Co-sponsored Coffeehouse is all about that bass

Emma Bartlett, Arts and Culture Editor

Charles Berthoud brought new talent to the Coffeehouse stage on Feb. 7 with an uncommon, two-handed tapping method of playing the bass guitar. Berthoud is a multi-instrumentalist who uses his contemporary bass guitar skills to wow crowds wherever he goes. 

During the event, which was co-sponsored by Campus Entertainment Network (CEN) and WQRI, students cheered along with Berthoud’s tapping as it increased in speed and precision. Much of the audience’s focus and side conversations centered on Berthoud’s ability to use his instrument in unexpected ways. Rather than plucking the main part of the bass guitar’s body, Berthoud used both hands to tap the strings on the bass’s neck, which created a hammer on sound and also strummed the bass like a guitar. 

“It was really well done. I never heard the bass played like that before,” sophomore Amanda Neff said.

Berthoud also used a looping pedal, which recorded multiple tracks that he used to bring different sounds together. He performed cover songs by artists such as Billie Eilish and Ed Sheeran, along with several originals. Berthoud didn’t sing while performing — while this could have brought complications, such as not maintaining the audience’s focus, Berthoud was able to keep students cheering throughout the night. 

“I thought he did a very good job for someone who isn’t a singer but a musical performer,” sophomore Jacqueline Benson said.

Between the food provided by The Beehive Pantry, the engaging performance and audience-filled seats, it’s safe to say that the Coffeehouse was a success.

“My favorite part of performing is when I play something and people really enjoy it… feeling like I’m connecting with the audience,” Berthoud said.