“Pitch Perfect” introduced us to the captivating world of college a cappella. With Madison’s thriving a cappella scene, Badgers can experience the a cappella sensation for themselves. Madison has two male a cappella groups: the Madhatters and Fundamentally Sound, two female a cappella groups: Pitches and Notes and Tangled Up in Blue, and one Jewish a cappella group: Jewop. On Friday, October 8 and Saturday, October 9, Fundamentally Sound held their fall show at Music Hall. Funny videos, goofy dancing, and an amazing songs selection created a quirky and thrilling show.
Decked out in suspenders, the guys serenaded the audience with songs from all genres, ranging from Disney to rap. Whether it was the Tarzan Medley or Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us,” Fundamentally Sound personalized every song with goofy dance moves and original arrangements. There is no doubt that all the guys are extremely talented, but it was their fun personalities that really sold the show. Some special moments in the show were FS alumni joining the group in the “FS Theme Song,” female a cappella group, Pitches and Notes joining the guys in a spirited rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and an astounding beat-box showcase by Peter Anderson.
This was not a traditional concert. Instead of just singing for two hours straight, Fundamentally Sound broke up the concert into sections, by showing parts of their 5 minute series: The Real Singers of Fundamentally Sound in between songs. The hilarious series of (fictional) videos depicted the events that transpired when one member goes missing during the group’s fall retreat. Mike Fuller, one of the four new freshmen members, was approached to help out with the video production after the group found out that he has a knack for filming and editing videos. Mike explained the idea behind using videos during the concert, “We always do videos during our shows, so that it wouldn’t get boring for our audiences,” Mike says. “We know it can be boring to sit through a concert for two hours, so we try to break it up with the videos and the intermission.” The videos definitely achieved their goal; not only were the videos captivating, but they showed off the members’ personalities and senses of humor.
Another unique aspect of the show was the audience participation. During the first half of the show, the audience was asked to vote on Facebook for a song for the group to sing during later in the show. Thoroughly difficult choices such as a Boy Band Medley (Backstreet Boys and NSYNC) and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” (Disney’s “Mulan”) were presented. The Boy Band Medley was declared the winner, and what ensued was a swoon-worthy performance that brought back great giddy childhood memories.
The Boy Band Medley certainly was a highlight of the show. Another great moment was a haunting and intense mash up of “Pumped up Kicks” by Foster the People and “Kids” by MGMT that evoked a somber and serious tone. Evoking emotions from their audience was a unique aspect to the FS fall show. When asked about what makes Fundamentally Sound unique from the other groups, Mike said, “I think all a cappella groups on campus are really talented, but each group has their own distinct sound. I think FS has a unique way of handling a song. We really try to make the audience feel a certain emotion during our performances. It’s a balance of joking around and making the audience laugh to singing a very serious song like Youth of Nation (P.O.D), [a song about youth violence.] It’s like a roller coaster ride [emotionally] for the audience.”
It indeed was an exhilarating roller coaster ride, and an enjoyable one at that. From the great voices to the goofy dances, there never was a dull moment. If you missed this show, be sure to get connected with FS through Facebook: facebook.com/FSacappella or Twitter: twitter.com/FSacappella, and look out for the announcement of their spring show. It surely will be one not to miss.