If you attended VoCALnation 2013, you can agree that this blog title is more than accurate! For those of you who were not there, I assure you it was not just the groups who were bringing the heat at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ! (Okay, no more bad hot weather puns!)
Bottom line, we were in a beautiful church-with NO AIR CONDITIONING. I am far too accustomed to the modern comforts of cool, even cold surroundings, especially in the midst of a heat wave. This, however, did not stop me from getting as much video and photos as I could! Surprise, surprise, right?)
Friday night was the CAL showcase. Host group KeyStone Vocals opened with ‘Below My Feet’ and ‘Brave’. It has been a real treat to see them several times since their performance at VoCALnation last year. I have seen the journey and growth they’ve shown over the year and look forward to what the future holds for them. They, along with members of Broad Street Beat and Project Philly volunteers, worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to make sure groups were taken care of and that things ran smoothly.
There was a strong representation of the DC a cappella scene represented with half of the groups hailing from our nation’s capital. It was a treat to hear Capital Hearings take the stage once again. They, too, have worked hard this past year and it showed on stage. It may have been solely due to the heat, but it was a treat to see the gentlemen with their sleeves rolled up and without their jackets. I enjoyed seeing a slightly more relaxed visual with their performance.
Next up was the newest DC area, all-female group, The District‘s debut performance. Well known soloist, Mallory Zuckerman lived up to her reputation and delivered a powerful vocal on ‘Emotions’.
Continuing with DC groups, the next to take the stage was Euphonism. I’ve seen them a few times since last year’s VCN and I loved that they changed up the feel of ‘Your Love’ with a surprising and pleasant reggae spin. (Apologies for the loud ‘Woooo!’ when I realized they were mixing things up for us!)
KeyStone Vocals closed out the first half with an unplanned, but appropriate rendition of ‘Frosty The Snowman’ in an effort to help us think cool thoughts.
New York (yes, there are CAL groups from places other than DC!) group, Restated started us off for the second half of the showcase. I enjoyed their energetic performance of ‘Dance in The Graveyards’.
Hailing all the way from Iowa (it took them 19 hours to get here!) quartet, Sunday Afternoon took the stage next. I have been dying to see them perform, as I missed their set at SingStrong Chicago. They wowed the audience with their spin on ‘Are You That Somebody/Love Like This’. I am looking forward to what lies ahead for this group!
The final DC group, VoxPop brought another solid performance. They started with a fun, upbeat 80’s medley that drew the crowd in right away.
One of my most favorite parts of a festival weekend is seeing as many AcaBombs as I possibly can. It’s an opportunity for groups to perform and be seen by many. I was able to catch Empire A Cappella (NYC), Capital Blend (DC), Stay Tuned (NJ-yay!), and festival staple, ThePickUps (all over). If you plan to attend a festival, definitely consider joining in for ThePickUps performance, which is always a lot of fun!
Empire A Cappella ‘When The Levee Breaks’
Capital Blend ‘Feel Again/Dog Days Are Over/All Of These Things That I’ve Done’
Stay Tuned ‘If You Could Only See’
ThePickUps ‘Still The One’
If you follow the a cappella scene at all, you must have heard of Fermata Town, as they have had a HUGE year. I was lucky to have met founding member, Dan at #VCN2012 where he left inspired. He really put it to good use, as Fermata Town has enjoyed a HUGE year, winning a CARA Award for Best CAL Album, winning the Boston Regional Harmony Sweeps, and winning the Outside The Box A Cappella Festival. They brought their best to #VCN2013 and showed us exactly why they have had such a great year! They ROCKED!
I was blown away by CogRes at #VCN2012 last year. They were such a standout and delivered such a powerful vocal. I enjoyed watching their passion as they performed each song. They, too, have just gotten better over this past year. I need to move North Carolina closer to New Jersey so I can see them more often!
As per usual, this post is way too long and way too late. (Thank goodness deadlines are rather flexible with Dave!) Also, additional videos can be found on my YouTube page on my #VCN2013 playlist. In summation, I cannot be a bigger advocate for attending festivals! EVERYONE SHOULD GO! It is such an empowering, enriching, educational, and inspiring weekend of beautiful music. Hope to see you at the next one!