September from the Covey, or the one written by a guest blogger!

November 28, 2012

Alright, T and C here, explaining what’s going on with this post.  Basically, we’ve got a special treat for everyone today.  It’s the debut of our first-ever guest post, written by one of the TMtP faithful.  Now, of course a guest blogger has to be properly pseuded up, so we’d like to introduce all of you to Geordi: 

Geordi was able to be at the most recent concerts, and the performance of “September” especially spoke to her.  So we thought that now, just after we’ve celebrated the blog’s eleven-month birthday, it would be fun to try out something new.  So we asked her to boldly go where no reader has gone before, and write our first-ever guest performance review.  Geordi took on the challenge like a boss, and we hope all of you enjoy her review as much as we do.  Without further ado…

I am proud to be presenting to you this special performance review of September from the Friday night Vocal Point show. Disco is woven into my soul, and Vocal Point is written on my heart, and TMtP is like white cheddar Cheez-its that I can’t stop eating. So together, I guess this post will represent my soul, my heart, and my stomach. Let us commence.

First, some general notes on Scoot in particular. In seeing Scoot’s performances via Youtube and this blessed blog, he seemed like a nice, regular addition to VP. Though I knew he was a small thing, nothing more than a passing shelf person thought entered my mind. However, in person, he is a full-on “orphaned-puppy-full-of-love-and-joy” kind of adorable. A shelf person if I ever saw one. He really gives McButters a run for his money, though I don’t know how much you get paid to be the McDictator…. He is so adorable I was actually surprised to find that he is older than I had expected (which, btw, I totally accidentally found out his age using non-creepy methods, truly). And his usage of the TASH is now even more understandable.

Let us begin with this delightful video taken by vtwixted787 (I thank you kindly).

Though I must advise you to also take a look at the video on VP’s official facebook page. It has fantastic video quality. Now, Scoot is giving a cute little talkie, telling people to get up and dance (I think I will/did Scott, thanks for the suggestion), however do not let it distract from the ripple in the back. This is no simple ripple, there are step touches, swinging arms, and Walk Like an Egyptian head bobs. Bravo. And right into a reverse ripple? Really. Top notch.

And then Scoot takes off.

Oh and then Scoot literally takes off at 0:29. Am I the only one thinking “King Scoot” right here? Maybe he really is trying to challenge the McDictator!

It does kind of look like he’s pointing at the spot in which I imagine McButters was standing. A little bit threatening — sounds like someone knows of the capabilities of the man behind the McPlot…

Moving on to 0:35, we seem to have some simple touch-touch choreography, a nice variation on the step-touch. But make sure you check out Kevin because he really spices it up with some knee body rolls…knee rolls? No, no, that sounds like he is an elderly woman with cankles. Knee wobbles. Much better.

Oh and don’t keep your eyes off of Keith because then he busts out what has been already been termed “Fish-out-of-water Keith”. It is worth watching. Multiple times. I guffawed when seeing it in person. And I must say, I do not guffaw lightly.

Though I have to add, once you have taken in Keith’s choice, take a quick peek at Beaker. Just a quick one. You won’t be disappointed.

We get to the chorus and I must give out two well deserved compliments. Once again, Scoot, hitting those falsetto notes like a true champion. Well, perhaps like a king? (All of the sudden I’m getting flashes of Scoot as Simba singing “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” … wow, that’s precious.) And then I’ve gotta say, the group body rolls are intensely impressive. Though Landon looks a bit like another fish out of water… noble effort though.

And then how much does Beaker love that move at 0:49? Too much. Probably because he’s powered by soul power.

At 0:54, we have a move that, while similar to the opening ripple, is different enough to clearly be lifted from Double Dream Hands. Oh please, oh please, let that move have been lifted from Double Dream Hands. I don’t think I’m the only one who would get great joy from that.

 

Scott takes off again in the second verse. This time to the audience, wooing a lady surely. The boys are even kind enough to point to her for us YouTube watchers at 1:08, then they try to make it a little less like when Original Flavor Jake would stare into our souls by adding in some smooth side body rolls. Which Landon nailed by the way.

At 1:14, we get a little West Side Story action which begs the question, are our boys the Jets or the Sharks? 

Scott rejoins the group as the boys do a bit of a chicken move. Robert definitely flaps his wings the most, perhaps Elmo was channeling a bit of Big Bird.

Then, at 1:23 comes the next best thing after Double Dream Hands, the stanky legg. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it’s time to familiarize yourself. When you’ve rejoined us, you will see that Kevin, Robert, and Conlon have clearly mastered the move. Stealthily and surprisingly stanky, who would have thought you’d find that in a BYU a cappella group?

In the Great Formation Change of 1:27 you will see not one, not two, but three high fives, visibly given by Kevin, Ben-Jon, and Trevortastic, though the receivers are unclear. One more high-five and we would have a complete set going on. There’s always room for improvement.

