Another newcomer to NEPA Scene’s Got Talent came in to Thirst T’s Bar & Grill unexpectedly on Tuesday, Sept. 29 and swept the audience vote with an animated performance that mixed earnest folk rock with the boundless energy of punk music.
Currently a Clarks Summit resident, Mat Burke has taken his act around the country, and his experience came through at Week 5 as he sang and played the guitar, harmonica, and kick drum all at once. Read an interview with Burke in this week’s NEPA Scene’s Got Talent spotlight.
Week 5 performers:
Music: Adam Fox, Connor Langan, Mat Burke, Lisa Mansour, Apostolis Kalyvas, Joe Craig, Adam Bailey, Pulak, Joe Quincy, Patrick Schwartz, and James Barrett
Comedy: Dan Hoppel, Robert Heilimann, Ted Hebert, Rob Evans, and Zack Hammond
James Barrett returned to the stage at the end of the night to headline after winning the previous week’s audience vote with his honest acoustic songs. Burke won $50 in cash, provided by Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and the chance to headline the next event on Tuesday, Oct. 6, along with a slot in the Finals Showcase on Dec. 1, where the 12 winners from 12 consecutive weeks will compete in front of a panel of judges for the grand prize – a winter getaway package with ski passes and more, $250, an interview broadcast on Fuzz 92.1, and a free 10-hour recording session at TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton. The second place winner will receive $100.
Sponsored by Samuel Adams; LT Verrastro, Inc.; Fireball Cinnamon Whisky; Fuzz 92.1; TwentyFiveEight Studios; and Thirst T’s, NEPA Scene’s Got Talent takes the format of an open mic night and turns it into a friendly competition, inviting local musicians, comedians, poets, performance artists, magicians, actors, and more to perform on Thirst T’s stage every Tuesday at 7 p.m. through Nov. 17.
At the end of each night, audiences who have enjoyed the free live show will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite act. The winner each week will receive $50 in cash and the headlining slot for the following Tuesday, and all other performers are encouraged to compete again as often as they’d like or simply show off their talents for fun. Everyone participating is featured weekly on nepascene.com.
by Rich Howells
Rich is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, photographer, and podcast host. He is the founder and editor of NEPA Scene.