A dramatically-lit stage set with orange string lights and pumpkins. Twelve phenomenal performances from three a cappella teams. A student dressed as a smiling poop emoji rapping Nicki Minaj.
These are a few scenes from the Bostonians Halloween Invitational, in partnership with the Relay for Life Club, which occurred in Cushing 001 last Friday. The Boston College B.E.A.T.S. (Black Experience in America Through Song) and the Emerson College Acappellics Anonymous joined in for the fun, as well. The costume-clad crowd took in the the show riotously, applauding and calling out friends’ names between each set item.
The Bostonians, the University’s original a capella group, kicked off the event with a three-song set. Nick Page, MCAS ’18, began with a rendition of Gavin DeGraw’s “Make a Move”, which established the group’s smiling, dancing chemistry and cohesion. Hannah Crowley, MCAS ’18, followed Page with Nikki Yanofski’s power ballad “Necessary Evil”. The group ended with the upbeat “Loving You Easy” by the Zac Brown Band, with the backtrack excellently mimicked by the Bostonian chorus members behind lead Guy Guenthner, MCAS ’17.
Acappellics Anonymous took the stage next, surprisingly powerful in their mere nine-student assembly. Taking a different approach than the largely upbeat and excitable Bostonians, the group started with the slow, harmonious “These Words” by Natasha Bedingfield, followed by Sam Smith’s longtime chart-topper “Stay With Me.” One member of the chorus succeeded in imitating a shockingly low bass line to great effect, and the audience burst into laughter and cheers as the accordingly-dressed lead singer crooned, “But I still need love ‘cause I’m just a moose.”
Acappellics Anonymous ended with a mashup of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” and “Boogie Wonderland,” ending the set on a groovy alternative to their previous, slower selections.
The B.E.A.T.S., an R&B and soul group (a good portion of whom were dressed as emojis), started out by snapping out a percussion lead-in to Jazmine Sullivan’s “Fear,” a song with a deceptively relaxed-sounding but powerful sound that the group captured well. The group proceeded to perform the iconic ’80’s hit “She’s a Bad Mama Jama” by Carl Carlton. To finish their set, the two performers with the most character out of the whole performance thus far came out of the woodwork to sing Usher’s “She Came to Give It to You,” one of the night’s most entertaining songs, including a spirit-filled Nicki Minaj verse that the singer clearly loved delivering.
The Bostonians finished the performance with three final songs. The first, technically a medley, combined Neil Diamond songs “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” “Desiree,” and crowd-pleaser “Sweet Caroline,” fronted by Paul Wagenseller, MCAS ’16, and met with enthusiastic chorus chanting from the student audience. The final song of the show featured four recent hits, R. City and Adam Levine’s “Locked Away,” Demi Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer,” OMI’s “Cheerleader,” and The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” respectively featuring Page, Chloe Mansour, LSOE ’17, Wagenseller, and Sam Park, MCAS ’16.
But the most impressive performance of the night, and the most anticipated judging by the screams of admiration that preceded and followed for several minutes, came from Meghan McCarthy, MCAS ’17, presenting “Rise Up,” originally performed by Andra Day. McCarthy handled low notes, soprano notes and incredibly high belted notes with apparent ease. The already uplifting song, combined with her excellent delivery, was inspiring.
The sheer amount of talent and fun on display will surely make you, as it did the other audience members, applauded thunderously.
Featured Image By Julia Hopkins / Heights Staff
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