You know them: The red jackets, striped ties and heavenly voices. Yes, they are the MadHatters, the premier all-male a cappella group on campus, and they performed their spring concert on Saturday at the Overture Center for the Arts.
The show opened with professional juggler Marcus Monroe. His routine was very entertaining and comical, and he did everything from juggling clubs to knives with torches attached (“norches” as he referred to them) and even some of the juggling was done on a seven-foot unicycle. He was a very fitting opening act for the ‘Hatters.
The MadHatters show began with a video, as usual. This time it was a trailer for a movie that was a take on a Martin Scorsese film and was called “Choir Boys.” That definitely got the audience laughing. Soon after, they came out to perform a foot-tapping rendition of Chris Brown’s “Forever,” which was very well done. Later on they made a comment about starting with “domestic violence” (an allusion to the Rihanna situation) which got some laughs and some thinking it was too soon for that, but it was bound to come up.
The show continued with songs such as “Online” by Brad Paisley, “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye and “Everything” by Michael Bubl?. They also performed “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King featuring the soloist Sam Petricca, and much cheering was heard from a section of the audience. The ‘Hatters also performed a rendition of Boyz 2 Men and Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day” with guest performer Grace Weber of the group “Grace and Julian.” This was a truly moving and beautiful arrangement, and the audience was quite impressed.
As usual, they had to have some surprises. Bucky was there (although it wasn’t too surprising to see him, as he usually makes an appearance) and he first came out with a “body bag,” alluding to the opening video, which was filled with free stuff for the audience, and free stuff is definitely a good surprise. The MadHatters also performed a comical rendition of “I’m On A Boat” by The Lonely Island featuring T-Pain, censored of course, and Bucky made another appearance by coming out in a cardboard boat.
The concert showcased several members of MadHatters. One particularly impressive feature was the vocal of percussionist Andrew Fitzpatrick. The other was of the seniors of the group who performed a piece on their own, and it was quite beautiful. Also, in honor of 12 years as a group, the MadHatters invited previous alumni to join them in “The World I Know” by Collective Soul (which was featured on the MadHatters album Friday After Class), and it was nice to see such a large group perform.
If you’ve seen the MadHatters before, you know that they always feature a no soloist piece. This time it was Simon and Garfunkle’s “Scarborough Fair.” It was absolutely gorgeous to hear and even a little haunting (as the song usually is).
Toward the end, the MadHatters had their usual medley and this time it was a tribute to Michael Jackson with songs like “Billie Jean,” “Thriller” and even “ABC.” This was one of the more memorable parts of the show because the boys actually broke out in the dance from “Thriller,” which the audience could not get enough of. For an encore, the MadHatters performed a very entertaining version of “Army” by Ben Folds Five and even had the audience participate in the bah, bah, bah’s toward the song’s end.
Overall, the show was quite entertaining, comical and enjoyable, and the guys of the MadHatters did not disappoint.