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Venturella strikes chord with UWGB


Photo by Veronica Wierer/contributor

Musician Nick Venturella performs at the Common Grounds coffeehouse on April 4.

Shelby Larson , Entertainment Writer
April 8, 2014
Filed under Entertainment, Top Stories

From broken strings to asking what everyone’s majors are, the atmosphere in the Common Grounds was welcoming as acoustic guitar player Nick Venturella performed at Groovin’ Grounds on April 4.

Venturella was mid-song when the “G” string on his guitar broke near the end of the show. He tried to keep playing through the song, but was unable to because of the missing chord. He had to pause for a few minutes to change the string.

“He was pretty good at changing a string really fast. He was a calm entertainer who was relaxed and did a good job,” said Zachary Brinkman, sophomore math major.

After the string was fixed, Venturella came back to the microphone to continue with the song interrupted by the rogue string. Upon his arrival, he made a joke involving a sexual innuendo about breaking the “G string” that most of the audience laughed at.

Because of the delay, the show was extended an extra twenty minutes so Venturella could finish his set and conclude with a raffle for a coffee clock.  Throughout the night he also gave out free CDs for signing up to his email list.

One woman was chosen twice and for the rest of the night she became a running joke. He had one of the Good Times Programming volunteers randomly pick a name off the list to get a winner.

Most of the songs began with a story of their origin and what he was feeling during those songs.

One song in particular was about his autistic 4-year-old son and what he and his wife had to go through to help him.

Julia Mueller of Mequon was at the show to visit a friend for her birthday.

“I liked how he shared part of his life with the audience and explained that his son had autism. It’s a good meaning for the songs,” Mueller said.

At random points during the night Venturella would yell out, “what’s your major?” to everyone, at which point they were all welcomed to yell back.

At the beginning of the show, he asked the technical crewmembers what their majors were and since both were human biology majors, they became known as the “Human Bio Team” throughout the night.

“I really liked when he made people yell out their majors. Mueller said. “It was a fun way to break the ice.”

Another way Venturella tried to get the audience involved was by making them sing along to a section of one of his songs.  Most of the audience was unaware that this was happening and became lost and unable to sing along to the part that he wanted them to.

He tried some stand-up comedy with the audience, but decided after a while to stick with the music instead.

Adam Waggoner of Green Bay came out with a friend to see the show for something to do on a Friday night.

“I didn’t think the jokes worked. There is definitely room for improvement and I’d like to see what it’s like in the future,”  Waggoner said. “I thought it was decent. It was a little awkward at times, but other than that I thought it was pretty good music and decent original song writing.”

Even while he was bouncing around on stage, making his tuner fall twice from his pocket, there were still a few members of the audience who seemed to be more interested in their laptops or knitting during the show.

Venturella has been producing music since 2001 and has developed 10 albums.