At 1:52 Scoot gives that rock star shout out we’ve all secretly wanted to give and introduces the boys. Using their real names. Boring. Just imagine “We’ve got Conlon, Beaker, Landon, Mega-Gigantor, Trevortastic, Ben-Jon, Rerun Evans, and Bobert. And IIIIIII’m Scoot!”  Maybe one day.

The audience begins to get up and groove (goaded on by the energetic waving of Beaker’s hand). And even our camera person gets up. Feelin’ the groove.

Mass chaos breaks out when some of the boys run into the audience, spreading the disco love and cheer! Bobert, Rerun, and Mega-Gigantor hold down the stage choreography fort. Though it looks like Rerun forgot he was supposed to hold it down until the body rolls came up. Which is fine, the skill of his body rolls more than makes up for his lack of grapevine.

Also, because Mega-Gigantor holds down the choreography fort on stage right, we get the unique opportunity to…actually see him doing choreography! For a man of 8 feet (close right?) being in such plain view of the audience seems rare.

Then at 2:37, Scoot not only falsettoes his way into our hearts again on the chorus, but joins in on the choreography! Double win. Body rolling and falsetto-ing at the same time can’t be simple. It just can’t.

The audience boys come on back up and end with a classic “point at your favorite audience member” pose.

And we can all only hope that Kevin is pointing at his McBestie.

-Geordi

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November Covey Concerts Round-up, or the one where the All-Star Blog Helpers came through in a big way

November 26, 2012

So the first major Vocal Point concerts of the year occurred at the Covey Center for the Arts in good ol’ Provo on November 16th and 17th.  If airfare weren’t stupid expensive, we totally would have tried to get our bloggin’ selves out there, but instead we called upon the TMtP-faithful to help us bridge the gap.  And dude… you guys totally came through in the best way possible to help us build an awesome bridge.  Of bloggity goodness.  Or something.

Alright, so here’s what we’re going to do.  We’ll go through the concert in the order it was reported to us, and we’ll link to the various videos out there and throw in some quotes from the attendees.  What’s super-fun is that we’ve gotten video from a few different sources, so you can experience the songs from different angles and whatnot.  It’s almost better than being there in person.  Okay, that isn’t true, but we’re trying to console ourselves.

Our team of TMtP All-star Blog Helpers include the following blog commenters: Sarnic, Michelle, two of the Johnson Family, Lynette, Moosen, HopeWM, and… Jake Hunsaker.

(Ladies and Jake, feel free to print that out and post it on your refrigerator.)

Okay, here we go!

Good Time

Friday night house left video

This is the VP’s energetic new show opener.  It seemed to go over really well, with Friday attendees saying:

Lynette: This was a fantastic opening to their show, so fun!

Sarnic: Conlon and two other guys did these super awesome back flips on stage. Wow.

And then on Saturday, HopeWM reported this little incident to us:

Hope WM: Keith’s mic was off for his solo in Good Time, which was hilarious to see that he was clearly “werkin it” but there was no vocal. None of the famous Kevin timbre.  He later told us during his talkie that he had missed mic check.

We’ve heard from someone else in the audience that in the third row they could hear Keith projecting even without his mic, and he managed to get it turned on quickly, so it sounds like the situation was handled very well.

Footloose

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video

Lynette: Conlon/Scoot taking on the Jake/Ross roles respectively. I doubted Scoot’s ability to take on Ross’s hard rock persona at the end of this song. But I shouldn’t have. That boy’s got some surprises in him (a bit like McKay having soul in his little white body).

We totally agree with Lynette.  We’ve been super-impressed, both in the Covey videos and in the Hawaii performances, with how amazing Scoot sounds wailing away on Rossface’s old part.

Life is a Highway

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video

Sarnic: I love this song.

Lynette: Jake took the lead on this like a champ. They had real cowboy hats! They were, however, too big on basically everyone. But you know, one step at a time.

Um, we are beyond excited that there are real cowboy hats now.  And even though we know that they’re likely the result of more Ben-Jon wardrobe wizardry (he’s doing a great job!), they do look suspiciously similar to the hats we implored Cowboy Conlon to get as a parting gift from the Young Ambassadors.

And we do just have to wonder… whatever happened to the old “cowboy” hats?

???

Dare You to Move

(no video)

Lynette: Keith. Always a favorite song.

Sarnic: I didn’t record the next song “Dare You To Move.” Though I wish I had, Normal Jake totally tripped and nearly went down to the ground, but with a sheepish grin he kept right on singing, not missing a beat, and neither did the others.

So, no video from the Covey concerts, but there is this awesome Sterling Scholar one from the Homecoming Spectacular.  We are loving Keith’s raw and honest take on the song (which he arranged).

