Saturday night saw Strong Auditorium packed to the rafters with excited fans gathered to see our very own Midnight Ramblers bring the house down and they were not disappointed. Bursting onto the stage with the energy and power that are characteristic of the Ramblers, the men proceeded to give a jaw-dropping show from start to finish. The Ramblers’ music was mixed with a hilarious series of videos parodying the classic ‘Star Wars” films.
The Ramblers mixed up old classics such as ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” and ‘It’s My Life” with new songs like Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star” and Rhianna’s ‘Rude Boy.” Several songs could only be described by the fan-made word: Ramblification, when the Midnight Ramblers take a popular song you may not like, and turn it into something awesome (cough’PartyintheUSA”cough).
The stage was also graced by the barbershop a cappella group Surround Sound hailing from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Tight chords and great songs received appreciative cheers from the audience and their rendition of ‘John Williams is the Man” (a ‘Star Wars”-themed compilation of Williams’ songs) was well suited and went over excellently. Another surprise guest to the Strong stage was Alondra Jahel, Platinum selling artist, Grammy award winner, and mother to Rambler Chris Aguilar.
The concert had a tinge of sadness to it, as each of the five graduating seniors (Chris Aguilar, Alex ‘Bear” Perry, Matt Myers, Roger Hillson and Mark Sobel) sang their final solo with the Ramblers.
Each solo was beautifully sung and earned standing ovations from the crowd. Though there is little doubt that these men will go on to do great things, both they and their voices will be sorely missed. I believe I speak for the UR community when I say best of luck to you gentlemen, and may your voices stay strong.
Despite the rock star performance that the Ramblers brought to the stage, my favorite moments of the concert were the slower songs. Darkness engulfed the auditorium as the Ramblers surrounded the audience, each one individually illuminated as they joined in singing ‘Woods” by Bon Iver.
The highlight of the show, personally, was their rendition of ‘Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. For this song, they forswore their microphones and sang in a straight line. A pin could be heard dropping as the entire audience fell silent to the power of this song. No audio tricks, no amplification, just pure human voices. The power of it was amazing.
True to Rambler style, they ended with a bang as the group more than doubled with alumni joining them to sing the classic finisher ‘Kiss Him Goodbye.” It was truly an amazing performance by the Ramblers, with no doubt many more to come.
Carlile is a member ofthe class of 2013.