One of the University of Michigan’s most beloved a cappella groups, the Friars will present their 57th annual Best Concert Ever, Friday April 19th, 8pm in Rackham Auditorium. Wowing us with their vocals, humor, and terrible dance moves, I’m sure they will not disappoint. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults. Hope to see you there!!
Archive for the 'Music' Category
Julian Allen Senior Recital
It’s recital season. This means that every venue in Ann Arbor is jam packed with parents, friends, and artistic talent on any given day of the month. On Saturday April 27th, The Yellow Barn hosts the Julian Allen Senior Recital. A musician in the School of Music, this performance will feature original music and lyrics by Julian Allen and multi-media collaboration with local artists. Both jazz and electronic, vocals and rap, this dynamic and varied recital will explore a number of themes, techniques, and messages. In conjunction with Dance BFA student Julia Smith-Eppsteiner, local hip-hop artists Tree City and Kadence, and a number of U-M School of Music students and alum, this performance will run the gamut of Ann Arbor talent. The show starts at 6 pm. The Yellow Barn is located on 416 W. Huron Street. See you there!
Friday night, I had the privilege of seeing UMGASS’s presentation of Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty. It was such a great show – whimsical, cheery, and largely optimistic, I am officially an avid fan of UMGASS and the work that they do.
The play itself was actually pretty similar to what I was expecting for my first Gilbert and Sullivan show. The humor worked on so many levels. There was, of course, the absurdity of pirates in this bizarre setting in Cornwall, the main character Frederic having an identity crisis and wondering what a “true beautiful woman is” when all he has known is his charming yet elderly guardian Ruth, and of course who could forget the Major-General, an attested genius who asserts the depth of his knowledge while insulting his own at the same time. The whole concept is absolutely crazy.
The other operating level of humor was of course that of intellectually-based, political satire. Beginning with a rendition of “God Save the Queen,” audience participation insisted, we are immediately placed in a time period where everyone respects, yet mocks the queen to which they serve. Not to mention the lyrics of the songs are all at once brilliant and thought-provoking. It is almost too much to see it once and understand all that is going on in the show.
Job well done to the fine folks at UMGASS – can’t wait for what’s next!
As always, UMMGC left it all on the stage last night at their Spring Concert in Hill Auditorium. The performance was spectacular and their director, Dr. Eugene Rogers, should be thoroughly congratulated for a job well done. The precision with which those men perform is absolutely admirable. While I was listening, I couldn’t help but remark how all of their faces expressed so much joy in being on stage and performing with their fellow clubbers. It was fantastic.
A distinct highlight of last night’s performance was the Friar’s performance just after intermission. The Friar’s is the Men’s Glee Club’s a cappella group, a small, auditioned subset of the larger group. They wowed us away with their utter hilarity and charm – I know I wasn’t the only girl swooning when they hit those high notes.
My favorite song of the night by far was the Harriet Tubman song in the second half. A spiritual crying, “Harriet Tubman didn’t take no stuff!” – it was uplifting, inspiring, and, in my opinion, an accurate portrayal of the amazingly courageous woman she was. They had Robert Hurst, renown bassist and professor at the UM School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, play on the bass alongside a fantastically rhythmic drummer. It was absolutely awesome.
Job well done to the Men last night of UMMGC and (shameless plug) if you liked what you saw last night, be sure to check out the UM Women’s Glee Club, Sunday April 21st at 4pm, Hill Aud as well as the upcoming Friar’s concert next Friday.
Ben Folds may have the best stage presence of any musician I have ever experienced. His stage presence is demanding, fun, entertaining and enjoyable. He is funny as all get out and unashamed to make mistakes. He received some song requests before his performance of pieces he hadn’t performed in a number of years, which required him to print out lyrics from the internet! What other musician would admit to that? I have never experienced such humility in a performer.
Listening to recordings of Ben Folds doesn’t do this man justice. His songs are not only melodically and lyrically beautiful, but it’s the energy Mr. Folds puts into his performances that really makes him such an incredible artist.
I was somewhat familiar with Ben Folds’ music. But was in no way prepared for the energy or the piano skills he brought to this performance. Really if you ever have a chance to see this man perform, I highly suggest it!
Unfortunately the members of the innovative student group Music Matters: http://michiganmusicmatters.com/home/about.html, made a bit of a musical mistake with the band they chose to directly proceed Mr. Folds. “Radical Something” is a sad excuse for a hip hop group. I had to leave the concert hall, along with a number of audience members. https://soundcloud.com/weareradical
The first opening band however, was really enjoyable. Motel Model is a local Ann Arbor band, with a lovely sound and excellent look. Definitely check them out: http://motelmodelmusic.com/listen
On Friday night, the student group Groove put on an energetic, fast paced performance in the Michigan Theater. The bi-annual event has a different theme each year and this season the subtitle was “Innocent Until Groovin’ Guilty.” The evening opened with a spoof film of a criminal case in which Groove members were prosecuted for making too much noise. The convicts were detained in a cell and when they were finally freed, they sprang forth from the silver screen onto the stage and began drumming with spirit. Using non-traditional instruments, such as garbage cans, bicycles, ladders, umbrellas, newspaper, and more, the show turned regular objects on their heads and made them entertaining in a whole new way. The performers also demonstrated their talent with traditional instruments, like guitar, drum set, electric violin, and keyboard. Each scene told a story using a variety of wild costumes and lots of bold singing and acting. One of the funniest sketches was a rap battle between two sections of a middle school band in which the lyrics spoofed off of popular rap songs but using lyrics associated with pre-pubescence and the terrible awkwardness of middle school. Another memorable sketch was a play on the James Bond theme, where some Groove members were taken hostage while others came to the rescue, all the while hammering away a beat.
The audience was totally packed and seemed to love every second of the show. It takes a lot for a student group to pack a full house at the Michigan Theater! Some fans were also there to support to opening acts, EnCore and Rhythm student dance groups, as well as interluding musicians James Cornelison and Julian Allen. The exciting evening concluded with a sentimental- albeit comedic- farewell to the senior Groovers as well as an audience shout out from a large sum of Groove alumni who had returned to Ann Arbor for the special event. It was a totally energetic evening, full of comedy, musical talent, and pure entertainment.