The mixed bag of performing at Union Court


Josie Collins

Live Music Wednesdays at Union Court gives students the opportunities to hear new music while they study and socialize with friends. Mike Moore of Fire in the Field performed an acoustic set on Wednesday. 

Local New England artists are featured at Union Court every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sam Swartz, a sophomore genetics major who can be seen studying at Union Court most Wednesdays, said, “I think it’s really cool… I like the vibe of it.” 

Other students at Union Court, meanwhile, find the live music a bit distracting. “I think it’s nice, it’s just kinda loud sometimes,” junior human development and family studies major Kathleen Duhaime said. She noticed that not many people were paying attention to Moore performing on stage. “I just feel bad that not many people are clapping,” she said. 

At the beginning of Moore’s set, he addressed the audience very softly, knowing they had their attention on schoolwork and conversation. Moore has played many shows where he is considered the background noise of an event. 

 “I do it all the time, yeah it’s always weird… because it’s in a no man’s land of ‘Is this a performance, or am I background music?’ And the answer is you’re both,” Moore said.  

He understands that not everyone will pay attention – some are just at Union Court to eat and go to class. “These gigs are honestly harder than playing a regular gig… you can find yourself getting in your head and being like, ‘Oh man, I’m tanking because that dude just put his earbuds in,’ but you have to pull yourself out of it.” 

Cody Belanger is a senior political science major who has come to every Live Music Wednesday since the beginning of the fall 2019 semester. Belanger admitted that he wasn’t paying full attention to Moore’s performance.  

“I mean I would be listening to music anyways, so I don’t find it distracting at all,” Belanger said. Moore gave Belanger a CD copy of his album, “War Bonnet,” in the middle of his set because he had stayed for a good portion of the performance. Moore appreciates the students who choose to listen while doing their work, and attempts to show it with acts like this. 

Fire in the Field is a Boston-based band that mostly plays around the New England geographic area at small clubs in nearby cities. Moore sometimes travels to Los Angeles to perform as a solo act like he did at Union Court. 

Fire in the Field started shortly after Moore learned to play the guitar and started playing with his friends from Exeter High School, and formed the band shortly after. Soon enough, Moore began playing gigs by 14. He started as a guitar player and eventually became the lead singer about a decade after the band formed. Most of the original members are no longer apart of the band. “Not everybody lives and dies by the gig,” Moore said. “I do, so I have to keep going.” 

Moore describes his musical style as a blues-based. “I think about groove a lot,” he said. “I think about when I play, ‘Does this make me feel good inside?’” His style is ultimately defined by rock and his own interpretation of it, and his goal is to be moved by the music he’s playing. “Rock and roll is no rules, everything all at once, pulling from all the different styles of American music,” he said. 

Moore is satisfied with where his career is going with Fire in the Field. “Because there is that feeling of expansion, and getting better and deeper, and more real… I feel my career is definitely successful,” Moore said. “I’m basically writing all the songs, and I get to sing and play, be the front man and do all that. It’s changed a lot for me in the past decade, so yes my career’s going great.” 

If you’re looking for new music or you saw the performance at Union Court, you can stream Fire in the Field on Spotify and Apple Music. Moore’s next show is October 5 at the Hotel Vernon in Worcester, Massachusetts, at 8 p.m.