One of UC Davis’ a cappella groups, The Liquid Hotplates, will present its annual winter showcase, AlottaCappella, Friday at 123 Science Lecture Hall. The showcase, which marks the university’s first a cappella concert of the year, will feature performances from five UC a cappella groups and the Davis Chamber Choir.
In addition to performances from returning groups, which include The Afterglow, The Lounge Lizards, The Spokes, Jhankaar and The Liquid Hotplates, AlottaCappella welcomes two new groups. Among the new groups are Cloud 9, an a cappella group from UC Santa Cruz, and the Davis Chamber Choir, a student-run vocal ensemble. This year’s AlottaCappella will be the first time a choir and a group outside of UC Davis will perform at the showcase.
Having sung in a barbershop quartet with the music director from Cloud 9, Gordon Allen, the music director for The Liquid Hotplates, invited the group because of his close relationship with its members and its vibrant performance style.
“Cloud 9 just has this crazy vibe where every time they go on the stage the whole audience just goes nuts for them. And they always wear the craziest outfits and we just love their vibe, so we wanted to bring them to Davis,” Allen said.
Although the Davis Chamber Choir is the only non-a cappella group at the showcase, Allen feels the different vocal styles complement each other to create a dynamic performance. In addition to their own performance, the choir will join The Liquid Hotplates in a rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep.”
“They mostly sing choral music, where they sing mostly words and sounds that are designed for voices, and we’re emulating other sounds with our voices,” Allen said. “It’s all the same, it’s just great to see people who like to sing and share the music with each other.”
In addition to the collaboration with the Davis Chamber Choir, The Liquid Hotplates will also be collaborating in a performance with The Spokes. The concert will also include a performance featuring various members from different a cappella groups in one arrangement.
As the first acappella concert of the year, AlottaCapella is important to Johnny Wylie, The Liquid Hotplates president, because it is the first time first-year students are exposed to UC Davis’ a cappella community.
“We get a lot of incoming freshmen [who have seen stuff like] Pitch Perfect [and other representations of a cappella] like that, [but] this is [the] first exposure they get to the a cappella community at Davis,” Wylie said. “It’s our show. So that means a lot to us. It’s really special.”
Although Wylie remained secretive about upcoming surprises during The Liquid Hotplates’ performance, he mentioned the group will be performing two audience favorites, a medley of songs from Disney’s Frozen and a rendition of “Used to Love You” by John Legend.
Ian Nool, The Afterglow’s music director, also hinted that his group’s performance will feature a surprise. In addition to performing the group’s classic rendition of “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake, Nool said the group will tackle a mashup of Beyoncé’s “Yonce” and “Partition.” The songs’ raunchy lyrics are a departure from The Afterglow’s usual style of performing love songs and doo-wop tunes, according to Nool.
“It’s sort of new because Beyoncé took that album last year to a whole [new] level, and so [The Afterglow] likes to take things to a whole [new] level [as well], and do something probably outside of the box or outside of what we usually do,” Nool said.
Anya Stewart, co-president of The Spokes, hinted at a complex medley she hopes both students and parents will recognize. Stewart also said the group will be performing a jazzy rendition of “Move Like U Stole It” by ZZ Ward. Stewart is excited to perform because of the huge audience AlottaCappella usually draws.
“You know how there was that group of theatre kids in high school who loved to perform? Yeah, we all ended up in a cappella groups,” Stewart said. “If there’s anything we love, it’s an audience!”
Allen encourages people to attend the showcase because of his belief that the voice is an instrument that resonates with everyone.
“Singing is such a personal artistic gift. It’s an instrument; your body is an instrument, but it’s also just you creating the sound of your heart, and you just give it to people,” Allen said. “People love to hear that kind of art that feels so genuine and feels so real. And that’s what a cappella is really. It’s a celebration of a sound inside all of us.”
AlottaCapella will begin at 8:30 p.m. Friday at 123 Science Lecture Hall. Presale tickets are $5 and can be bought at The Liquid Hotplates’ table in front of the Memorial Union. General admission tickets can be bought at the door for $7 with a student ID and $10 without.
Photo courtesy The Liquid Hotplates.