Patrick Pickett, vocalist and guitarist for Alter Ego, performed at Mojos as part of the Jan. 16 show (Photo Cred: Cara Darr)

I have never heard the beautiful sound of a keyboard or smooth, jazzy guitar solos flowing out from Mojos music venue in downtown Ogden like I did on Jan. 16. Darnay Affair, James Allen Spirit and Alter Ego are the three local bands that performed at Mojos last Friday, leaving a groovy musical vibe in their wake.

Nicklaus Johnstun, Weber State University freshman and music major, performed as Alter Ego’s drummer. Johnstun and his band are proud to announce the release of their first CD, which includes their most popular songs, “Canyon Drive” and “Maria.” Johnstun described being on stage as a way of “embellishing the music,” and said that he has the “freedom to improvise” and “express himself.”

“The show was a very chill atmosphere,” said Daniel Crosby, WSU freshman and computer science major. “There was no one trying to be rowdy and obnoxious, so that was nice.”

The atmosphere was created by a night filled with alternative rock that Johnstun described as having “many different influences,” such as funk, pop rock, blues, reggae, pop punk and progressive rock.

While Crosby wanted to see more energy from the crowd, instead of them just sitting and listening, Johnstun enjoyed the calm in the venue. “I hope (my music) affects (the crowd) in whatever way they want to feel,” Johnstun said. “If they just want background noise, that’s awesome. If they feel inspired by it, that’s fantastic. If they just feel like they want to dance to it, by golly let them dance!”

Ron Atencio, owner of Mojos, said he always looks forward to the shows he puts together. “The first two bands (Darnay Affair, James Allen Spirit) are actually new,” he said.

Atencio said he’s excited for what’s to come from the bands. He also said he’s excited to see a more sophisticated and mature atmosphere in the venue during the show.

“It’s going to be really chill, and these are the kind of shows I really like,” Atencio said.

A lot of Mojos shows tend to be based around a hardcore music scene. The transition from hardcore to a smoother and calmer environment for one night was a huge one.

“I didn’t really go to the show expecting anything,” Crosby said. “I just wanted to go for the experience and to try something new.”

Atencio said he hopes anyone could walk out of his music venue with a positive vibe, knowing they have a place they can express their creativity whether it be through music, drawings or writing.“(The shows) are about creating that energy and that environment to be a safe place,” Atencio said. “If I can take my own little corner of the world, maybe it will ripple out.”

The reaction to the music from the crowd and support he received makes Johnstun very happy. “As long as listeners enjoy it, and it doesn’t affect them in any way that would ruin their day, I’m happy.”

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