B.E.A.T.S. And Dynamics Unite For A Capella Powerhouse
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 00:03
“There’s hope. It doesn’t cost a thing to smile,” sang the B.E.A.T.S. Friday night. “You don’t have to pay to laugh. You better thank God for that.”
The Dynamics and B.E.A.T.S. (Black Experience in America Through Song) joined voices for the third annual B.A.D.A.S.S. concert in Devlin 008. The two Boston College a cappella groups each played two three-song sets. The Dynamics displayed some versatility tackling both up tempo dance hits and slow pop ballads. B.E.A.T.S. stuck to more Jazz inspired tunes—tunes they do very well.
While Devlin 008 may not have the regard of the House of Blues, the common lecture hall gave those in attendance a comfortable, familiar concert experience. There is something to be said for seeing friends sing familiar songs in a familiar setting. The groups turned the usually mundane lecture hall into a dark, intimate experience. The acoustics were for the most part solid, it being a lecture hall after all. Devlin 008 held a snug, but not necessarily packed house. The audience had for the most part a quiet, mellow disposition, aside from a few rabble rousers in the back.
The Dynamics kicked off the show with the popular David Guetta dance jam “Without You.” Kyle Humphrey, CSON ’13, led the solo while his mates backed him up with the now infamous dance beat. Having warmed up the crowd, Ryan Galvin, A&S ’14, struck an emotional cord with the audience with his rendition of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge.” The Dynamics capped off their first set with a mellow cover of Beyonce’s “Smash Into You.” The performance filled the room hushing the sometimes restless crowd.
The B.E.A.T.S. took the stage and opened with staple “Unchain My Heart” soloed by Priscilla Restagno, then, like the Dynamics, really hit their groove with their second song. For their second performance, Molly Fitzgibbons, A&S ’13, performed “There’s Hope” by India Arie. The whimsical, catchy tune captured the general theme of the concert—a free a cappella gathering of a cappella enthusiasts in the basement of Devlin. The B.E.A.T.S. ended their first set with “Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell. The audience didn’t seem to know the song at first, but that didn’t stop them from mumbling along to another catchy B.E.A.T.S. tune by the end of the set.
After a short break, the Dynamics returned for their final set. They set back their time turners and unleashed an ’80s classic, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Andrew Jones, A&S ’15, soloed and led the charge to what was the most energetic performance of the night. The performance seemed like a lot of fun on stage and surely was off stage. The Dynamics, in an interesting swing, then turned to a somber rendition of Michael Buble’s “Lost” soloed by Colt Beyer-Johnson, A&S ’13. The transition from one of the ’80s great pop songs to a slow, somewhat obscure pop ballad worked well for the Dynamics and was perhaps the best part of the concert. Beyer-Johnson gave an impassioned performance as the heart of the song, but the Dynamics backed him with a subtle group performance behind their soloist. To cap off their final set of the night, the Dynamics continued their pop inspired performance with a medley of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Kristina Rex, A&S ’15, proved yet again that she has the pipes to pull off a cover of two pop icons in one song. The Dynamics exited the make-shift stage to a hearty applause and stayed to watch the B. E.A.T.S. close out the casual concert.
Just like the Dynamics, the B.E.A.T.S. began their second set with a bit of fire. In a cover of Soul II Soul’s “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)” the B.E.A.T.S. trotted out three separate soloists. Each performed a verse virtually on their own before the full force of the B.E.A.T.S. came in to roar through the chorus. The first song of their second set did what they hoped it would. It brought the once mellowed audience back to life. Like their first set, the B.E.A.T.S.’s second song caught the audience’s full attention. With a rendition of “I Need a Dollar” by Aloe Blacc, the B.E.A.T.S. implanted a tune in the audience they most likely sang themselves for the rest of the night. Thomas Evan, A&S ’14, one of only three males in the group, had the solo and crooned his way into the heart of the crowd. The B.E.A.T.S. closed the concert when Bernice Togher, A&S ’13, serenaded the audience with Adele’s “I’ll Be Waiting.”
The concert ran for just under an hour. The performance, while not one of the season’s premier a cappella events, proved to be a soothing experience after a long week of class.