In celebration of McKay’s key chain-wielding victory (he even bestowed the darn thing w/ its own McNickname — it will be McKC for the summer), we thought we’d do a review of a number that features him on lead and is quickly becoming a Vocal Point classic. The first version we saw of “Higher and Higher” was from 2010, and the choreography has changed quite a bit since then (a fact we discussed with Keith on one of the podcasts). And of course, if you go way back on the blog, you know how much we love this picture…
…even if it is from the 2010 concert that Keith and McKay say is inferior to later performances of this song. Which, Keith, we checked, and we can’t seem to find footage from the November 2011 show of this song (that supposedly has the True Group doing the new-and-improved choreography). Just… FYI, we guess? Unless someone out there has a video of this mythic meeting of Keith’s limbs and the new snazzy choreo. Ooh! Or, you know, maybe someone could recreate and film that magic for us. We’re just sayin’… a couple of bloggers can dream. Sooooo…
Why don’t we work with what we do have, and take a look at the current version of this song, which has awesome new hand movements and heaps and heaps of McPreciousness? Ready? Let’s do it!
(video and captures from vtwixted787’s Youtube… side note: y’all may remember from this post that we used to have a shout-out in this video’s description. That little wonder is gone, but shall live forever in our memories. And the screencaps. 🙂 )
This video is from Joseph City, since we couldn’t find footage of this song from ANY of the Covey concerts in March. We know, we know… good bloggers would have shot their own video. Y’all… you know we’re terrible at this, and we totally thought there would be an abundance of concert footage available from other people. Our bad. We now know for next time (wait, WHAT? Next time? Maybe?). But then again, considering the quality of the one video we did shoot, maybe it would be better just to beg Papa Sterling to come out and shoot the concerts for us.
Anyway, we open with the guys facing upstage. After the pitch is blown and they count in, Robert gets a fun little stand-alone moment in the clear, as Jake struggles to start off on the right foot like a human. Then the guys pick up the background and we’re immediately into some pretty standard VP step-touch choreography. McCrockett has an extra bit of pep in his step(-touch), because of course he has to let us know just how much soul he has in that little white body.
Then McButters turns downstage to start slaying the lead, while the rest of the guys turn into the beboppiest step-touch robots of all time.
At 0:28, we get the awesome new hand movements that we’re tempted to call “gospel flappy hands” (GFH? Like the LSR but peppier?). We’re hoping we can come up with a catchier name for this gem, though (and by “we” mean mean you, dear readers).
We’re not sure why this looks so cool / why we love it so much. But we’ve kind of learned to stop questioning why that happens all of the time with VP choreography, and to just embrace the inexplicable awesomeness.
And then at 0:37 there’s some “wax on, wax off / push it back” action that we love.
We can really hear Robert come through on some kickin’ bass at 0:47 (to which we say to the screen, “Hi, Robert!”) and then the guys move into their massive slip ‘n’ slide-jazz square-mine field-how does O.F. Jake survive this?-combo move. Which, can we just say? We love the extra bounciness they do now, as they all groove along with McWailingOnLead.
And then they get all lined up in a fantastic VP Soul Train line.
And yes, Sara Bareilles, even when VP is doing it, this is a Soul Train Line, not a wedding dance line. It has to be, what with McSoulful doing his, well, soulful thing in the middle. Plus, we get the return of the GFH! Now, we just wish all of you could see the epic O.F. Jake-face that’s going on during the part. We got a great view of it at the Saturday night show at the Covey, and wow, just wow. Dreams come true when that kid brings his A-game, let us tell you that.
And now, you guys know what’s coming up, right? It’s time for audience participation! If you weren’t aware, McButters is ready to guide us on this journey, and it appears that he points right at the camera in the build-up.
Which, you know, makes it incredibly easy for those of us at home to pretend that he’s directly engaging with us. Thanks for fueling the imagination, McHelper! It’s the next best thing to being at the concert!
So as the breakdown starts at 1:28, everyone is encouraged to clap along. And just look at the fervor with which the Street One is clapping — he must love getting a little break in the middle of the song. McCrockett, meanwhile, runs around the guys while they’re singing and clapping like he’s just a kinetic ball of pure energy. As we come out of the breakdown, he bounces back to center to prep for… yep… it’s coming…
HUMAN PINWHEEL. And it. Is. Amazing.
You GUYS! When did this get so cool looking??? We LOVE it even more than before! And just listen to all of the cheers it gets!
Now, Mikey told all of us that the human pinwheel is based on a Korean fan dance he saw while he was a member of the Folk Dance Team. But we do wonder… what does VP call this move? Was it their Fan Dance? McCrockett-in-the-middle? “Let’s all be half-airplanes”? We’re just… curious, we guess. It will always be the human pinwheel to us, though.
Anyway, after delivering one of their best human pinwheels to date, the guys all drop it to the floor (even Gigantor Trevor gets pretty darn low… ahem, Keith ;)) and pop back up to hit the last line in power stances.
(Soul) Trains? Half-airplanes? Power stances? Are we the only ones missing Tyler right about now?
But seriously, this number has become so fun! We try to not get all “What if” around here, but man… we would have loved to have seen this song and the GFH on the Sing-off for the old school R&B selection.
But maybe that’s just because we want more GFHs and human pinwheels in our lives in general.
-Troi and Crusher