Acoustic Explosion, a monthly event at The Wall, always offers a unique and exciting experience with musical acts constantly changing.
According to Steven Fortney, the lead program coordinator behind Acoustic Explosion, groups must submit a demo of their music before being chosen to perform by the BYU Student Activities Board, ensuring that each show features talented performers.
“It’s always a great show and a great time. The performers love it, the students love it and you get such a great sampling from the on-campus talent,” Fortney said. “There are some really high-energy bands and then there are some really great solo performers.”
Adam Hansen, who has been playing music since age 5, has played at Acoustic Explosion twice before. Because the event is acoustically themed, full drum kits are not allowed, but Hansen finds ways to perform even though he is primarily a drummer.
“The idea behind Acoustic Explosion is to keep the volume lower than a full band, but I’ve been kind of creative with how I’ve done that,” Hansen said. He has used bongos, ride cymbals, snare drums, hi-hats and bass drums to add percussion to his group’s performance.
According to Hansen, Acoustic Explosion is one of the best ways for BYU musicians to get their names out there. Each act only has around 15 minutes to perform, meaning they’ll be performing only their best songs.
“What’s really unique is that each band only plays … around three songs each. So that way, you go to one Acoustic Explosion and you get a chance to hear a lot of different groups play,” he said. “It’s a great way to kind of sample different groups. You can decide which ones you really like and then go see their full shows.”
Hansen believes that BYU and Provo have great music, making the opportunity to sample many artists even more beneficial.
“I feel like there is tremendous talent here. I think it’s a really exciting time to be a musician in Provo, especially because recently, at least three acts coming out of Provo have been signed to major record labels,” Hansen said. “I think that’s given inspiration and vision for all the musicians here, to see that you can make it big.”
Hayden Christianson, a 21-year-old electrical engineering major from Spanish Fork, was one of the performers at the June 5 Acoustic Explosion.
“This was actually my first time performing in front of a real audience. I went to a couple Acoustic Explosions before, and I just loved it. It was so much fun,” Christianson said. “I loved listening to the other artists perform their stuff, and I thought I might as well audition. I mean, I play guitar, I might as well.”
Christianson found his first time performing for a live audience rewarding.
“It was just crazy. … It was fun to come and see a bunch of familiar faces,” Christianson said. “A bunch of my friends sat in the front row, and it was great just playing music that I liked to play.”
Christianson thinks Acoustic Explosion offers a different experience than do other music shows.
“I love that this is just students that have talent that want to express themselves,” Christianson said. “It feels more relatable because it’s by students, for students, and we’re all on the same level.”