When the tickets were released for the Saturday matinee concert a while back, Crusher called Troi and asked if she should get the front row center tickets that were still available. After a brief debate, we decided that we might as well go all in. Could be awesome, could be awkward. Could be awesome-awkward. In the moments before the concert, though, it seemed only awkward and exposed. Since we had taken a picture with the McSisters the night before, the guys knew what we looked like and would be able to spot us straight away. Though, to be fair, our notebooks would have probably given us away pretty quickly, too… not too many people show up to a cappella concerts and take copious notes.
Now, given that the set list is the same for all three concerts, a lot of Friday night’s notes are still applicable here. So we’ll just go through and briefly outline the stuff that really stood out to us.
Celebration: Somehow it hit us at this point that Jon sounds FANTASTIC! We both independently took that down as a note on this song. Also, finger guns never get old. And we both really loved the breakdown into “Get on Your Feet.” Gloria Estefan is always a win with us.
Footloose: So this was like a mini-case study in signature moves. Tanner still drops it like it’s hot, but no one has taken up the LSR mantle that was left open in Keith’s absence.
Life is a Highway: They still forgot the “cowboy” hats, and at this point, we were starting to wonder if that was actually an intentional bit. New Jake brought the face, and we felt like we were on the verge of figuring out what nickname this epic face would earn.
Dare You to Move: So Ross is pretty awesome on lead again. Robert’s overtone singing is just as cool in person as it is in the video. One of us did take the note “Vocal Point needs a focal point,” but we can’t quite remember what we meant — we think that maybe everyone looked in slightly different places during the dramatic turn and gaze stage right moments. But really, when the song is sounding that awesome, that’s just being nitpicky.
Jake Talky: When Jake is on, he is the KING of the talkies! He did a pretty funny bit about learning about “high fashion” in LA, which apparently includes skinny jeans. Oh, that Hunsaker!
The Way You Look Tonight: It was during this song that we really, really noticed that the guys were WAY more comfortable with the monitors than they had been the previous night with the in-ears. They were just more confident and relaxed in their singing. Sitting where we were, we could really appreciate how full and rich the sound was with all the guys singing at full capacity.
Never Say Never: Now McBoyBand just throws down here. And during the karate moves section of the choreography, Original Flavor Jake stands his ground and just gives Blue Steel instead. Not gonna lie, we missed the splayed limbs.
Ben-Jon / Elmo Talky: Okay, so now that the concerts are over, we can spill on just what made this bit so great. Ben-Jon tells a story about asking a friend to a date function, only to be told she already has a date. And then he says that he has asked that guy to come out on stage tonight. And proceeds to bring out…
…a cardboard cut-out of Justin Bieber. The actual cut-out that his friend chose to take to the date function over Jon. Which, can we just say, was a really lame choice. We’ve met Ben-Jon. He’s super-nice. Anyway, Jon wraps up his talky by hilariously knocking over the Biebs before Elmo enters to ask what is wrong and segues into everyone’s favorite “Elmo sings bass” bit. Which kills in person. Every. Time.
No Not Much: This was fun again. Trevor has been tasked with picking up where Ben left off in the “make-out fake-out” department, and he’s a total crack-up at it. We especially loved the slow grab and turn of his own face at the end. He just needed a bit more Trevor-on-Trevor time.
All Creatures of Our God and King: So, it was during this number that we realized that in our Friday report we had attributed Robert’s additional solo to the wrong hymn. It’s totally in this number where he lays down an amazing solo. We blame giddy exhaustion for getting that wrong on Friday.
Higher and Higher: We’re so falling in love with the new sassy gospel-hand choreography. There’s also this fantastic wax-on / wax-off bit that put a grin on our faces at every concert. McButters was just bursting with energy and that Sara Bareilles-approved McSoulfulness. And again, the Human Pinwheel drew cheers for its brilliance (this one was maybe a 9.95 on the awesome-scale).
Elvis Medley: Loving Robert on the “Don’t Be Cruel” segment, especially the little “Thank you” he throws in at the end. It seems that Tanner has added some spiffy little bits to the beat in “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Jail House Rock” is a raucous way to end the act. All that was missing were the lady blouses. Just kidding. We didn’t miss those. Not one bit.
Intermission: We made it all the way to intermission before anyone else in the audience asked us if we were Troi and Crusher. A couple of people found us out then, and McSneaky commented on the blog that he could see us in our seats.
