The a cappella group Six Appeal kicked off the semester with a performance in the CSU Ballroom from 8:30-10 p.m. on Jan. 9. The concert was organized by the Student Events Team and sponsored by Live Active Apartments. A full house of students turned up to listen, and many showed enthusiasm for the vocal band by swaying, snapping to the beat, and lip-syncing to the lyrics.
Before the Six Appeal came to the stage, the men’s vocal group G-Sharp got the audience warmed up to a cappella with popular songs. The group G-Sharp consists of eight young men from Gustavus Adolphus College. They preluded the Six Appeal with jokes, a cappella standards, and high energy.
The Six Appeal, made up of six guys from the Twin Cities, started off with an awe inspiring as well as hilarious performance of “The Circle of Life” from “The Lion King.” In this song and the rest of the songs, they utilized their bass, baritone, low tenor, mid-tenor, high tenor, and beatboxing vocal chords to the max. Throughout their performance, they demonstrated balance between the six parts and highlighted the vocal talent of all the members.
All six guys were featured as soloists in different songs. Reuben Hushagen, the bass vocalist, got his solo in the song “Low Rider.” During this song, the background vocals shaped and moved their mouths to sound like trumpets or cowbells. The vocal percussionist, Andrew Berkowitz (a.k.a. Berko) not only performed a solo beatboxing piece, but sang a solo in “I Want You Back” by Michael Jackson while the rest of the crew sang in the background. In this song, high tenor Jordon Roll doubled as the vocal percussionist, showing that the men’s talents reached beyond their chosen part.
Berko’s talent as a vocal percussionist was appreciated by the other members of the group. Michael Brookens, the mid-tenor and main emcee for the event, referred to Berko as a “walking and talking drum set,” which was “cheaper than the real thing.” The group engaged the audience with this and other jokes.
The voices of Six Appeal mimicked different types of voices featured in popular songs. While singing “I Will Survive,” the soloist was able to sound like the female vocalist in the song. The mood of each piece was also appropriately portrayed. They sang “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel using the “old style” (that is, without microphones). Brookens commented that, “This song is more serious,” and “It means a lot to us.” They mentioned that they were performing this song for Mankato because the students attending were a good audience. In remembrance of the crazy year of 2016, they sang “Where is the Love” by Black Eyed Peas.
The cheering and enthusiasm of the audience motivated the musicians to perform with seemingly limitless energy. While singing “Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson, one of the singers did a moonwalk across the stage while the others danced in Jackson-like fashion. They did rhythmic and repetitive dancing while singing “Mama Rock Me” by famous Minnesota singer Bob Dylan.
To learn more about Six Appeal, go to sixappealvocalband.com, check out their videos on YouTube, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter @sixappeal.