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Friday, February 23, 2024

The Lounge Lizards present “No Instruments Attached”

 On March 14, The Lounge Lizards, UC Davis’ co-ed a cappella group, will host the annual show “No Instruments Attached,” performing a mixture of old favorites and new songs alongside several different a cappella groups.

The show will welcome to the stage UC Davis’ male a cappella group The Afterglow, The Cal Jazz Choir from UC Berkeley and Acquire A Cappella from UC Santa Cruz.

The Lounge Lizards will be performing a broad range of songs including “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons and “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The audience can also expect some older tunes by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Muse and Simon & Garfunkel.

The oldest a cappella group on campus, The Lounge Lizards was started by UC Davis students. Vika Mlonchina, current Lounge Lizards treasurer and a third-year communication student who joined The Lounge Lizards in her first quarter, talked about the history of the group.

“Our group has been around for nearly 20 years. We started in 1995 in a dorm lounge on campus. There was a huge turnover [of new members] in spring 2011 and that’s when we started acquiring the new group,” Mlonchina said.

Today, the group is still going strong and holds auditions twice a year. New recruits are given an audition song, vocal exercises and a questionnaire.

“We can get up to 100 people to audition. We like to see their range and how well their ear picks up on music,” Mlonchina said.

Jordon Wade, a soil science graduate student, joined The Lounge Lizards four years ago. Wade said The Lounge Lizards have previous connections with the UC Santa Cruz Acquire A Cappella group, who will also be performing.

“We actually have a pretty good relationship with [Acquire A Cappella]. They performed in this exact thing last year and then also we go to […] their several day [long] festival, Acquire Fest, down in Santa Cruz. We went to that last year, and I believe we’re going to that again this year in early May,” Wade said.

The Lounge Lizards also gives its members the chance to showcase other talents, such as staging dance moves and arranging musical scores.

“It’s a really cool experience to have everyone come together. It’s also an opportunity for people to show off different skills that they have other than singing,” Wade said.

Wade said the show is all about audience engagement, and the groups want it to be interactive with the audience. The shows appeal to all kinds of people, but there are usually a lot of families in the audience.

“The take-home message for our show is we like to really get the audience engaged; we have a variety of ways of doing that, but that’s our thing that we try and drive home. We make sure to have a fun show for everyone that comes,” Wade said.

The Lounge Lizards have been busy promoting the show through promo videos, photo shoots and live performances on the Quad.

“Recently I’ve contacted a couple of student organizations and asked if we could come to their meetings and sing to them to publicize our concert,” said Miguel Guerrero, a second-year economics major and public relations chair. “We had a photo shoot and we also recorded a couple of our songs and they’re on our YouTube page.”

The all-male a cappella group The Afterglow was started by students in the UC Davis vocal performance department in 2003. Their name is the official title for a barber shop aftershow party.

The Afterglow has performed with The Lounge Lizards in previous shows. They will be showcasing a range of songs including “Killing Me Softly” by Roberta Flack and “Open Arms” by Journey.

Kevin Pelstring has been president of The Afterglow for three years and in a phone interview spoke about a surprise they have in store for the audience.

“We’ll bring one [successful song from our past repertoire] back, but we’re going to keep that one secret,” Pelstring said.

“No Instruments Attached” will begin at 8 p.m. in 123 Sciences Lecture Hall on March 14. Tickets are $3 presale and $5 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at the UC Davis ticket office.

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