by Amy Perlow and Jesse Mendelson of PipeDream
Students swarmed the Lecture Hall last Saturday night to get the best seat in the house for the annual Dollar Show, a gathering of the campus' infamous a cappella all stars.At least an hour before the show began, students lined up at the doors of Lecture Hall 1 to get choice seats to the performance. The crowd filled several lecture halls but seemed to suffer through the two-and-a-half hour round-robin performance. Despite the unbearable heat, the crowd managed to show enthusiasm as each of the six groups' loyal groupies chanted shouts of admiration.
In Lecture Hall I, the show opened wth the Harpur Harpeggios, affectionately known as the Pegs, who performed six songs with a silly mock audition skit in the middle. Beautiful voices floated through the room, but unfortunately, the sheer size of the lecture hall made it difficult for some to hear. A reggae-infused rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," got the audience in the groove, and other popular tunes like "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and "Because the Night," employed the talents of powerful soloists who noticebly moved viewers.
The Vibrations walked in next, sadly still not quite up to par with the rest of the groups. Though some members of the group had a vast amount of talent, their sound lacked power and strength overall. In addition, their seven songs neither utilized the group's strengths nor excited the crowd. Perhaps with more practice, their sound will become stronger and more unified.
Using an old favorite, "The Rainbow Connection," the Binghamtonics satirized recent Gap commercials and solicited a hearty laugh from the audience. This was one group that kept the audience wanting more, although their set ran slightly shorter than the others. The harmony, created by the conglomeration of their voices rang throughout the vast lecture hall beautifully.
With only 10 members in the group, Kaskeset, the Jewish a cappella group, surprisingly rang loud and clear throughout the room. They had an energy and enthusiasm which got everyone cheering for more. They revived older religious songs with a new sound, but for the majority of the audience who can't speak Hebrew, relating was somewhat difficult. Still, everyone was able to enjoy, especially after hearing their closer: Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song."
The crowd was easily excited by the Rhythm Method, the '80's-singing a cappella group, which reaches out to a generation of college students. The group had an amazing sense of harmony and unity, with their voices sounding distinct, yet cohesive. Rhythm Method clearly knew how to grab the crowd with their amazing mix of songs. Some inspired songwriting was also apparent, as the group performed an original song about Binghamton, providing much-needed comic relief. The crowd roared at the line, "This city is full of townies, the school is full of Jews."
When the long-awaited Crosbys appeared on stage next and delivered their show, many in the crowd felt it was well worth the wait. Their stage presence has always exceeded that of any other a cappella group. Several alumni returned to sing some old favorites, once again bringing the group's amazing creative energy and inspiration to life. Their ability to recreate sounds and harmonize several background pieces with solo performances gave them an original strength, even in such complicated songs as The Who's "Pinball Wizard," and "Takin' It to the Street." Their original finale, "Crosby Funk," truly demonstrated a unified talent, and their energy permeated the crowd, causing many to dance in their seats.
The dollar ticket was, as always, quite a bargain.