Meet the audience

Sarnic: At this point we had the “Get to know you” segment where the audience gets asked questions by Trevortastic and Scoot.

Michelle: When an eight-year-old was asked what she thought was the total combined weight of Vocal Point, she very enthusiastically answered, “80,000 pounds!!”  These boys weigh a lot!!

Sarnic: Ha, one of the guys commented. “Guys we need to go work out.”

Then:

Sarnic: “All of us are married except 6 of us. Which 3 are married?” -Conlon, Normal Jake, and..I think it was Landon…

Yup, those are the three.

Michelle: They also very clearly established who was single and not. Maybe this is why they were so excited to sing Call Me Maybe and have all the single ladies raise their hands.

Sarnic: Then came the set up for the next song.
“If you’re over age 18 raise your hand.”
“If you’re over age 18 and single keep your hand raised.”
So and and so forth until “If you want to volunteer to help out on our next bit keep your hand raised.”

Oh, you guys.

Call Me Maybe

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video; Friday night house right video

Johnson family: Jon got chased around the stage.

Sarnic: I loved how she chased after BenJon! ha!

Lynette: Ben-Jon. This was an interactive one. And I have a feeling you will love this video. When McKay found out [Moosen] got a video of it he was really pleased because that was the best interaction they have ever gotten. The girl in the middle was grabbing numbers being offered by the guys in the choreography and ended up chasing Jon all over. The boys were definitely about to lose it by the end of the song, so awesome.

Michelle: One of my new faves, Call Me Maybe.

Moosen: Jon rocks the solo.

And from Saturday:

HopeWM: Ben-Jon is so adorable when he’s shy. The girl was not as energetic as Friday’s chosen lady, she sort of just sat there.

Now, at some point from the beginning of the show up to this, Sarnic managed to snag this picture of the Trevortastic Stare.

And then it was time for the first costume change of the night.

4 Chord Song

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video; Friday night house right video

Lynette: I can’t remember what this song was actually called, though I hope it is called Axis of Awesome because no one appreciates a good WWI reference enough. Anyway, this was a seriously awesome/hilarious song where Landon eased into it with a talkie of how VP had never written their own original songs and Keith came out and said they really would only need to use the basic pop chord progression found in nearly all pop songs. He brought out some helpers, Conlon, Mega-Gigantor, Scoot, and Jake and gave them their notes. Keith then began to sing on top of their repeating chords just about every pop song known to man from Don’t Stop Believin’ to a Phantom of the Opera number that I can’t remember. Landon joined in once he knew what was going on and it was thoroughly fantastic.

Sarnic: Haha! Love this!

HopeWM: Loved every single facial expression by Landon and Keith in 4 Chord. Especially when Mega G did his bit.

We can’t wait to give this one a closer look in the near future.

Noyana / Come Come Ye Saints

(no video)

Lynette: Jake’s talkie into this song was pretty adorable. First he was just being terribly adorable about being married and how he met his wife with such joy and abounding energy and constant pacing. Then he transitioned into talking about how he would have missed the opportunity to date his wife if he hadn’t taken time away from his daily routine and “come”. They sang this song particularly well; I have liked it on their CD but it became one of my favorites at the concert.

Sarnic: Next the group sang: Noyana, Come Come Ye Saints and that was super amazing in person! Again, I regret not recording it, but my camera kept flashing the “low battery sign.” Sooo I had to pick and choose. But a little interesting fact…Trevortastic arranged the song, combining the two, Noyana and Come Come Ye Saints, together. He sounded amazing singing the main part as well.

Again, no video, but if you need a refresher, there was this performance at the Bookstore signing.

The Way You Look Tonight

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video

Lynette: Scott took over Jacob’s lead on this one (Hunker down Hunsaker, Newscaster Jake, too many names and I just call him Jacob) and did a great job!

Sarnic: I got caught up in trying to see if anybody was doing the Sammich Instrument.  Lol.  Also after the song Ben Jon said: “We just love the way that you look tonight. You see that’s funny as we just sang that song.”

Perhaps this is weird, but with the lack of sammich eating and no Tank Engine holding it down, this number really made us miss Tyler.

Elvis Medley

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video

Lynette: Robert was so spot on in Don’t Be Cruel. Like unrealistically spot on. This kid’s got an impersonation ability. I don’t remember who took Can’t Help Falling in Love (T and C note: Ben-Jon), and then Jake kicked Jailhouse Rock right in the pants. So awesome.

Sarnic: Robert is sooo cool as Elvis in the first part of the medley!!

INTERMISSION

Intermission brought about the next (and last) wardrobe change, this time into the Standard Look.

Higher Higher

Friday night house left video

Johnson family: The opening number (T and C note: after intermission) had the human pinwheel (ah, Mikey—probably a late birthday tribute).

