Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 23, 2020

A cappella hits an O-Show high note

By DEVIN ALESSIO | September 13, 2012

Last Monday, Hopkins’s best a cappella groups belted and bounced their way through their O-Show setlists with the hopes of recruiting freshmen members.

The event was hosted by The Buttered Niblets, Homewood’s only improv comedy group.

“It’s rare that we get to work with other student groups on campus, so the O-Show is always a special and fun experience for our troupe,” Buttered Niblets Co-President sophomore Pamela Hugi said.

“We all had a wonderful time hosting the O-Show and listening to all of the talented a cappella groups on campus.” Each a cappella group was introduced by individual Niblets pretending to be Hopkins students of various backgrounds.

The Mental Notes were first to show off their typical Hawaiian print shirts and “painfully sexy” nature. Junior Malachy Duffy  was the soloist for the group’s number, “She’s Too Good For Everyone,” in which he lamented over an unrequited love with lyrics like, “Someone should tell her she’s awful/But yeah, I’ll walk your dog/And help you move into another man’s house.” Sophomore Sarah Azody  sang an audience favorite of the night, a parody of Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” that junior Lucie Fink wrote, called “Rolling On the Beach.” “The Mental Notes just want to share their hilarity with everyone on campus,” Azody added. Mission: accomplished.

The Sirens were second to take the stage and amazed the audience with their set. Their group improved upon their mashup of OneRepublic’s “Secrets” and Beyonce’s “Halo” from last semester for an impressive first number. Their second song, a slowed-down, soulful version of T-Pain’s “Buy U A Drank,” made it clear that the all-girls group means serious business this semster.

Though many of Adoremus’ members graduated last semester, the group gave an enthusiastic yet nervous performance of Switchfoot’s “This Is Home” and Apologetix’s “Pray Now.” With the addition of new freshmen members, I’m confident the group will be able to give a stellar concert come the end of the semester.

Kranti, Hopkins’ South-Asian Bollywood/pop fusion group, gave an equally enthusiastic performance. The group’s two mashups (of “Barso Re,” from the Bollywood movie Guru, and Kanye West’s “Stronger,” as well as “Deewangi Deewangi,” from Om Shanti Om and LMFAO’s “Party Rock”) were quite enjoyable, although perhaps the group should work on establishing clearer transitions between English and Hindi.

The cranberry-clad Vocal Chords gave an intense (and almost melancholy) performance of Incubus’ “Drive.” Their soloist, Mike Van Maele, lent his strong vocals to the number. However, the choreography of the song didn’t seem to match the pacing of their interpretation. Though their version of Sara Bareilles’ “Gonna Get Over You” was somewhat pitchy at parts, the group has a history of attracting strong vocalists and putting together nothing less than a phenomenal show every semester.

If this was your first time seeing the Vocal Chords, don’t let it be your last: this performance was not representative of the group’s incredible talent.

I never saw Ketzev perform before this year’s O-Show, but I’m not sure why: the group’s arrangements of Israeli pop star Gilat Hillel's “Leshaker Le’atzmi’” and Fastball’s “The Way” surpassed my expectations. I’m sure the group attracted great underclassman talent based on their performance.

Ecco, Homewood’s chamber choir, performed Néstor Zadoff’s arrangement of Ástor Piazzolla’s “La Muerte del Ángel.” Though the song was well performed and arranged, the group was the only performer not to introduce themselves.

I’m sure that as the group performs more throughout the semester, they’ll gain the stage presence other groups on campus already exhibit.

As per usual, the Octopodes and the AllNighters stole the show. Fresh off of winning the ICCA Quarterfinals for the second year in a row, the Octopodes’ version of Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper” was incredibly moving. Though their version of Parachute’s “Something To Believe In” wasn’t as energetic as the group’s opening song, the Octopodes song was just as strong, if not stronger, than Parachute’s original track.

If any freshman girl was fangirling (read: screaming “They’re so cute!”), it was definitely because of the AllNighters’ closing performance. Though the group’s version of Toto’s “Africa” was already strong, their version of Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” is what really made every Hopkins girl swoon.

Boys with great voices, take it from us: being an AllNighter equals instant popularity with the ladies.

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