For most students, the end of term marks exam time –– for me, it’s a capella time. The various UW a cappella groups united Nov. 22-22 for two nights of end-of-term (EOT) performances in the Modern Languages Theatre to packed audiences and, as usual, they did not disappoint.
“I think that the energy and the commitment that everyone put into the group really showed at [the show],” said Laura Tanzen, the musical director of the Unaccompanied Minors (UM). UM opened the Saturday show; highlights of their performance were a jazzy version of “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor and “Holding out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler. The latter is still in my head days later –– their choreography and energy levels were on-point. As a seasoned audience member of a cappella EOT shows, I’ve seen many groups evolve over my years at UW. People graduate, new members join, groups’ directions change. The Acabellas, UW’s first all-female group, has come a long way in the four years I’ve been going to EOT shows. Other than a shaky performance of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” their set was solid. That said, their set had a lot of good moments that showed the dedication of the group members. By far their best performance was “Bottom of the River,” originally by Delta Rae. Their version featured some seriously impressive body percussion. It was one of my favourite songs from the whole show. The smaller groups were mixed up for the Friday and Saturday shows –– Friends, A Tone, and The Mistletones performed Friday while Subject to Change and The Committee took Saturday’s stage. UW’s biggest group, ACE, performed a few crowd-pleasers like “Sweet Caroline” and a Disney medley. As with every EOT show I’ve been to, my favourite performances came from The Water Boys. They are a group after my own heart and I will never stop being a fangirl. I was worried when they started their set with “Closer” by Neyo –– but that was a personal bias because I hate that song. They killed it with a version of Phillip Phillips’ “Gone Gone Gone” which featured a very sensual interlude –– it was certainly appreciated by the crowd, which I’m certain included more than a few Water Boys fans. Hands down, the best performance of the night goes to the Water Boys’ tribute to chubby girls. The mash up included “Fat Bottom Girls” by Queen, “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor, and “Big Girl (You are Beautiful)” which was a nice throwback to 2000s pop. I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching people live out their <em>Glee</em> and <em>Pitch Perfect</em> fantasies on stage. Hopefully the UW a cappella club will keep delivering to fill the musical hole in my heart.