Lynette: I don’t remember who took the lead (T and C note: Conlon), I just remember that the song just wasn’t the same for me without Mikey. And the human pinwheel was fantastic and even funnier with Mega-Gigantor.

Sarnic: My favorite song.  I wanted you guys to see Adam go down basically onto his knees during the human pinwheel. I hope someone else got a recording of that.

HopeWM: Having now seen the human pinwheel in person…best choreography ever.

See now, we think it looks almost painfully cruel to make Adam participate in the human pinwheel in this manner.  Can we start a movement advocating for him to get to be in the center of the pinwheel, just to save the poor man’s knees?  Plus, how adorable would that Mega-Gigantor-sized human pinwheel be?

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

Friday night house left video

Lynette: Conlon and Jake on this one. Awesome.

Sarnic: After that was Ain’t Too Proud To Beg…I didn’t record because it just brings painful memories of the Sing Off.

We love how Mega-G sounds at :58 during the bridge, or as we know it, the “Keith werkin’ it” section.  And Beaker’s voice hits some magic at 1:36.

Danny Boy

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video

Lynette: Obviously this was sung by Keith, and was fantastic.

Sarnic: I finally decided that I should probably record at least one of the songs that came from Vocal Point’s newest Album, Lead Thou Me On.

I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ For Christmas

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video

Lynette: This was a fantastic Robert and Ben-Jon talkie. I just kept waiting for Robert to call Ben-Jon the wrong name. 😉 And the song was hilarious as always with Robert, Jon, Trevor, and Scoot, though I did miss the unintelligible patter of Jacob’s bb gun story. I actually understood all of Scoot’s words. Which has its positive and negative sides apparently.

Sarnic: I did get “Elmo Sings Bass!”  In the quartet of I’m Getting Nothing For Christmas. Ah…I missed Forecaster Jake in this..but I loved watching the new guys do this song too.

Johnson family: One audience favorite was “I’m Getting Nothin for Christmas” arranged by Buck Mangum (former VPer).

HopeWM: Elmo showed up to talk to Ben Jon, and wanted to sing a Christmas song. So Ben-Jon, Trevor, Scoot, and Robert are all getting’ nothin’ for Christmas. But are going to Paris, and Scoot is now the one who may or may not have spent the night in jail.

We’re wondering if the Santa hats have gone the way of the “cowboy” hats or if they’ll make another appearance at some point.

(Plus we just wanted to post that GIF, with Hunsaker stroking his own face, again.)

12 Days of Christmas

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video

Lynette: Always awesome, Landon took the lead on Christmas down in Africa with a particularly awesome Jake on Ross’s “9 ladies dancing they were dancing for me”.  A different interpretation and so, so, so hilarious.

Sarnic: I could listen to it all year around…oh wait I do.  I love that Keith took the snowman part!

Yeah, when we found out the guys had decided to bring this number back, our very first question (or demand, either way) was that Keith should reclaim the snowman remix.  It’s just such an iconic Kevin bit.

HopeWM: 12 Days is definitely missing something without Fish Jake or Tyler Dino.

We totally agree with HopeWM.  But we do love the beat Mega-G drops during that section.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Friday night house left video

Sarnic: Keith introduced the songs they would be singing next, which was rather surprising because they hadn’t really done that, but that was because they did Come Thou Fount and I Need Thee Every Hour back to back and they didn’t want us to applaud in between the songs — which nobody did.

Lynette: Lovely, I believe [Landon] had the lead on this one.

We love how Landon sounds here.

I Need Thee Every Hour

Friday night house left video

Lynette: Scott was the lead on this one and I’ve gotta say I think it was his home run of the night. It was absolutely beautiful!

Get it, Scoot!

Adam’s Vocal Percussion Skills

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video

Lynette: Mega-G is a real winner, he did some great tempo changes and was very entertaining. Apparently he is the first vocal percussionist to have ever done regular percussion before. So props to him.

Sarnic: But then Adam! He did a percussion bit! So awesome and I’ll let you watch his intro as I find this bit of information super cool and fun. 🙂 Oh…I came in on the middle of a list when I hit record. He listed Robert twice -once for Elmo, the second for singing really low. And the violins comment refers to the beginning part of the I’m getting Nothing for Christmas bit before Elmo starts talking.

This seems like an appropriate spot to mention this:

Lynette: [Mega-G] by the way, instead of having a water bottle by his mic stand, had a water jug, like an old juice container it was massive.  Moosen got a picture of it, I’ll try to get it to you.

Michelle: Adam proved to be Mega-gigantor, tonight he drank from a one GALLON gatorade bottle of water where as everyone else had a normal water bottle.

For that, Mega-G, we would totally give you a solitary cheer.

