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Concert Review: Resonance on a Plane

A Cappella Group Snakes its Way Through Resonance Fall Concert

By Jillian Berry
ARTS EDITOR

Resonance Fall Concert

Friday, Dec. 8, 2006

Room 10-250

On Friday night, MIT’s co-ed a cappella group, Resonance, brought a good dose of music and humor to the normally class-filled 10-250. With the theme of “Snakes on a Plane” running throughout the show, Resonance combined singing with skits for a very enjoyable two hours.

The all male Doo Wop Shop from UMass Amherst opened the show with Incubus’ “Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song).” After performing Billy Joel’s “She’s Got A Way,” the members of the group removed their matching cowboy hats to sing Gary Jules’ version of “Mad World.” The lead singer was so into the piece that he sang nearly the whole song with his eyes closed, just letting music flow from his lips. For the final two songs, they shook it up a bit as they performed “Feliz Navidad” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” by Grand Funk Railroad. These songs energized the audience, and prepared us for the main group.

Resonance came on stage as a member of the group welcomed us on board Flight 121 from Los Angeles to Hawaii. They then jumped into Cobra Starship’s “Snakes On A Plane (Bring It),” and were soon visited by a giant snake (Ted A. Fernandez ’09). While the music was fine, I was far more amused by the hunt for the snake, as was most of the audience. The song was then followed by a skit that involved the power of Axe body spray and Samuel L. Jackson (James Levi M. Schmidt ’10) capturing the snake. While those may seem like two completely unrelated topics, they were actually merged both seamlessly and hilariously.

The group returned with Sarah E. Dupuis ’10 (who is also an associate arts editor for The Tech) singing “So Little Notice,” a song she penned. Her unique, resonating voice was intense as she sang about love. For the next song, Schmidt, still in his Samuel L. Jackson costume, sang Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams.” While he hit the high notes, I think he missed a verse at the beginning of the song. In addition, he walked back and forth across the stage throughout the song, never really looking at the audience.

After these two songs came another skit, somewhat more awkward than the previous one. It began with an argument between a guy and a girl in which the girl knees the guy between the legs, and ended with a father physically beating his son while they played a Wii game together. Amazingly, the more awkward portion of the skit came at the beginning since it almost seemed possible that the guy and girl were having a real fight.

Luckily, the group was able to recover with an amazingly soulful rendition of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” (Ting Ting Luo ’09), while the rest of the group danced to look like the ink blots moving in the video with great success. The only part of the song that was a bit odd was towards the end, when they tried to make a “Crazy” medley as Anisa K. McCree ’10 sang Britney Spears’ “Crazy” while Luo sang Barkley. Had McCree sung the whole song as Luo ended her piece, it might have worked better; as it was, the songs were just a little too jumbled to work well together.

Next came another powerful piece as Koyel Bhattacharyya ’09 belted Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter.” After yet another skit (they were starting to get a bit old by this point), Joshua M. Karges ’08 performed Panic! At the Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” The song was well sung, and Karges hit all the notes, but since it was an a cappella performance, some of the sharp beats were lost in the arrangement. Michelle M. Yam ’07 followed up with “In God’s Hands” by Nelly Furtado, after which there was another skit. This last skit was actually very funny as it involved the character of Samuel L. Jackson rescuing the snake a la “The Bodyguard” while Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” played in the background.

Jia Lou ’07 (a Tech cartoonist) next performed Garbage’s “When I Grow Up.” She hit all the right notes, though her voice was not as powerful as the original, which had more of a punk tone than this arrangement. Resonance then invited some of its alums up to sing The Nields’ “Easy People,” and finished the scheduled part of the evening with Ted A. Fernandez’s ’09 rendition of “Time” by Hootie and the Blowfish. This was probably the most powerful performance of the night as Fernandez was able to stand up to the backup singers, who were energetically singing the chorus. Fernandez’s performance was dynamic, with a sense of effortlessness that made this a great last song; the standing ovation it received was well deserved. As with all a cappella concerts, there was also an encore. Sarah E. Dupuis ’10 again took the stage, singing Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” with even more energy than she had shown in her original piece.

Overall, Resonance put on a funny and entertaining show. Though the number of skits seemed excessive, the music was well performed, and the song choices kept the audience interested throughout the show.