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VoiceMale semester show thrills with great music, costumes, jokes

VoiceMale semester show thrills with great music, costumes, jokes

By Katie Decker-Jacoby

Section: Arts, Featured

November 4, 2016

With its seamless group dynamic, infectious charisma and undeniable flair, Brandeis’ all-male a cappella group, VoiceMale, entertained a full house with a new set for its Fall Fest show. The hour-long performance featured songs by Walk the Moon, Michael Bublé, Plain White T’s, Queen and more, on Sunday, Oct. 30 in Harlan Chapel.

The group sported a number of amusing and quirky Halloween costumes in its first show of the school year: A French chef, Cubs baseball player, dinosaur, Wookie, skeleton, Cheshire cat and others took center stage for 60 minutes of top-notch singing. The silly costumes added elements of theatricality and humor to the performance, and were appropriate for its show on the day before Halloween.

The snapping, head-bobbing, hip-swaying show started off with “Aquaman” by Walk the Moon. Ben Korman ’19, the Cheshire cat, arranged the number and Brandon Less ’19, the professional baseball player, soloed in it. Less displayed a broad vocal range when he hit high notes in the chorus and a melodious voice throughout the entire song.

Music director Antoine Malfroy-Camine ’17, flaunted a blue mustache, eye patch and mismatching socks, and was also able to hit impressively high-pitched notes in VoiceMale’s rendition of “Relax, Take It Easy” by MIKA.

Abram Foster ’19 displayed some sweet dance moves and sang in both low and high tones for “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Bublé. He even added a bit of drama and suaveness when he swiftly removed his sunglasses during the second bridge. Ben Astrachan ’19 ingeniously chimed in to mimic a trumpet during the short, instrumental break after the first bridge. At the end of the arrangement, all of the members of VoiceMale swayed side to side with their arms slung around each other, which exemplified the group’s true camaraderie.

VoiceMale also made it a point to interact with its audience. Newbie Marek Haar ’20 soloed in “In the Still of the Night” by the Five Satins. Clad in a black suit, white gloves, white contacts and face paint that depicted a skeleton, Haar approached me in the front row to interject with a story.

Haar spoke about his skeleton friend Izzy Dead, who anxiously ran out of a midterm with sweat dripping down his skull. He tried to figure out why Izzy Dead bolted out of the exam. “I looked really deep inside myself, deep inside myself. And I see it—skeletons don’t have guts,” Haar joked. The crowd enjoyed the anecdote and his bold, consistent voice. The intense, fairly daunting skeleton costume created an eerie aura throughout the performance and a moment of comedy during his story. It was definitely a highlight of the show.

The group’s rendition of “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie featured a solo by Astrachan. The singer stunned the audience when he hit an extremely sharp note in the bridge. The piercing “Why, why, why?” was undoubtedly another high point in the show, prompting the crowd to erupt in applause and cheers.

VoiceMale invited any alumni in the audience to join the group on stage for its final song, “Falling Over You,” by Rockapella. The arrangements featured solos by newbies Joel Herman ’20 and David Dropkin ’20. The group encouraged the audience to clap to the beat at the beginning and end of the song. “Falling Over You” closed the show on a very high note, as VoiceMale performed it with immense enthusiasm and elation.

VoiceMale took a bow and received a well-deserved round of applause. The group’s entirely new playlist was a hit and generated a playful, laid back mood. The show was a perfect way for friends, family, alumni and prospective students to enjoy the nice autumn day. Plus, the Halloween costumes added a theatrical, comic and lighthearted touch to the performance.

Fellow Brandeis a cappella group Starving Artists also dressed up in funny Halloween costumes and sang a few songs while VoiceMale took a break. Some of the songs they performed included “Rhythm of Love” by Plain White T’s and “Anna Sun” by Walk the Moon. Like VoiceMale, Starving Artists amazed the audience with its effortless talent.

VoiceMale is by no means new to the Brandeis community, or to the global realm of a cappella. The singing sensation group was founded in 1994.

“The group travels coast-to-coast and internationally, performing a mix of rock, pop, R&B, oldies and more at a wide variety of venues including colleges, high schools, charity events, and private functions,” according to VoiceMale’s website. The group has produced nine albums, four of which can be purchased on iTunes.

VoiceMale values each of its members’ unique voices and aims to fuse them all into one harmonious sound. The the all-male a cappella group did just that and more in its first show of the school year.

If you missed “VoiceMale Presents: Fall Fest 2016,” then you can watch a full recording of it on VoiceMale’s Facebook page. You can also check VoiceMale out on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and iTunes, so click that play or follow button and give them a listen.

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