September

Friday night house left video; Saturday night video from VP’s facebook page

Johnson family: Unfortunately, my camera was VERY low on battery for the final number where Keith broke out in some absolutely awesome worm-like side ways jump thing.  You two would’ve had a ball with it…oh well…there’s still a reason to see it live, I guess.

YES!  We love that move!  We’ve totally dubbed it Fish-out-of-water Keith!

Lynette: I legitimately have no idea who sang this, though I know they did this in Brigham Square and you have a video of that so you probably know who the lead is already (T and C note: Yup, it’s Scoot!). But I was dancing too hard to care. They brought the lights up, my friends and I stood up and boogied like the disco maniac that I am. Oh and I probably sang along which would explain why I don’t know who sang this.

Sarnic: The finale song was “September” And I didn’t record it because the group had the audience get up and dance and it was hard enought to keep the camera steady in my seat not to mention trying to keep it steady while dancing.

Encore: Don’t Stop Falling Without You

Friday night house left video; Friday night house center right video; Friday night house right video

Lynette: Quite a medley of Don’t Stop Believing (Keith), something else… (Jon) and Without You (Con…lon?) Obviously my memory isn’t what it used to be. Graduating from college does that to you. Come to think of it, my memory was actually never that great, so I guess I’m just normal. 🙂

Sarnic: On to the encore song! Another Medley! I hit record belatedly because I was like “Hey they’re singing a new favorite song of mine!” and then I thought “I should record this!” Sooo I did.

HopeWM: Oh and the super-awesome Don’t Stop Fallin’ Without You mash [was the] encore.

We totally like the direction they’re heading with the bit of staging at 2:50 where the guys are in three groups and they bust out different little bits of choreo from throughout the mash-up. 

Neat stuff!

And now it’s time for some other tidbits from our All-Star Blog Helpers.  First up, some:

General thoughts

Johnson family: My daughter and I went to the concert last night….awesome….as always!  This group has definitely found its groove this year, and brought back a bit of the past as well.

Lynette: The concert itself was fantastic!

Michelle: The concert was spectacular they sang tons of new material and lots of fun numbers. McDictator was present and we saw someone with a “Being Human is Hard” shirt. (T and C note: Yay! for blog shirts!)

Arrangements

Johnson family: The arrangements by McDictator and Keith were amazing….literally.  VP has a bright future of song arranging with McDictator at the McWheel.

Choreography

Johnson family: The songs with choreography by Conlon, Robert (who knew?) and Keith were so fun, like an ice cream sundae treat for your eyes.

HopeWM: And just a general note: Recycle and Reuse dance moves. I think every single move from Beat it showed up at some point in the choreography. (T and C note: that’s part of the magic!  Seeing how things evolve and change over time.  It’s also why we think some of those “classic VP” moves end up looking so cool – there’s enough shared history and practice with them that the guys know just where to place them so they are most effective.)

And finally, what you’ve probably been waiting for… Jake’s thoughts.  You see, we reached out to Jake to see if he could do us a favor and identify who was most likely to take over as the new King of the Talkies and / or Jokemaster.  We couldn’t think of anyone more qualified than Jake himself to determine such an important thing.  He attended the Saturday concert, and this is what he told us:

Jake Hunsaker:  Funniest person probably goes to JAKE Tengelson..  Although he already has a persona assigned to him: Beaker… Close runners up are Trevor and Landon I think..  I don’t know.  It was pretty close for everyone.  Basically, I’m irreplaceable. 🙂

Oh Jake, we couldn’t agree more.  The King of the Talkies title shall remain vacant for now, although we’ll be on constant look-out to see who will next reign on that throne.

Alright, well this post turned out to be quite the beast.  We hope everyone enjoys having things organized this way, and reading all of the thoughts from our All-Star Blog Helpers.  We’re looking forward to doing more in-depth analyses of some of these numbers in the near future.  And be on the look-out for a couple of surprises headed your way soon!

-Troi and Crusher


Footloose from SCERA, or the one with the false start (it’s not too early for Olympic references, right?)

June 4, 2012

Today we’re going to take a look at VP’s performance of “Footloose” from the SCERA Memorial Day concert.  We will be using the fabulous Michelle’s video.  Before we start, can we just say that while the dancing ladies in front of Michelle are totally awesome and fun to watch, we may actually love Stoic Red Hat Guy in the front row even more.

Okay, so this video picks up after the sound issues that forced the guys to stop the number while the sound engineers fixed the problem.  As we begin, we see Robert rejoining the group after walking stage left, presumably to be Robert the Responsible and make sure things were back on track.

After the intro, we prep for Jake’s entrance into the song, and we’re shocked by how saddened we are by the lack of the Jake hop into his verse.  You guys remember what we’re talking about, don’t you?  It’s right around the :07 mark of this video.  It’s like Jake just pops in to say, “Hey guys!  I’m here, and I’m ready to be awesome!”  In this version, it’s more like, “Hey guys!  I’m here, but you could already see that.”

