Musician comes full circle

Alumn Derek Lynch returns to Eau Claire for a one night performance


Photo by Submitted

Former student Derek Lynch came back to Eau Claire to perform in The Cabin Saturday night.

Walking into Davies Student Center, the sound of Derek Lynch’s voice echoed in the hallways, getting louder nearing The Cabin.

Inside, the musician was sitting on a stool, his red pants contrasting against the blue lights behind him.

The crowd was intimate, with people gossiping, taking pictures or even doing homework. Between all of the songs, Lynch brought the crowd back to him by explaining the meanings behind each and every song, and occasionally cracking jokes.

This is the first time Lynch has performed at The Cabin, but he said he is no stranger to the one in the old Davies. Lynch was a student back in 2009 and remembers performing in open mic nights in The Cabin.

He said it was surreal coming back.

“I love Eau Claire,” he said. “I love everything about it. This is the first time I’ve been here since 2009 … and I’ve thought about Eau Claire all the time. It’s my favorite city in the world.”

In the past five years since Lynch was on campus, he said he transferred to Lawrence University before enlisting in the Naval Academy. During his deployment, he wrote melodies and lyrics on anything he could find, such as napkins.

He grew up wanting to be a musician and carried this dream overseas.

Once he was back in the U.S., he resided in Pensacola, Fla., and said he decided to Google the nearest recording studio to pursue his dream.

He found one in Tallahassee, Fla., and decided to not let anything hold him back.

“It was like a three-hour drive,” he said. “I’d go there on the weekends, stay the night, wake up at four in the morning and just record all day. I could’ve gotten in trouble if (the Navy) knew I was going to this place on the weekends.”

What resulted from the frequent miles to Tallahassee was an EP called Reckless Road, which led him to perform in coffee shops, and ultimately, back to The Cabin. He described his performance in Eau Claire as getting his feet wet.

Summer Underwood, a sophomore, said she enjoyed Lynch’s performance.

“It’s cool he can express himself by music, especially since he wrote all of his music and they’re based on personal experiences,” she said.

For the last part of the show, Lynch said to the crowd he joined the bandwagon of love songs as he pulled his girlfriend on stage to sing with him. In the future, Lynch said he hopes to form a band with her, but doesn’t have any high expectations about it.

For now, he’s content with just being able to relate to people on a deeper level.

“I think having a connection with even one other person… is beyond words,” he said. “It’s like, this is right.”