A Cappella Fest Features Yorkies, Azure and College Performers

An enthusiastic crowd filled Tang Theatre to see the A Cappella Fest last Friday. The concert featured Azure, The Yorkies and two college a cappella groups, Dissipated 8 of Middlebury College and Jackson Jills of Tufts University. Azure began the show with a mesmerizing rendition of “Follow Through” by Gavin DeGraw. Clad in black shirts, jeans and sky-high heels, the group made beautiful harmonies, while soloists Elizabeth Paul ’12 and Camerin Stoldt ’12 added their own soulful twists to the song. After singing “Listen” by Beyonce, Azure finished with a fun hip-hop medley that included the playful choreography the group is known for. The crowd wildly applauded the singers, and the Yorkies entered to sing “Baba O’Riley” by The Who. Ricky Marcotte ’11 rocked out to the classic song and especially enjoyed shouting, “We’re all wasted!” The group then sang “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” by Fall Out Boy and “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. The newest addition to the Yorkies’ repertoire, “The Climb” sported succinct harmonies and some deeply felt lyrics. Peter Nelson ’11 sang possibly even better than Miley Cyrus, and their rendition of the song was clearly a hit. Although both groups gave some of their best performances, they experienced technical problems. Unlike last year, A Capella Fest did have microphones, but Avery Stone ’10 said, “It’s hard to fill up Tang Theatre. Tang does have good acoustics for a pretty large space, but it’s still hard to really fill up that space with sound with only one mic.” After the two openers, Jackson Jills, the female a capella group from Tufts, took the stage. Dressed in all black, the group opened with a lively rendition of “Shadows of the Night.” Audience members clapped and danced along in their seats. The group then sang “Time,” a song by a lesser-known artist, Chantal Kreviazuk. Using one singer as a soloist and another as an echo, the group created a hauntingly poignant piece about time going by too fast. Evan Eads ’12 said, “They sounded so beautiful. Some of their songs were so moving, while others made me want to jump up and dance.” The Jackson Jills then sang “I’m Gone, I’m Going.” The song reached all broken hearts in the audience with its lyrics which included, “Life is way too short” and “I won’t look back no more.” The song hit a high-note with its vocal guitar-solo, a comedic touch to the intense song. The group then jumped into a new twist on Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova.” Finishing up their set, the Jackson Jills sang a mash-up of “Halo” by Beyonce and “Already Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. The mash-up was unexpected and definitely a crowd favorite. To finish up the night, Middlebury’s male a cappella group, the Dissipated 8, took their place on the stage. Dressed in coats and ties, not only were the boys pleasing to the ear, but they were especially pleasing to the eyes. Starting with “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix, the group immediately impressed the audience. “The group sang really obscure songs,” said Jamie Shenk ’12. “But they got me hooked on all of them. I’m totally buying what they sang on iTunes!” The highlight of the Dissipated 8 performance was seeing a Phillips Academy alum and Yorkie-graduate sing “Running to Stand Still” by U2. The night ended with “Boondocks,” a song about being proud of where you’re from that touched everyone in the audience. Stone said, “I liked it better this year with the two college groups. They were both great in terms of their arrangements and voices.” Shenk said, “It was so awesome to hear that boy from PA sing.” With only a few songs from each group, A Cappella Fest was short and sweet, the perfect way to cap off a Friday night.