But we almost instantaneously forgive him because, oh bless him, he starts trying out signature moves, and we just love it to pieces.

First he tries Tanner’s dropping it like it’s hot on for size.

But he sort of just looks like he’s ducking down for protection.

Next he gives some staccato turn and looks a go from :10-:12.

Finally, he hits upon some classic Hunsaker magic, with a very Jakey lean.

Oh how we’ve missed the askew limbs.

As we move further in the song at :16, Ross sort of casually takes over, easing into his first four words before going full-on rock star.  Meanwhile, the rest of the guys shift formation for the next little bit of “Why does this work?” choreography.  They all commit to it (which is certainly one of the reasons they make it work), and don’t blink or you’ll miss it, but Landon tackles the moves in a manner that can only be described as boy band-esque.

Not to be outdone, Beaker takes on the next “Look to the Hunsaker” moment so hard that he likely gave himself whiplash (around :26).

Now, VP always lives up to the “vocal” part of their name, but here we can see most of them pay respect to the “point” half of their moniker as well.

Just look that that point-off between the Jakes!  Or is it not an aggressive battle of pointer digits, but rather something more akin to this?

Don’t make us say which one is the alien.  You know.

And we like that while most of the guys are committed to the point, some of them branch out.  Above, you can see Tanner go with a very street raised fist.

And we can see that Ross goes with a straight-chillin’ pose, while Robert’s all “I-don’t-even-know.”

Then we hit the chorus and the guys all competently handle the choreography.  Even Gigantor Trevor manages to not get tripped up by the un-tall-friendly movement.

And then at 1:04 as we’re into the fun breakdown, we hit the moment where we still don’t quite understand why Tanner is the only one to turn around in a circle.  We mean, he’s awesome and definitely deserves to be highlighted, we’ve just never quite been able to grasp the staging logic.

But again, this performance moves so quickly that our brains aren’t allowed to contemplate it too much, because we’re soon wondering if Ben-Jon is trying to put out a fire or is stomping on a massive cockroach.

It’s one of the two, we’re pretty sure.

And then…

YOU GUYS!!!  OF Jake learned how to do the hand movements at 1:12 – he no longer looks like he’s trying to fan Ross!  Lots of cheers for Hunker Down!

And now we’re getting towards the home stretch.  The leap is slightly less impressive without the steps, but Tanner still sells it like a used car.  As the song continues at 1:23, we love hearing Robert’s bass come back in.  It seems like we’re set for just normal choreo to the end, but, well… just enjoy whatever it is Ben-Jon is doing at 1:35.

That, good sir, was awesome.

And in the final pose, of those VPers we can see, somehow McCrockett is the poweriest of them all.

You show ’em how it’s done, McButters!

Overall, we’re really impressed with how the guys bounced back from the false start and delivered a fun take on this now-classic Vocal Point number.

-Troi and Crusher


Life is a Highway, Covey March Concerts Edition, or the one with the “cowboy” hats

May 9, 2012

You GUYS! Can you believe it’s been TWO MONTHS since we saw Vocal Point in concert at the Covey Center? It seems like it was either forever ago or yesterday, we can’t decide which. Since we’re now feeling a little nostalgic, we’ve decided it’s the perfect night to revisit “Life is a Highway.” We reviewed the Sing-off performance of this song a while back, and briefly went through the whole Friday night show from the Covey in March, but we thought it would be a blast to take a closer look at this particular performance and have a little fun with it.

(video courtesy vtwixted787’s YouTube)

This video picks up after the guys have sorted out the “cowboy hat” business and Robert is ready to start the VP Tour Van. The boys get the show on the road (snicker) and settle in in front of a neat background that lets us know that the VP highway runs through green fields and under blue, blue skies.  It’s downright idyllic.  As we start, the guys all show off their driving skills, and it appears that Robert is the only one determined to represent a realistic driving stance.  Either that, or the other guys truly do drive like a bunch of Swervin’ Irvans.  And McDeepKneeBend apparently is driving a low rider.

Figures.  That McSwagger.  As much as he bounces around onstage, his low rider probably has hydraulics, too.

Then the guys move into position at :10 for a little bit that gives us flashbacks to High School Musical 2.  “What?” you may say.  “Troi and Crusher, aren’t you too old for a HSM reference?”  Well, yes.  But, Crusher totally did a term paper in college on the development of tweens and pop culture as it relates to the theatrical experience.  And Troi… well, Troi had to listen to Crusher talk about her project a lot.  So… yeah.  We know HSM.  Anyway, here’s that bit:

See, it’s like this:

Right?  Maybe?  Please?  Okay, moving on…

The guys bop through the rest of the opening choreo and at 0:16 they part like the Red Sea for McRascalFlatts to cross down center and pick up the lead. And maybe it’s just us, but it kinda seems like McButters has upped the country ante just a smidgen. Is that a little extra McTwang we hear? We approve.

