After Hours put a unique twist on very familiar songs in ‘Happily Ever After Hours,” their Disney-themed performance on Friday. When the lights dimmed and senior Griffin Pahl walked onto the stage carrying a huge book in his hands, I don’t think anyone in the audience knew quite what to expect. But then everyone began to cheer wildly as Pahl made it perfectly clear that they were about to have a concert worked around a quirky and unique fairy tale that the group came up with themselves.

In this spectacular and magical concert, each song was paired with a particular section of the fairy tale. In the first half of the performance, the singers were clearly warming up the audience and getting them more immersed with each song.

While the first half of the show was pleasing to watch, it was the second half of the performance that definitely blew me away and, judging from the reaction After Hours got from the audience, everyone else felt the same way. After a brief intermission featuring a performance by the Binghamton Crosbys, the members of After Hours raced out onto stage wearing hilarious costumes portraying various Disney characters (Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Jasmine and Aladdin to name a few).

The costumes set the tone for the wilder and more energetic second half of the show. These songs were more upbeat than the initial performances and featured very creative choreography.

One of the show’s definitive highlights was the performance of ‘A Whole New World.” This song was a great selection because it provided two of the group’s newest members, freshmen Ben McCormack and Alaina Sawyer, to have an nice duet. Sophomore Caitlin Mack was flirtatious and phenomenal in her solo performance of Katy Perry’s infamous pop song, ‘I Kissed A Girl.” This song was not just excellently sung, but also featured the most impressive choreography of the entire show.

Their rendition of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya!” was a lot of fun because it’s one of those songs everyone in the audience knows the words to. While all the soloists did an amazing job and each song was touching in it’s own way, I must say that freshman Alaina Sawyer impressed me the most, with her solo in the rendition of Ingrid Michaelson’s ‘The Chain.”
The only song that I didn’t think quite worked was ‘Jai Ho” from ‘Slumdog Millionaire,” which was so wordy and fast-paced that it was hard to follow or really enjoy the song.

Being a co-ed a cappella group, After Hours has the advantage of being able to have a pleasing blend of varied vocal styles, and the performers sounded great together. It was obvious that there was a feeling of familiarity and comfort amongst the members.

After Hours put on an enchanting show that was a unique mix of contemporary and classic songs. The costumes they chose to wear were fun and went well with the three segments of the fairy tale Griffin narrated.

‘Happily Ever After Hours” was a concert that I’m glad I went to. It was nice to spend an evening observing immense creativity and hearing such a unique assortment of talented singers. It was definitely a happy ending for After Hours.

Leonard is a member of the class of 2013.

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