Trojans unite in a cappella
Posted September 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm in Lifestyle
Mondayâs All Hail A Capella event had a lot to sing about.
Seven of USCâs a cappella choirs showcased their talents in a long night filled with triumph, beauty and soul.
Asli Baat, a group of South Asian fusion singers opened the show andÂ served as a welcome detour fromÂ traditional a cappella. The group stunned the audience with a mixture of haunting South Asian lyrics and decent execution of more contemporary pop hits.
Beautiful voices, however, could not hide juvenile choreography. The singers were awkward with their movements and seemed less than assured.
Asli Baatâs vocal stylings were lackluster in a few numbers. Vanessa Carltonâs âA Thousand Milesâ and Jay-Z and Alicia Keysâ âEmpire State of Mindâ could have burned down the house, but sloppy vocal execution made these songs fall short.
With its beautiful harmonies, Asli Baatâs rendition of âLove the Way You Lieâ by Eminem and Rihanna was the best of the set. The surprising foray into rap impressed and excited the audience, which finally elicited the singersâ confidence.
Khoir Practice was one of the nightâs pleasant surprises. After a less than impressive showing at last yearâs Absolut A Cappella, Khoir Practice sang almost perfect versions of The Wingsâ âMaybe Iâm Amazed,â Natalie Imbrugliaâs âTornâ and Maroon 5âs âMisery.â
The groupâs lead soloist was brilliantly on pitch during the performance of âMaybe Iâm Amazed.â The choreography, however, was generally static and the group could have had a more commanding attitude while performing.
Masters of stage presence, the members of Troy Tones were spirited as they sported outlandish outfits inspired by Katy Perryâs âT.G.I.F. (Last Friday Night)â video. Their vocals werenât too shabby either.
Troy Tones junior Allison Robbins left the audience in awe as she belted out âCowboy Casanovaâ by Carrie Underwood. Additionally, the Troy Tonesâ rendition of Duffyâs âMercyâ felt fresh and inventive.
The Troy Tones ended their set with a beautiful cover of âCircle of Lifeâ from The Lion King, showcasing impeccable vocals and intoxicatingly fun choreography.
More subdued than the Troy Tones was one of USCâs mos known a cappella groups, Reverse Osmosis. Beginning with a medley of Mumford and Sons tunes, Reverse Osmosis epitomized the utilization of the voice as an instrument.
What seems like the 1000th cover of Coldplayâs âFix Youâ found an eerie presence in the groupâs sublime execution, illustrating that complicated choreography is unnecessary if the voice itself is exceptional. As for their finale, âFind My Way Homeâ by the Gabe Dixon Band was sexy and seductive while serving as a good cap to their set.
USCâs other perennial favorite, SoCal VoCals, showcased its personality in Beyonceâs âBest Thing I Never Had.â SoCal VoCalsâ soloist had more attitude than Sasha Fierce. The groupâs covers of âHold my Heartâ and USCâs âAlma Materâ were not quite as memorable, but in SoCal VoCal style, they were delivered in top-notch pitch.
The Sirens, USCâs all-female troupe, performed commendably, but the ladies missed their mark on each of their numbers. Sara Bareillesâ âKing of Anythingâ was sweet but not special, while the soloist in a cover of Adeleâs âTurning Tablesâ completely ignored the heartbreak and pain Adele puts into each word, barely skimming the surface of the vocal power necessary to cover such a masterpiece.
Mariah Careyâs âAlways Be My Babyâ was the best out of the three as the soloist showed the most personality, but as a whole, the group sounded hollow when compared to the rest of the performers.
The night ended on a high note with a powerhouse performance by the eventâs hosts, The Trojan Men. USCâs a cappellaâs heartthrobs worked the stage into frenzy with âHard to Handle,â âLullaby,â âItâs a Manâs Worldâ and âVehicle.â
The vulnerable yet strong vocals in âLullabyâ were breathtaking and emotional. âItâs a Manâs World,â on the other hand, was a fun end to the evening, infused with soul and depth, which other acts were lacking.
Auditions for USCâs a cappella groups will take place Sept. 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. in Taper Hall. Open auditions for Asli Baat will take place on Sept. 6-8 at 6:30 p.m.