This past Friday, No Jackets Required (NJR) held their big semester concert, which was dedicated to classic, one-hit wonders and the overall quality of the show was impressive. The performances ranged from the bizarre and comical, all the way across the spectrum to a Scottish, folk-rock ballad, and everything in between. The show was well put together, and the hard work of all the performers as well as everyone behind the scenes, was evident to everyone in the audience.
The great, eclectic mix of one-hit wonders made for a lively and exciting show that appealed to pop, R&B, hip-hop, and rock fans alike. The variety of instrumentalists and vocalists who performed allowed for many different musicians’ talents to be showcased. The over-the-top costumes and small bits of shtick comedy blended into the performance kept the mood of the room upbeat throughout the show. The energy from the performers reflected positively onto the audience, which was quick to get involved and sing along to the classics every person born in the early ‘90s ought to know.
While the performers did an excellent job on the whole, one can’t help but highlight a few crowd favorites. The first notable performance has to go to the comedic stylings of seniorTom Krasner for his vocal performance of “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred and even more so for his part as the well-endowed female being pursued by Sir Mix-A-Lot, as portrayed by senior Katie Bredbenner, during “Baby Got Back.”
The second shout-out goes to the dulcet tones of sophomore Kyle Hogan for his rendition of Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance.” His clear bass voice fits the style of the song perfectly, and his dance moves added an aesthetic style rarely seen and possibly never duplicated.
Third, and possibly my favorite performance of the evening, was a rendition of Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight” by freshman Ben Icenogle, senior Alex Murray, junior Grace Lisandrelli, and senior Miranda Johnson. The acoustic take was a pleasant contrast from the rest of the evening’s performances. Icenogle on acoustic guitar accompanied by four voices was an absolute success.
Finally, it would be foolish to not acknowledge the incredible instrumentalists that backed the vocalists previously noted. While the vocal performers were all great in their own styles, the few groupings that formed a few small house bands for the evening were fantastic in every style, and the show could not have happened without them.
The only two minor issues with the concert were the acoustical balance and the crowd size. While the music was consistent, the audience’s ability to hear all of the individual musicians was not. The vocalists’ microphones and keyboards faded in and out during a few personal favorites, disappointing to say the least.
The the student turnout was also disheartening. The concert was well publicized, and it must have been nearly impossible for any undergraduate to not know at least one performer, which made the small turnout a shame. For those who missed out this time around, definitely go to NJR’s future performances and see what you’re missing.
O’Brien is a member of the class of 2016.