Mertz ‘Til It Hurtz: ‘The Mertz Show’ Brings a Night of Entertainment to Mertz Hall

On March 30 from 6 to 10 p.m., residents and visitors were greeted by students packed into the lounge, socializing, eating pizza and enjoying music.

“Mertz, Mertz, Mertz,” the crowd cheered from the lounge in Mertz Hall during the student-organized talent show “The Mertz Show.”

On March 30 from 6 to 10 p.m., residents and visitors were greeted by students packed into the lounge, socializing, eating pizza and enjoying music.

Musicians set up at the front while audience members were seated or crowded into the remaining open space, facing posters that decorated the room.

Mertz resident Savannah Brizendine said she didn’t originally plan on attending the event but the food, crowd and lively environment drew her in.

“Everyone here wants the people performing to succeed and do their best and feel supported,” the first-year psychology major said.

Various genres of music were performed throughout the night, including rap, rock and pop. While some artists performed covers, others played original songs.

“The Mertz Show” was Ben Michel’s first time playing live with a band. The 19-year-old plays guitar in the band No Exit.

No Exit consists of four musicians who all live on the same floor of Mertz. The band members met at their first floor meeting when they introduced themselves and learned they each play an instrument. Singer and guitarist Grant Hartzell said he asked them to be in his band a few days later.

Bandmates in No Exit met in their first floor meeting at Mertz after learning that each of them played an instrument. ( Holden Green | The Phoenix)

Michel described the music that Hartzell writes for the band as a diverse range from indie-rock to harder styles of music like punk.

At “The Mertz Show,” Michel and Hartzell performed with bandmates Cole Fleming and Nico Giner Calero.

“The crowd overall seemed to be present and enjoying everything that was going on for all the acts,” Michel said.

First-year Stephen Woo also performed in the show. The secondary education and mathematics double major played guitar and sang the songs “Friends” by Ian McConnell and “Until I Found You” by Stephen Sanchez.

Woo, a San Francisco Hall resident, said everyone was welcoming at the show.

“When I messed up a few times, the crowd cheered me on,” Woo said. “I’m just really happy that I could share what I love doing with very supportive people, which are my friends and the crowd, as well.”

Midway through the night, Charles Clevenger, who’s known by the rap name Swami, performed several songs with his friend Daniel Serabour, known on-stage as Black Soul. Both rappers are part of Misguided Youth Worldwide, what Clevenger describes as a rap collective of him and four friends.

Clevenger said his music is something fresh created out of a combination of neo soul influences with old school hip hop. During “The Mertz Show,” Clevenger and Serabour performed songs from Misguided Youth Worldwide’s album and unreleased tracks from upcoming mixtapes. 

“I was not sure what to expect but when we finally got to share our music with the crowd it was really a surreal experience,” the applied mathematics major said. “I was happy to be able to participate in an event with such talented musicians that attend Loyola and such a supportive community.”

The first floor lounge of Mertz Hall came to life with students looking to appreciate their peers’ music. (Holden Green | The Phoenix)

Clevenger added that the turnout was amazing and “The Mertz Show” was a great experience for his first live rap performance.

“The room was absolutely packed at one point and everyone was standing up, vibing with the music and enjoying themselves,” he said.

Hannah Paschke, a second-year social work major, attended to support her friend Hartzell. For Paschke, the event surpassed her expectations, adding she was impressed by the audio quality of the space.

Currently a resident of Bellarmine Hall, “The Mertz Show” was Paschke’s first time being in Mertz and she said she was intimidated by the building’s reputation of being a chaotic party dorm. However, she said it turned out to be a great experience.

“It’s a really supportive group and everyone’s very friendly and having a lot of fun,” Paschke said.

First-year political science major Roarke Unrau also said the event exceeded his expectations. Unrau said he came to support his friends Ethan Noon, Stevie Moris and Jacob Dasher who heightened the show’s energy with their performance of “Teenage Dirtbag.” 

As the song played, the audience moved closer to the band and sang along.

“I had to be there for them,” Unrau said. “Everyone else has been good as well.”

While the resident assistants overseeing the event had to set boundaries, including banning moshing, the crowd’s energy was still high. The audience’s chanting and singing persisted throughout the night.

Mertz Hall, which opened in 1969, is the largest building on Lake Shore Campus according to Loyola’s website. Several students including Woo and Paschke suggest it has a reputation as being the most social dorm.

“I enjoy all the people I’ve met in Mertz,” Unrau said. “I’ve never met a person in Mertz I don’t like.”

Despite viewing it as a party dorm, Bellarmine Hall resident Hannah Paschke found everyone at “The Mertz Show” to be extremely welcoming. (Holden Green | The Phoenix)

After “The Mertz Show,” Michel, Woo and Clevenger said they would also be interested in performing in Mertzapalooza, an event hosted by the Mertz Hall Resident Assistant team on April 29.

“A music festival aimed at showcasing the talents of Mertz residents while celebrating the end of the academic year, the event will be a space for residents to share their music and creativity with their peers,” Mertz Resident Director Joe Myers wrote in an email to The Phoenix regarding the upcoming Mertzapalooza event.

More information about Mertzapalooza will be sent via email to Mertz residents once the set list is decided.

Featured image by Holden Green | The Phoenix

Sophia Robertson

Sophia Robertson