Sufficient Grounds’ live performances continue to draw a crowd

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The melodic strumming of Sufficient Grounds’ latest open mic night guests, Melissa and Ryan Flanigan, serenaded students on Friday night. The musical duo performed several original songs, including one based off of a prayer of Saint Patrick. Their mellow tunes and smooth harmonies made for perfect coffee shop music, drawing in a crowd of over fifty students and non-Bethel attendees. High school sweethearts, they sang together in youth group, but haven’t performed in public in the last few years apart from friends’ weddings. The two have been busy raising their three kids Lily (5), Liam (3), and Noelle (1). “Liam has some good rhythm,” Melissa said. “He’ll definitely be a drummer.” But the folk team is ready to pick up the mic again, as witnessed by the show’s attendants. “It’s been a desire to share our art and establish an artistic identity in this area,” Ryan said. He started by writing worship songs and draws inspiration from “the messiness of life” and artists such as fellow Illinois native Sufjan Stevens and Mumford & Sons. “I went to their concert in August and it was just, the experience of that was so inspiring and there was a surge of creativity,” Ryan said. “A couple of the songs we played tonight were inspired by the venue and just being with my brothers, the whole experience.” The couple is currently focusing on listening to what God is saying in their lives. “With every breath that we take we inhale ‘What is God saying?’ and we exhale ‘What am I gonna do about it?’” The show also starred Arnold Miguda, who performed to raise money for his Five Star group. He draws inspiration from his love life, writing melancholy love songs resembling a guitar-version of Secondhand Serenade. He was later joined by Jordan Norris on the djembe and Lizzy Wierenga on cello, playing original songs of worship, such as “Glory to God.” “The funnest part was the actual worship songs,” Miguda said. “The biggest influence on my music is my faith in God.” The amateur singer/songwriter got involved on campus at Friday Night Fire after coming on campus through Impact, a multi-campus ministry that meets in the Acorn on Thursdays and welcomes students from Bethel, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross. Miguda tries to work in Christian themes to all of his music, even his romantic ones, such as a song he performed with the lyrics “Love is strongest, love never fails, love will carry on.” Sufficient Grounds’ popular live performances carry on next week at 7 p.m. with sets by The Rutabega and Bethel’s own Seth Shively.
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