Game Day: We noticed for the first time that little Doug from a few years ago is credited with the choreography for this number, which perhaps explains why gigantor Trevor struggled a bit with the marching band section Friday night (when he basically crashed into and nearly crushed McButters). James and Robert added a new bass line to the “We Will Rock You” section and it is just the coolest thing ever. And then both of us noted Landon’s mad Harlem Globetrotter skills in the basketball section of the performance. That should be a nice little signature bit for him.
Ain’t Too Proud: Still loving New Jake on the solo.
We All Need Saving: Landon has taken over the vocal percussion in this song (Kevin used to handle it) and he sounded secure in it during the matinee.
You Really Got Me: A slight staging change was made in this number, as Landon was now down on the floor instead of up on the riser stage left. This made it easier for Ross to steal his microphone. When Rossface crossed stage right, he leeched onto Robert’s mic instead of McButters’. It also appears that perhaps the wipe out from Friday was intentional. After the song, Ross admitted to hitting himself with his microphone on Friday night and actually drawing some blood. Which, two things: of course the Rossface would get in its own way, and, that’s pretty darn rock ‘n roll of him.
12 Days: We took down a note of “That’s called a feedback” during this number, as the trade-off of having monitors versus in-ears reared its ugly little head a bit. But truly, it’s amazing that there aren’t more sound issues with an undertaking like this. It really is a credit to James that things sound so professional. We also noted during this number that the guys were not, in fact, wearing matching belts. But then that was all forgotten as we both, in all caps and with multiple exclamation points, noted: “FISH JAKE!!!” Oh yes, dear readers, Fish Jake made a glorious reappearance and we about lost it in the front row. This number should never be performed without the Fish. It just adds so much.
Savior, Redeemer of My Soul: So yeah, our bad on trying to give Robert a solo in this number. Jon holds it down by himself quite well. Much better than the Biebs would have.
Tanner: You guys. Tanner’s solo is just insane. It’s still the same basic form of “Trashin’ the Camp” that you can find on the interwebs, but he takes it to a whole ‘nother level now. So street. And in the Standard Look, no less.
Jake / Tanner Talky: After Jake gave Tanner his props for winning Best Vocal Percussion at ICCA Finals, Tanner returned the favor by pointing out that Jake likewise won Best Soloist. (He later admitted to seeing our Friday night review where we bemoaned the lack of Jake-props given out for that accomplishment.)
Jump Jive: We noticed that Original Flavor (O.F.) Jake is now the one giving out back pats of encouragement (much like Mikey used to do for him). Poor Trevor is going to have to work on his limberness, as he needs to get down a bit more during the group crouch-then-rise across the stage. Who does he think he is? Keith? But seriously, all of the New Guys did a great job throughout the whole concert.
Every Little Step: O.F. Jake has clearly been working on the choreography, as there is less fear visible in his eyes and palpable in his movements.
God Bless the USA: Trevor sounds great and seeing Gigantor and McPrecious down center together on lead is visual that can only lead to smiles (there’s like, a nine inch difference between them).
Okay, so after two full concerts of the New Jake experience, we’re pretty sure we’ve come up with his new blog nickname / persona. It actually hit us in the middle of the matinee, as he was giving face and groovin’ all around. You guys ready?
We henceforth bury “New Jake” and give rise to…
He makes similar faces, he does the high falsetto parts… really, all of the clues were there, we’re just glad the realization finally hit us.
Okay, so after the concert we went outside to our newly-chosen and much better meet-up location.
We met a reader whose sister wanted our autographs (what? people want our autographs?). So, we signed a VP shirt for her. Which she then took inside and had the guys sign. Here’s a pic:
We also met Clarissa, our fantastic reader who supplied us with awesome directions, and another reader who introduced us to her sister as well. Then some of the Vocal Point WAGS (wives and girlfriends) came out to say hi (we’re pretty sure they were sent to make sure we didn’t run away, which was just silly since we had no intention of running away).
Eventually all of the guys came out and there were introductions all around. Everyone was totally nice and welcoming. Here’s a TMtP-style pic for all of you of the meeting:
Heh. Sorry, everybody had to be cut off at Crusher’s head height. But, this does lend itself to a fun game:
75,000 TMtP blog points to the reader who can correctly identify each of the Vocal Point members in the photo above. You are not eligible if you are the owner of one of the pairs of khakis pictured, or if you were present when this photograph was taken.
-Troi and Crusher