The Midnight Ramblers celebrated the 20th anniversary of the group in their spring show “20 Years of Rambling” this past Saturday.
Over 50 alumni returned to campus for the event and proved that the raw talent and love for rambling has stayed strong since the beginning of the Rambler revolution.
Hung outside and throughout the auditorium were the canvas sheets of the themes for a large number of Rambler concerts in years past. It should be no surprise that Strong Auditorium was packed with fans, friends, and family.
Their transitional videos were a hit. Using the game-show app HQ as part of the theme, they created a video with some Rambler trivia hosted by senior Justin Maldonado, who effortlessly made hundreds of people laugh with his questions and personality. Another video featured some of the newest Ramblers re-enacting a dance something having to do with fish, snakes, and worms. Look, all I know is I saw first-year Reid Anderson rolling on the ground and classmate Shawn Cummings swaying and I’m not entirely sure why, but it made me laugh nonetheless. One of the most important aspects of the show, however, was the video of the one of the founders of the Midnight Ramblers, formerly a group of from Delta Upsilon brothers who liked to serenade called The Gentleman Callers. They founded the group 20 years ago, and the original member provided a sentimental perspective not often seen. ..
The Ramblers performed recognizable songs like “Attention” and “Theres Nothing Holding Me Back,” which were amazing as always, soloed by junior Ben Ramey and first-year Danny Jersey. The group also treated the audience to their ICCA tournament setlist,which helped them get to the semi-final in Buffalo this year and included songs “Miss Jackson,” “Redbone,” and “Pray.” If nothing else could convince you that this group is something special, this medley (especially for a Panic! At the Disco fan) would definitely be the deciding factor. What made the performance was the choreography they did, their arrangements, their personality as a group, and senior Keegan Striker.
On the topic of Keegan Striker, I think that this senior class in the Midnight Ramblers will be one of those treasures that is missed for years to come. Over the years, Justin Maldonado, Charlie Aldrich, Keegan Striker, and Dan Bennett have demonstrated their performance abilities, their eccentricity, and their humbleness, and each one of them deserved the love they received from the crowd during their solos and swan songs. Keegan’s beatboxing showcase left me, and almost anyone I talked to, speechless. Their contributions to the group have been massive, and through them they showed what it means to be a Rambler.
As they join their vast alumni community, may I just say, I have never been happier to see such a sea of baseball jerseys. Past and present Ramblers sang together on the stage and amazed everyone. As groups they sang classic and popular songs for their years of Rambling and couldn’t have been more phenomenal if they tried. Half of the show was a dance party. You couldn’t stay still in your seat or not sing along. They pulled us all into the fun with them as they performed songs like “Any Way You Want It,” “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” “Hallelujah,” and “Hello.” The show ended far past the time it should have and not a single person left before it came to a close with the beloved closer “Kiss Him.”
As much as I love this group, even listening for something to critique, the only thing I could find was a tired voice here or there. You could tell with every song they performed that the group’s essence will live on for years to come. Here’s to another 20 years.