Thefacebook group “Association For Girls Who Like Boys Who Play Guitar And Sing” is a testament to the fact that a good voice can be a real turn-on. While there were no guitars, there was definitely no lack of vocally talented guys at Saturday’s Yellowjackets Midwinter Jamboree.
The Jackets’ lineup boasted only four returning members and seven freshmen. However, the freshmen and the upperclassmen performed together like old pros – no inexperience could be detected.
“It has been difficult to try and integrate the seven freshmen, but their talent and dedication to singing has made it much easier than I thought it would be,” senior and Yellowjackets Director Neil Pawlowski said.
The show started off on a high note, with a rocking version of Styx’s “Come Sail Away.” The audience also got their first look at the newest Jackets, freshmen Patrick Brennan and Eric Miller, doing an aluminum foil-adorned cameo to another Styx favorite, “Mr. Roboto.”
The rest of the first set proved to be just as good, with the old favorite “Sweet Caroline” and Pawlowski singing an original tribute to Rochester. But the highlight of the first set, and possibly the whole show, was freshman Adam Weis’ version of Coldplay’s “Yellow.” I heard more than a few “oh’s” escape the lips of female audience members when he sang “for you I’d bleed myself dry.”
So as not to disappoint the men in the audience, both guest groups were all female. The University of Pittsburgh Sounds of Pleasure gave an interesting performance including Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills.” They ended on a high note with a dead-on cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket” that somehow transitioned into Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.” While it was not a traditional a capella song, or even actual singing, it got the crowd energized.
The Brown University Chattertocks, on the other hand, offered a musically impressive but low-energy performance. Their version of No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs” was tired at best. They followed that with Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” and Counting Crows’ “Holiday in Spain,” which both boasted notable harmony and intonation, but no enthusiasm whatsoever. They finished with a gender-confused and unintentionally amusing version of “St. Elmo’s Fire.”
The Yellowjackets then returned to the stage and finished up in great style. Their version of “Insomniac” by the unknown Billy Pilgrim was a favorite with the audience. One overly zealous audience member even shouted, “I’ll hold you all night!” in response to sophomore Jacob Grantier singing the lyric, “Hold the insomniac all night.” Other highlights included The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk,” Guster’s “Happier” and a very funny version of Weezer’s “The Sweater Song.” The Midwinter Jamboree ended, appropriately, with alumni joining the current Yellowjackets on stage to sing their staple “Up the Ladder to the Roof.”
So, for all of you ladies who love boys who can sing, you need look no further than UR’s own Yellowjackets.
Geswein can be reached at email@example.com.