Private shows ROCK. Iíve been to two of them, and they have been among the best Iíve seen. Iím not sure why they are better to me, maybe itís because most of the audience doesnít want their attentions after the show, or maybe its because when they look out in the sea of faces, and only recognize 5, they tend to play to those 5. Whatever it may be, it works for me. But Iím ahead of myselfÖ
You all know that I like to start my tales by talking about the travel. The show was in Middletown, Connecticut, which was supposed to be 2.5 hours away from where I live. Riiiight. Thatís without traffic. It took me about 4 hours to get to my hotel, in Hartford, which was 15 minutes away from Wesleyan University. The hotel was disgusting. Days Inn Ė Hartford on Brainard Road. Please donít stay there, if you are a non-smoker. Iím sure they have Non-Smoking rooms because I ordered one, however I was given a SMOKING room at check-in and was told that I could not switch because they were sold out. I am highly allergic to cigarette smoke, not to mention the fact that the room smelled like 800 cigarettes were smoked in there the hour before I checked in. The shower curtain was saturated with cigarette smoke so that when you showered, you came out of the shower smelling like an ashtray Ė I kid you not. No offense to the smokers reading this tale, but this room was bad. I assume most smokers clean their things and donít let their houses become like this place had become. Anyway, I opened the window (thank god I was able to) and left the room to meet up with Sue and Louise for dinner. We met up on Main Street, and walked to a pizza joint to eat some food before the show. Ok, that was fun, wasted a whole 45 minutes in there. We still were way early. We started wandering around 7:45pm and didnít find the campus until about 8:30pm (yay for lack of directionness) We find the campus, and follow the tents to where pella will be. Jeff is already thumping.
We walk into the tent, and see Phil. He said "Why are you here?" to us. Hehe. He was surprised because it was a private event, and here we were. We told him that Elliott had invited us two months ago, and that we also spoke with the college and got their OK before coming. Phil seemed happy with that and walked away to do whatever it is that Phil does. He comes back to us a little while later, while Jeff is playing with his toys and making exploding noises, and he talks to us some more. I told him "I want to be in your shirt" which Iím sure sounded really funny to him (and maybe even to you since you arenít hearing it in context Ė it was really cold out and he was wearing a fleece). I was freezing. Stupid 40-50 degree weather on Memorial Day weekend. We proceeded to talk more, about George. Somehow it came up that he will be the only member of Rockapella that didnít live in NYC at some point, so I came up with the splendid idea of letting George move there for a day, so that they can still have that NYC appeal for all 5 members. Yes, Iím insane.
Ok, Phil leaves us to be our insane selves, and we are playing with the glow sticks and water worm thingys that are on the tables and Jeff starts being insane too. For some reason, Jeff was the sound check for all 5 guys. He did all of his own stuff, and then went on to be the others. First he sang as Barry. Damn, Jeff has a bass voice Ė where the hell did that come from?? Seriously folks, it was good. Very stong. Iím not sure what the deal was with that, but HUMINA. Ok. Next he was Scott. Scott was a bunch of random syllables, screaming, and tongue-sticking-out-ness. WAY funny. Well, not screaming in a bad way, wailing, you know, like Scott does when heís being Scott. Next he was Elliott. Jeff was singing ooooís into the mic, much like El does when Bear does that introduction thing with El, and then Jeff starts singing "Iím so shyyyyyy, but not reallllllly" pretending he was El. It was SO cute. Almost as cute as it would have been if Elliott were singing it hehe. Last he was Kevin. Jeff starts off by singing at a reasonable volume, "This is my sound check volumeeeeee" and then Jeff starts screaming "THIS IS MY STAGE VOLUME!!!" Oh my god. We all died. Then we died again. But then, we lived. That whole bit was just the funniest thing ever. It surpassed the "Jeff doing VP on a chair" at Seanís gig.
OK, so finally they are done setting up the chairs on the dance floor and Jeff goes off into the building to get changed and do whatever it is pella does before a show, and we take our seats front and center. We look up, and its Barry! Yay! He must have driven there on his own, because he arrived much later, which is probably part of the reason why Jeff did sound check for him hehe. Barry got a haircut. Double yay! We talked to him about it. He told us it was getting so long that when he went to Kickboxing (**sigh thinking about Barry kickboxing**) his hair would be all wet and on his neck, YECH! He was describing it just as he would have in one of his Spoken Word stories. It was soo Barry, soo cute. (YECH was his word, not mine hehe). I love how a lot of Barryís stories revolve around fitness. Itís a bit of a motivator for me, to know that they too have to work at being fit. (Though for them youíd think it was easy by lookiní at them hehe.) Barry then had to leave, to get changed and stuff, but wasnít it nice that he saw us, and came over to talk to us, before making his way to the "changing" building? What a man.
