A cappella groups attract full house at fall concert

All five of Geneseo’s a cappella groups came together for their fall concert in a very packed Wadsworth Auditorium on Saturday Oct. 25. Co-ed groups Exit 8, Between the Lines and Emmelodics as well as all-female group Hips ‘n Harmony and all-male group Southside Boys each performed two two-song sets to much fanfare. Southside Boys started the night off with the traditional “Good Old A Cappella.” Afterward, sophomore soloist Matt Burley delivered his first of two impressive performances: a melodic, emotional rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team.” If anything, the popular acoustic song sounded fuller with its stripped-down instrumentals swapped out for the surprisingly gentle backing vocals of the all-male group.

Next up was Between the Lines, opening with a fun and energetic performance of American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life.” BTL kept the upbeat vibe going with their rendition of Jukebox the Ghost’s “Somebody,” swapping the synth sounds of the original for poppy backing vocals.

For its performance, Hips ‘n Harmony started strong with its take on ZZ Ward’s “Put the Gun Down.” Junior Nicole Peinkofer rocked the bluesy growl and absolutely killed the solo.

Later, the all-female group garnered lots of applause with a performance of Paramore’s hit “Ain’t It Fun.” Done by senior Hannah Rody-Wright, the arrangement was spot-on—down to the timing of the claps and stomps—and sophomore soloist Melody McAlister sounded amazingly like Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams.

Exit 8 opened its first set with a major crowd-pleaser. The Rescues' “Crazy Ever After” was Burley’s second big solo of the night, and the harmonies complemented each other beautifully. Later, the classily-dressed group performed a fun mashup of “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 and “Classic” by MKTO, complete with a rap done––to a barrage of cheers––by senior beatboxer Phil Longo.

Geneseo’s youngest a cappella group Emmelodics had some serious competition, but the new group fared well; dressing in flannel and bringing a fun, quirky vibe. They also brought back one of the favorites of the parents’ weekend concert: Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert’s country rock duet “Somethin’ Bad.”

Emmelodics ended its second set with a mashup of Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” and Panic! at the Disco’s “Miss Jackson” that would have made any listener nostalgic for the glory years of pop punk.

Southside Boys also impressed in their second set, showcasing their talent and while still having fun with a rendition of Adele’s dramatic single “Skyfall.”

One of the highlights of the night was Exit 8’s complex and creative arrangement of Sia’s “Chandelier,” done by junior musical director Sam Weinstein. Even more impressive than senior Emily Rittenhouse’s hauntingly gorgeous solo was the reharmonization of the last chorus.

BTL closed out the show with “Under Pressure.” Senior soloist Liam Enright never fails to give an electrifying performance, and the high note in this Queen and David Bowie classic alone helped him more than live up to his reputation.

Each of the groups gave its all, resulting in strong performances across the board at one of the most entertaining and well-attended a cappella concerts in years.