While McKay’s killin’ the lead, the rest of the guys are doing a two-step-step-touch-do-si-do-DDR-thing that we just love so much. It’s pretty impressive how well the New Guys are keeping up, especially considering the sheer amount of material they had to learn in just a few months. A little more  two-step-touching happens at :36 and then the guys do a little skip-foot-switch kick-ball-change thing (oh, we’re clearly down with the choreo lingo) that looks pretty darn cool.  Especially when you pause it in the middle of the move.

Hehehe.

After that, the party heads stage right for a little VP jam session at :46.  Now, isn’t it exciting to see Tanner cut loose a little and get going with the hat twirling action at around :49? Also of note? Hunsaker again defaults to his cowboy stance during this little section.

At 0:53 McButters leads the guys on a quick jaunt across the stage to stage left, but before we get over there, look at how much fun Ben-Jon and Trevortastic are having in the background.

Just what do you call that leg move, Trev?  And we love McSassy’s little look back as he runs across the stage to continue the jam session.  On the way over, Beaker catches some serious air.

Once they regroup, they all back away slowly while Beaker sings Keith’s old part at 1:05. He also, we think, sounds legitimately country. McKay gets a little McSoulful on his little echo-y bits (wow, we’re busting out all sorts of technical terminology on y’all tonight!) and that’s just how we like him.  We also can’t help but notice a neat little effect the lighting and video recording have on the guys during this bit.

Kind of Touched by an Angel, isn’t it?

McCountrySoul then bounds back over to center to count the guys into the big glorious breakdown. And can we just say here, that even though the guys didn’t feel totally comfortable using the in-ears that night, they still nail this section.  Beaker does a good job picking up the falsetto guitar part while taking a knee and the rest of the guys do their thang as well.

We wrap up with a little more step-touch and car driving (with a little bonus sassy Hunker Down hip action in opposition at 1:39) and then we dig in for the big finish.  As the guys toss their hats into the air in victory, we get a bonus “Yeow!” to cap things off.

While we’ve always preferred the original Tom Cochrane version to the Rascal Flatts cover (sorry, McKay!)  this is one of those songs that has now been VP-ified for us.  After having seen them perform it and watching the Youtube clips (over and over again), we’ll just now always associate this number with Vocal Point, as their energy and fun have wormed their way into our permanent memory of this song.  And we wouldn’t change that for anything.

-Troi and Crusher


Beat It, or the one that’s a Papa Sterling classic (oh, and VP’s pretty good too)

April 30, 2012

So this past weekend ICCA finals were held in New York (congrats to the SoCal VoCals!). Given that, we decided it would be fun to take a gander back the first song of the set that won Vocal Point the 2nd place spot in the competition last year. The guys absolutely rocked “Beat It” and it’s definitely become a VP favorite for us.

If you want to go check out a version of this number with great audio (all the guys are mic’ed and Tanner even has his throat mic), go here and see the video from the Women’s Conference in April of 2011.  Now, you may be asking, “Troi and Crusher, if that video has such good audio, why are you reviewing a different performance of ‘Beat It’?”  Well, silly reader, you should know by now that when it comes to VP videos, if a certain someone happened to film it, it’s pretty darn likely we’re going to use it!  So…

We want to give a huge shout-out to Papa Sterling, who has provided us (well, YouTube at large, not us specifically) with an expertly-filmed video! The ICCA videos were the ones where we could truly appreciate the man’s artistry for the first time. And for that, we’re forever grateful.

Right as we start at :02, Keith gives the audience a look, like, “Y’all ready? ‘Cause we’re about to slap you in the face with some awesomeness.”

Or maybe he was thinking about baby seals. Or keeping his balance in the upcoming lean. Or… yeah, no… it was definitely to warn the audience about the slap of awesome headed their way.

Then the guys put on their fedoras (we love these fedoras!) and go into the MJ lean. Which, this a good time to mention a fun game you can play as you introduce your friends and family to the wonder that is Vocal Point.  After they’ve seen a few videos, but before they have seen enough to be completely familiar with each individual Vocal Pointer, bring them to this gem, and have them cover their eyes up until :07 when the guys have obscured their faces.  Then, see how quickly your friend can pick out and identify one of the shawties.  In our experience, without fail, Jake’s quality of movement gives him away by :21.

And what a quality of movement it is – he puts an almost sassy (we love sass!) spin on the move from :21-:24.

Also, as they move into the bendy section, his legs… they don’t quite bend like human legs. Watch Jake and then check out McButters beside him. (go ahead, we’ll wait) See? Completely different.

