A capella showcase Accapalooza entertains at Fairchild Theatre
Michael Jackson, the Backstreet Boys and Beyoncé Knowles never have visited MSU, but a capella groups belted out their star-like skills featuring various artists at Accapalooza this weekend in the Fairchild Theatre.
This year’s Accapalooza was hosted by the Spartan Dischords and showcased the skills of other a capella groups including Ladies First, Capital Green, Accafellas, The State of Fifths and RCAHpella. The groups held performances Friday and Saturday.
The performances transformed popular songs into anti-instrumental compositions of music that revealed united voices to replace the music that typically supports a lead singer.
“We were blown away by the crowds both nights and sold a lot of tickets at the door for both nights,” Spartan Dischords President Max Schurig said. “I was very impressed by the quality of the other groups. We try not to make it a competition because Accapalooza is supposed to just be about really showcasing our talent.”
Each a capella group adds its own personality to the show by performing humorous introductions and choosing songs such as “Rockin’ the Suburbs” by Ben Folds, which The State of Fifths chose to do, rocking out to the song, which includes a chorus of “Y’all don’t know what it’s like being male, middle class and white.”
Each group rotates the position of hosting the event, and this year The Spartan Dischords hosted. Schurig said he was enthusiastic about opening the show and organizing the event.
“We have a reputation of being one of the more entertaining groups,” Schurig said during an opening act rehearsal. “Our shows are generally extremely interactive with the audience and our group motto is ‘A fine blend of harmony and humor.’”
Accapalooza is a popular event among all the a capella groups on campus and the event took place two weeks earlier than normal this year, which put a stressful time crunch on rehearsal time, said Laura Grindem, vice president of a capella group Ladies First. Despite the limited practice time, she said the event had a great opening Friday night.
“I think that we have made a lot of improvements as a group this year and The State of Fifths have made some tremendous improvements and considering how little time everyone had I think everyone sounded amazing,” Grindem said.
The Spartan Dischords were led by accounting senior Jeff Harrison in the song “Be Somebody,” originally sung by the band Kings of Leon.
Members of the crowd whispered back and forth about how similar Harrison’s voice was to Kings of Leon lead singer Anthony “Caleb” Followill as he took a second to breathe in from an inhaler in the middle of the song to add comedic and actual asthma relief.
“The group’s doing great, like we’re having a great time. We learned all new songs and so far I think the set is going well. We’re in good spirits we have four new guys and this is their first time and I think they did very well for their first performance,” Harrison said about The Spartan Dischords during Friday’s intermission.
Some of the groups also sold merchandise during intermission, with Ladies First President Claire Gibbons unveiling their debut album. She felt like this year’s Accapalooza was a success.
“It’s so much fun,” Gibbons said. “We feel good about how we did tonight and hearing everyone else I seriously feel like this is the best I’ve ever heard everyone sing.”