While the setlist on the back of their program was a complete farce and the world may never get to hear “Yodel Boy Remix” sung by an all-male a cappella group, the Madhatters brought charm and comedy to their Spring Show at the Orpheum Theatre Friday night.
The 12-member men’s ensemble is the oldest a cappella group on campus and they celebrated their 21st season with this year’s spring show. While many alumni of the group sat in the audience and cheered quite loudly for the current iteration of the group, it was clear that all ears were tuned to hear what this semester’s Madhatters had in store.
The group started their set off with Demi Lovato’s “Sorry, Not Sorry,” which set the tone for a rollicking night of bops ahead. University of Wisconsin sophomore Nick Graves rocked a solo on this opener, but Lovato’s tune was not his favorite in the set.
“My personal favorite was definitely ‘I Found’ by Amber Run. It really captured our group sound and was actually pretty emotional,” Graves said.
The setlist explored a variety of genres, from UW-Madison classics like “Sweet Caroline” to a pop-punk mash-up that threw the audience back to the mid-2000’s.
Between songs, short video sketches starring the Madhatters aired that were based on the TV shows “Intervention” and “Ghost Hunters.” These video blurbs gave the group personality beyond their beautiful singing and provided a respite from constant a cappella. Given the amount of laughter the videos elicited from the audience, it was clear that the videos’ success depended on a team effort.
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In addition to the group numbers, new member Joel Rondón performed a beatboxing solo that became the highlight of the night. His “pencil sharpener” beat is one for the ages and with time, he is certain to add to the rich history of the Madhatters with his beatboxing skills.
Four graduating seniors were on the opposite end of the spectrum as Rondón as they sang in their last performance with the Madhatters. As seen in the sentimental “Goodnight, Sweetheart” tune, with Matthew Berter, Gregory Halstead, Ryan Hegna and Frankie Poblar-Lay, each contributed a solo refrain to end their time with the group.
Combining all of these aspects made for a unique, energetic and sometimes emotional vibe at the concert for audience and performers alike.
“Although this was my first concert, I quickly learned how important it is to feed off of the energy of the crowd. The audience presents a whole new platform of energy and we channel that into all of our songs and vibe with what they bring,” Evan Modglin, Freshman Madhatter said.
If you want more Madhatters, be sure to check out their Instagram for videos of some of the evening’s songs, including “I Found,” and many more Madhatters exclusives.