Then they shift into a new formation as the audience goes crazy for what they’re doing. While we’re sure that they’re all really naturally snappy snappers, it is kind of fun to imagine that maybe one of the guys (take your pick who) couldn’t actually snap and maybe had to go to VP snapping boot camp or something. Or maybe had to mime it? Can you imagine if that conversation came up during auditions? “Can you sing?” Yes, of course. “Dance?” You know it!  “Snap your fingers?”  Er, no?  Oh, snap.

Next up at :31 we have this great lean-y bit where Keith’s feet are not planted the same way as everyone else’s.

Everyone else’s toes are pointing slightly stage left on the first lean, and Kevin’s are pointing almost perfectly straight ahead. Now, it doesn’t actually matter, he still manages a good lean. But, it does make him look pretty Gumby-esque.

You know who doesn’t manage quite as far of a lean the first time? McPrecious. Yep. It’s true. Check out Tanner and (gasp!) Hunsaker. Look at how far they’re leaning! Look at McNotTheLeaningTowerOfPisa. Kinda not so much. Luckily, he recovers and drops it back a little further on the second lean. Also, Keith’s feet are pointed more like everyone else’s on this lean and generally all the guys are looking pretty spot-on by this point.

Keith takes us into the verse right around :38 and he sounds just great. This is one of those examples of a singer taking a really well-known song and paying homage to it without imitating it. Keith’s not MJ, and he’s not trying to be. He’s still true to himself as a singer while showing total respect for the original. It’s a tricksy thing to pull off, but Keith does it well.

So here’s a great shot of all the guys now that we’re well into the song:

Check out how jaunty all those fedoras look! We really do love them. Now, you’ll notice that most of the guys have their fedoras pulled down low on their brows.  And by “most” we mean “all but McKay.”   His hat is tilted up so you can see his shining beacon of McSunshine.  Guess you really can’t hide the McMoneymaker, right?

At :58 Tyler is fully committed to the choreography and gets extra low to the ground. Who does he think he is, Tanner? Droppin’ it like it’s hot like that.

The guys hit the body rolls section of the choreo at 1:04 and they all kind of add their own flavor to it. Ben keeps snapping through the first one, Tanner hops a little on the second one, and Robert and Mikey just kind of look naturally cool. Can’t quite see McButters (who put him in the back?), but the other half of the bonded pair pulls off some impressive body rolls, especially considering all of the limbs he has to wrangle.

At 1:14 Ben and Jake are together stage right – a risky choice, but they pull off the moves and we’re thoroughly impressed. These guys have come a long way from “Hip to be Square” in 2010.

The choreography at 1:25 is classic VP “Why does this look so cool?” and Keith’s legs look incredibly long.  But, you know, when don’t they look long? The guy is all limbs!  This bit of choreography definitely puts them to good use.

And then the bit continues with this group look into the audience:

They’re just so… cheeky. And coordinated. This may be one of our all-time favorite choreographic moments from VP.  It also just goes so well with the cool vocal things they’re pulling off (“cool vocal things” is the technical term, if you didn’t know).  Yup, we’re big fans of it.

Then we’re into the next verse and after some more coordinated moves, the guys break up into two groups, perhaps gearing up for a rumble.  And then we totally get a “being a human is hard” Jake moment at 1:38.

Oh Jake honey, humans don’t bend and point like that.

Of course, this is followed immediately by a very powery power stance. Who was the poweriest of them all? Take a guess! 😉

And now we’ve reached the portion of the performance where the guys gear up for their second set of body rolls (at 1:42).  As you can see, they all sort of gear up differently…

We know you’re wondering and nope, we won’t do it!  We absolutely cannot pick a favorite part of that photo.  It is ALL SO EPIC.  Oh boy, it just gives us so much joy.

Anyway, all of the guys get into their body rolls in earnest, except for McKay, who kind of does a half a body roll and then not so much while heading stage left (he’s better when he’s heading back to the right). Don’t worry, McButters, Shelf People aren’t required to do body rolls. Just bell kicks. Oh wait

As we reach the finish line (which is really just lap 1 of 4 in terms of the ICCA set) Keith hits some great falsettos as the guys finish up the choreo.  Then they go for one final lean while Keith closes with some MJ moves.

And then everyone hits the ending together at 1:56. And the audience goes absolutely nuts.

Now, we’re going to stop right there, even though the Papa Sterling-shot fabulousness continues on into “It Had Better Be Tonight.”  That’s a performance analysis for another day.  Today is all about “Beat It.”  And we don’t know about the rest of you, but we’re pretty sure that this jam is going to be stuck in our heads all day long tomorrow.  As long as we can restrain ourselves from busting out the choreo we should be good.  Deal? Deal.

-Troi and Crusher