By Kristen Mabie
I arrived in McGuinn 121 at quarter to seven, fifteen minutes early for the Bostonians’ Spring Café, and the only seats left were in the back row. People were still streaming in as we waited for the show to begin, eventually sitting on stairs and standing at the back, refusing to miss the performance because of a seating shortage. The crowd was vivacious, walking around to mingle before the show, and some people were even dressed in St. Patrick’s Day themed outfits. Bostonians shows are upbeat, vibrant gatherings and the Spring Café was no exception!
As the singers walked in, the crowd erupted into cheers and applause. Well-dressed with huge smiles, the group kicked off the night with Jessie J’s upbeat “Strip,” sung by Meghan McCarthy ’17. Meghan gave a stellar performance, reminding me why my roommates and I listened to her previous performance of the song on repeat during finals! The first standing ovation of the night went to Kelsey Woo ’15 who sang “Say You Love Me,” by Jessie Ware. I saw Kelsey perform this song at the Bostonian’s Winter Café and her performance inspired me to search the song on Spotify and I have loved it ever since! Kelsey’s emotionally-gripping performance was perfect for the gorgeous, heartbreaking ballad. The talent in the Bostonians doesn’t just rest with the seniors though; freshman Hannah Crowley ’18 gave an incredible debut performance of Nikki Yanofsky’s “Necessary Evil.”
A fun addition to both the Bostonians’ Spring and Winter Cafes is the inclusion of projects, songs sung in small groups that add instruments to the usually a capella performances. Chloe Mansour ’17 and Liam Maguire ’17 gave a lighthearted and cheerful rendition of “You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson, accompanied by a ukulele. Later, Sam Park ’16 and Keely Bartram ’16 performed “Tip Of My Tongue” by The Civil Wars and Sam also played guitar. I’ve never heard the original version – but I loved theirs! Their vocals melded perfectly while still allowing each vocalist to shine.
Before intermission, Sami Middleton ’15 sang “Jealous,” by Labyrinth. I’ve loved this song recently and from the first note I was blown away by Sami’s interpretation. Starting off solo, with no background singers to fill out the sound, her mesmerizing vocals carried the sentiment of every lyric. Towards the end she effortlessly belted out lyrics before flawlessly shifting back to delicate notes, creating a chill-inducing performance very worthy of her standing ovation!
Between ovations, yelling out to performing friends by name, and loud applause whenever they hit an unimaginable note (which was often!), the crowd were emphatic supporters, an attitude undoubtedly generated by the Bostonians’ own positivity and excitement. Whenever the singers weren’t performing, they were sitting together off to the side, joking with each other and showing how unified they are as a team.
The second half of the show was just as great as the first. Cailin Cowley ’17 sang “Say Anything,” by Tristan Prettyman, and her jaw-dropping silky voice slid effortlessly through some beautiful, subtle runs. The emotion she showed on her face topped off a truly elegant and haunting performance. Ben Stevens ’17 sang “I’m Not the Only One,” by Sam Smith. Ben is the lead singer in the popular Boston College band, Juice. Ben managed to evoke a similarity between Grammy-winner Sam Smith’s voice and his own while still maintaining a distinct sound. His song had the audience captivated and cheering from beginning to end as he belted it out and navigated the higher notes seamlessly. Chloe Mansour ’17 closed the show with Taylor Swift’s hit song, “Shake it Off.” The Spring Café was the best performance I have seen Chloe give of the song to date. Chloe is one of the happiest people I know! She is the perfect person to sing such a bubbly, energetic song and close out the successful evening. Her incredible energy, along with her unstoppable vocals, made her performance a joy to watch.
I wish I could write about every Bostonians performance that night because each singer is talented beyond belief. I strongly encourage you to check out the videos of their performance on YouTube under the account name bcbostonians.