Dueling pianists Mark Michaels and Adam Browne filled the Morgan Auditorium with music during the Krazy Keys concert on Tuesday.
The concept of dueling pianos stemmed from their experience in Texas, where people would show up to bars and request songs.
If someone disliked a song performed, they had the option of tipping the pianists for a change of song.
Often, tips would turn into a bidding game – whoever placed the biggest tip would have their song played, Michaels said.
Michaels and Browne each sat on a piano with fish bowls on them.
The two started the event with “I’m a Believer” and quickly, students began filling the bowls with song requests.
The event started with approximately 22 people, but despite the small audience, Michaels and Browne made the event as interactive as possible.
They proceeded with “Sweet Home Alabama,” and Browne asked the students from California to scream “California” instead of “Alabama.”
The students instead raised their hands.
“This is not a place to raise your hands. This is a place to raise your voices,” Browne said.
The audience cheered as two students from the crowd whose birthdays were in the month of March were asked to go on stage.
At live piano duels, it is common to see birthday roastings, a tribute in which the guests are praised and insulted, Michaels said.
However, Michaels and Browne switched it up by performing “The “Chicken Dance.”
They asked the audience to rise and everyone, including the birthday girls, danced along.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Jezyca Hernandez, computer science major and participant.
“I liked that everyone participated. You don’t see a lot of that here,” Hernandez said.
Everyone laughed as they sat back in their seats, but it was not long until they were cheering again.
Audience sang along to “Don’t Stop Believing,” and Browne performed a quick air guitar solo.
A few times, Michaels and Browne modified the lyrics to have a comical tone for a humorous effect.
“I hope the students took a love for music and a sense of community from this event,” Michaels said.
Michaels has been a dueling pianist for 30 years and Browne has been a dueling pianist for 10 years.
Towards the end of the night, Browne had many requests for 1990s female artists.
He performed a medley with songs by iconic artists like Britney Spears, the Spice Girls and Whitney Houston.
“My favorite part was seeing everyone participating and having fun,” Deira Rogers, legal studies major who sang on stage, said.
“CAB should hold more singalongs,” Rogers said.
Michaels and Browne concluded the event by asking students to dance on stage.
They performed one last medley and thanked the audience for their participation and being a part of their performances.
Alejandra Aguilar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.