Finally, Amy shows up. Whew. We were beginning to wonder where they all were. Amy was bringing Rachel and Stefanie in tow. They were a little late (as opposed to our being way early hehe) so they missed all of what I just told you about. The rest from here onward, they experienced hehe. Just in case you wanted to live the story from an Amy perspective, instead of a Jenn perspective, because Iím that weird to even think of it. Yeah, ok. Iíll move on. YAY AMY! Amy looked skinny and very pretty. I just wanted to make it a part of my Rockapella history, so there ya go. Go P4P.
Amy and friends decide to sit on the floor, in front of us, which caused about 15 other college aged people to do the same. Cool. A college aged bunch. Should be fun. The local college group came on, around 10:00pm, and sang 3 songs. They were decent. Very cute guy sang the second song hehe. He wasnít Pella though.
Finally, its time for Pella. Awww there they are! Canít you see them? They are off to the left, in all their suited splendor, singing the beginning of House of the Rising Sun. Sigh. Finally, 2 months of no pella is over, and now all pella chaos can break loose. They all looked so good. Maybe it was because I hadnít seen them in two months, maybe it was because work has been insane and I have been counting the days til pella, but whatever it was, it worked. We were getting LOTS of pella love during the show. It was great. There is probably nothing better than having them sing to you, or smile at you, and knowing they know your name and where you are from. Ok maybe all five of them donít know, but I know some of them do. Itís just awesome to know they care that much. Iíve probably said that in a million other reviews (right cuz Iíve reviewed 1 million Rockapella shows) but each time I see them, it never ceases to amaze me. The show went on as normal, but I donít have a set list. I believe it was as follows: House of the Rising Sun, Moments of You, No Doubt At All, Danciní in the Streets, 16 Tons, Use Me, Folgers, Donít Do It, Pretty Woman, Stand By Me, Big Bad John, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Dance With Me, and Keep On Smiliní. I could be wrong though. It was a shorter show, as they were limited to a 45 minute set.
Some of the funnier moments of the showÖ.somehow Elliott dropped a lifesaver on the stage, which managed to roll up to the chair where the PW would sit, and Kevin found it. He was like "oh I want to use this now" and then started rambling on in a way that only Kevin can ramble. But in the end, Kevin had Elliott come and pick up the candy, which Elliott did, then Elliott pretended to put it into his mouth as he walked away, to which the entire audience said "ewwwwww". He just smiled as only Elliott can smile. It was cute. Oh but wait, I skipped over the most important part, well that is, if your name is Louise and you love Elliott. During Donít Do It, El did the usual crowd participation segments, the last being where he comes off the stage and sings to someone. The happened to be an empty chair next to Louise which made it a very prime spot for his going out and singing to someone. He chose it. Louise had her head on his shoulder and at one point, he made her feel his head, it was so cute. The last funny thing I can remember was when Scott yelled "theres only one thing left to do, and you know what it is" the crowd full of 20 somethings who obviously grew up seeing Carmen Sandiego screamed at the top of their lungs DO IT ROCKAPELLA! Barry started jumping up and down all excitedly, as if he was surprised anyone had ever heard of them. He was so cute. It might just be me, but Barry has seemingly been enjoying every second of being on stage, moreso now than ever before. Maybe his decision to change paths has him confused (while knowing its right, its still such a good feeling to hear the audience go nuts). Either way, he just looks like heís having a ball, and I think its terrific.
Afterwards was even more fun than the show. Amy had made cupcakes for me, for my birthday, which we all had before the show (oops forgot to put it in up top so here it is hehe). Anyway, we were talking to Kevin, and she gave him one, and somehow managed to drop the remaining cupcakes on the grass. It was so sad, yet so funny at the same time lol. So, Kevin got the last cupcake hehe. We still donít know if he ate it, cuz he left it behind, then came back and then put it down again because heís Kevin. He hugged Amy and I several times, it was cool, and we hugged him at once one time heheh. Yay sandwiches! I also hugged Barry, and Phil. Sigh. It was cold out, and they were warmÖ.yeah, thatís it. Well, actually it really was cold. At one point in the show, Kevin was trying to see his breath. Silly Floridians.
After the show, Amy, Rachel, Stefanie and I went out to Dennyís, and that was a blast too. Our waiter walked over, and he was bald. The only thing I could think of was Amy saying "Heís Bald" in Delaware. The waiters name? Phil. But I decided he was Phelliot. Yay pella! We left him a 10 dollar tip, because he was cool, and really nice to us. Yay for nice people!
Ok, Iím done. I hope you enjoyed your stay in my brain. Scary, isnít it? Next stop, Hofstra on 6/1/02Ö