Beatboxing, “Breaking Bad,” and “Blonde”: A Capella Night Showcases Student Renditions of Pop Songs

Donning all-black outfits and matching glittery silver high heels, Northeastern University’s all-female a capella group Pitch, Please! blended rich harmony and beatboxing in their cover of “The Lion The Beast The Beat” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. The group’s harmonies gradually increased in volume and tone, building a sense of tension, until soloist Anna-Rose Schenerman, Vice President and Treasurer of “Pitch, Please!,” belted out a powerful, reverberating high note and the beat dropped, sending the crowd to wild applause and cheers.

“We generally like to perform things with a message like ‘The Lion The Beast The Beat’ because as an all-female group, we want to be able to empower women and be strong in our identities, so that’s why we chose that song because it’s letting all of your fears go and just going for your goals,” said Isabelle Hahn, President of “Pitch, Please!”

This performance was part of the annual A Capella Night, held last Friday night in Paresky Commons in Lower Left. The event featured energetic performances from a variety of a capella groups from both on and off campus, including Azure, The Yorkies, and Keynotes as well as “Pitch, Please!” and the MIT Logarhythms, MIT’s all-male a capella group.

Azure began their performance with an upbeat rendition of a “Blonde” medley by Frank Ocean and “Wild Things” by Alessia Cara. Standing in a semi-circle, multiple soloists paired with Azure’s skillful harmonies to showcase a lively, soulful performance.

“We had performed our “Blonde” medley at the Black Arts Coffee House, [and] this event just seemed right for [the song] just because it has a lot of different parts and showcases our techniques, and there were a lot of different soloists. It had a lot of variety,” said Julia Pratt ’19, a member of Azure. “We rehearsed [“Wild Things”] for this event specifically because it’s upbeat and a lot of people know the song, so I feel like it would connect with people more.”

After asking for the audience’s help to complete their choreography, the MIT Logarhythms launched into their theme song, “SuperLogs,” as they rapidly turned their heads in a domino effect to sing harmonized chords repeatedly. The Logarhythms suddenly broke off into an improvised dance session with a mashup of the proposed ideas from the audience that included dancing “the worm” and the TV show “Breaking Bad,” sending the crowd to wild laughter and cheers.

“I think the most interesting ones were the MIT Logarhythms just because they do more than just sing. They interact with the audience, and they have choreography, and they just make it really exciting to watch,” said Lydia Paris ’17, an audience member.

The Yorkies performed “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz, featuring the lead voice of Johnny Rex ’17, as well as “H.O.L.Y.” by Florida Georgia Line. The two songs contrasted with songs from the rest of the night by setting a more mellow, relaxed mood.

“It was one of our better performances definitely because we were all just relaxed and energized at the same time, and we were prepared because we had a rehearsal right before, so we were primed, and the music was still running in our heads, and our voices were warmed up,” said Henry Crater ’20, member of the Yorkies.

Keynotes featured a performance of an energetic rendition of “Closer” by The Chainsmokers followed by “Mr. Blue” by the Fleetwoods, a slower, jazzy song from the fifties arranged by Shyan Koul ’19, who was also a soloist for the piece.

“I feel like [Shyan is] one of those people who are gifted, and his voice was just amazing. He was not out of breath. He was really confident and really good. He had the perfect variation in his voice, and he was just amazing. I loved Keynotes,” said Saadiya Lakhani ’17, an audience member