyed Heider’s performance, saying, “I really love his music style. … (There was) real depth to the lyrics and (it had) amazing sound.”