Beating away on a trash can and dedicating songs to Dan Ferguson, activities director of the Associated Students of Linfield College, acoustic rock musician Jason LeVasseur brought the audience humor along with music in his Cat Cab performance March 1 in the Fred Meyer Lounge.
LeVasseur played a mix of original and cover songs, occasionally mixing the two simultaneously.
While most of the inspiration for his songs comes from relationships, they’re “not necessarily my own,” LeVasseur said.
LeVasseur often listens to other people’s stories, and crafts those stories into song.
One such song is “Throwing You Out,” inspired by a friend ripping up pictures after a break-up.
While many of LeVasseur’s songs are about relationships, not all of them are.
For example, “Driver is the DJ,” is an energetic song about how the driver, not the passenger, is the one who should always have control over what music to listen to in the car.
Cover songs included “Wonderwall” by Oasis, which he dedicated to a member in the audience who had a rough day.
LeVasseur not only performed his music, but interacted with his audience members, making direct eye contact and talking to them, sometimes in the middle of a song.
When a girl got up to leave before the concert ended, LeVasseur drew attention to her, telling her to bring her friends a sticker and asking why her friends didn’t come to the show.
“I love making people feel uncomfortable,” LeVasseur said, jokingly.
It was this kind of interaction which kept audience members engaged, frequently laughing along with him, such as when he dedicated his song “Fiddle,” a song about kissing a girl already in a relationship, to Ferguson.
During one of the last songs LeVasseur performed, he used a trash can as a drum, transforming an ordinary object into a musical instrument.
LeVasseur, who is from Wakeforst, NC., said he has always liked music.
He began playing the drums in seventh grade and picked up the guitar in high school.
His first CD, “Watching the Girls Go By,” was released in 2001 while he was in college.
His latest CD, “In Another Life,” was released February 2011. All of his CDs can be found on iTunes.
LeVasseur lives in Nashville, Tenn., a city well-known for its music scene.
LeVasseur is on a 70-stop tour, playing shows at colleges and other venues.
His favorite stop on his tour so far?
“Right here. McMinnville,” LeVasseur said.
Levasseur has played at Linfield before.
His upcoming career plans?
“Taking over the world,” LeVasseur joked.
Meghan O’Rourke/Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at email@example.com.