“HaikuStix Fall Cafe” Crazy Co-ed A Cappella: A Night of Poetry and Music with The Acoustics

By Cuilin Chen

The Acoustics performed at last year's ArtsFest, along with several other BC a capella groups

The Acoustics also performed at last year’s ArtsFest, along with several other BC a capella groups

Bizarre. I found myself in a crowd of beanie-and-glasses-wearing (are they even real glasses?) hipsters in a so-called “HaikuStix Café” this Saturday night. There was also music playing—sweet. And thank God, it wasn’t some random indie song I could not name. On the contrary, I knew it so well; the first song was Chvrches’ “The Mother We Share”. Woohoo! I restored my confidence: despite the disadvantage that I did not have a beanie sitting on my head, I might just be a true hipster after all.

At this point, you may think I am cool, or more likely, not… But here is what this is really about: some cool people and a wonderful show.

“HaikuStix Cafe” is a themed show run by the BC Acoustics. In this pop-up “cafe” in McGuinn 121 the group perform their entire repertoire. Lights dimmed, voices came to life, given full and distinctive characteristics by each performer. The soloist’s voices danced in harmony with those in the background, creating an echo that even further extended the musicality. Taylor MacLeod, leader of the group, told me that one of his best moments were hearing the three freshmen sing. “It was such a surreal moment, as a senior and leader of the group, to have everything come full circle.  I remember when I sang my freshman project. It brought me so much joy and pride to see them starting their journey in the Acoustics at their first cafe.” One of them, Alex, was in my class. When he walked in and started singing “Rolling in the Deep”, I was instantly stunned before recalling where I had seen that familiar face. It is always a thrill to discover others’ talent. And most genuinely, I still remember each performer’s unique voice, some sweet, some deep, some rounded, some explosive… When all these voices came together, they created a layered yet unified form of acoustic beauty. My ears would tear up, if they could.

As a hipster, I was not supposed to submit to the mainstream that often. Yet, I found myself helplessly laughing just like all the other audience during the second part of the show: The skits were too funny! A volcanic eruption of nonsense, the skits were about slam poetry and Doctor Seuss. They were simple and short, but absurd to an extent of tremendous entertainment, especially with the group’s theatrical acting. The group also deliberately selected costumes to match the “HaikuStix” theme. That is why a lot of them were wearing beanies and glasses to contribute to a comical atmosphere. Absolutely brilliant: Gets the hipsters. Gets the posers. Gets the rest.

My favorite part of the show was probably the Boys’ Project VS the Girls’ Project. Trying hard to win this battle, the boys performed Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” in utmost flamboyant fashion, mixing peculiar but energetic dance moves. I choked on my laughter. The Girls’ project was slightly different. Not as hilarious, rather they felt youthful, lively and light-hearted. They paired up and performed Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”. It was not lacking of humor, and every beat added a bit more life to me.

Now, I have arrived at a conclusion—You want to be my friend: A. You are convinced that I am a cool hipster. Or B. Like me, you would surely go to the next show. The truth is, I am not a hipster. But like you, I am very much interested in the art. And yes, we should all be friends and discover more and more art scenes at BC.

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