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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Chordbusters bring it to a sold out McManus


Hopefully you were amongst the lucky few who were able to score tickets to last weekend’s sold-out Chordbusters show in McManus Theater. The last weekend of every semester, the Belles and the Chimes, show off their a capella abilities to current students, parents, faculty and a sea of alumni.

On Saturday night, the Chimes kicked off the show with the traditional skit about the struggles to get tickets to the show. Senior Zack Scott donned a dress because at this point, it’s tradition and senior Matt Diferdinando played Father Linnane, a common spoof in the skits. The Belles choose to screen a short funny video about their members in lieu of performing a skit.

From reading the Chimes’, set list, you would have no idea what they were going to perform because they used names meaningful to them such as “Andy’s Boogie” and “Volcanoes” instead of the actual song titles. This allowed each song to be a surprise. As usual, the Chimes performed a wide range of songs that went beyond the realm of Top 40s.

Junior Andrew Gorbaty sang lead on Sam Cooke’s “Twistin’ the Night Away.” Though this was the second song of their set, it really was the song that caused all the Chimes to come alive. Some of the new members seemed a bit uncomfortable dancing along during the first number but had eased into their roles by the second number. It probably has to do with the contagious energy and gusto that Gorbaty brings to the stage.

Sophomore TJ Cook brought a sincere emotional edge to Phil Collins’ “Take a Look at Me Now” with freshman Xavier Taylor as his backup vocals. The song managed to convey a sense of urging and power. Other songs included “Pompeii” by Bastille, a Justin Timberlake medley and “Hide & Seak” by Imogen Heap.

Without a doubt, one of strongest numbers of the night was “No Diggity” by Blackstreet featuring Queen Pen and Dr. Dre. Performed by three freshman, Chris Felix, Seth Willis and Xavier Taylor, there is no questioning that there is some talent coming up through the ranks of the Chimes, ready to help fill the gap when the seniors leave in May. Felix arranged this song and opened the song with the rap. Willis and Taylor traded back and forth on vocals and senior Belle, Hayley Mercer, made a guest appearance to sing Queen Pen’s part. The song, on the whole, worked incredibly well from the highlighted talent and the group backing those performers up.

The Belles then took to the stage in their gold and black cocktail dresses and heels ready to highlight their vocal talent. Their set was written out in the program with song titles and soloists names, which was truly appreciated by someone who was reviewing the show. It was hard to hear some of the earlier soloists because the group seemed to overpower the soloist with their singing. This happened less in later songs.

Music director and senior Tori Osborne delivered a heartfelt version of Miranda Lambert’s “Over You,” a song about trying to move on after a death of a loved one. The group broke into a soft version of “Free Fallin” at one point, an interesting choice, but one that surprisingly worked really well in the song.

The mashup between “Clarity” and “She keeps Me Warm” performed by junior Grace Charlton and sophomore Connor Sheehan was a good salute to the songs of this summer. With the Beatle’s “Because” and “Christmas Chopstix,” the group showcased their ability to sing as a unit with no highlighted soloists.

The Belles closed out their set with the Bella final number from Pitch Perfect. While the Belles did not make the costume changes or have the dance moves that were in the movie, they did have the vocal ability. Gorbaty of the Chimes made a cameo to help with the beat boxing.  All the soloists performed well with the highlight being a rap done by senior and president Lily Donatelli.

The show closed with a group number involving both the Belles and the Chimes. The Chimes flooded the stage as the Belles kicked off their heels to perform shoeless as the Chimes do. Music director, Osborne and Harrison Oztemel took the microphones first signing Tina and Ike Turner’s “Proud Mary.” Then, Jonas Nissley, senior and president of the Chimes, and senior Kait Connell sang “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

As always, Chordbusters was overall an entertaining show to watch and an end of semester staple. Being as that tickets sold out in under an hour this year, it begs the question why only two nights? McManus definitely has the best acoustics for the show but why not add a Sunday matinée or a Thursday night show allowing more people to have a chance to see the show? Probably something they should consider in the future.

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Chordbusters bring it to a sold out McManus