If I didn’t already know from the title of tonight’s performance, “G’s Out for Harambe,” by the time I picked up the program at the front of the theater I knew that we were about to see what my friend lovingly described as “a comedy show disguised as an acapella concert.” Describing the G-Men as able to rock audiences with “the power of 100 raging Mark Ruffalo’s,” and suggesting a game with points awarded for catching members “visibly power-hungry,” laughing at their own jokes, or going cross-eyed, the program was representative of the G-Men’s unique sense of fun and levity.
The G-Men were cracking jokes the entire night in between songs, showing off their tangible camaraderie. Sometimes it felt like the audience was privy to a big inside joke, that while none of us fully understood, we were fully entertained nonetheless. However, the true star of the show was the amazing musicality displayed by the group. They opened the performance with “Like Real People” by Hozier, which showcased both their singing and arranging skills. The trend continued through to their next song, “Dust Bowl Dance” by Mumford and Sons. I was most impressed by how skillfully they were able to alternate between powerful bursts of sound and quieter moments, moving together as a cohesive unit. For a sample of this particular arrangement of “Dust Bowl Dance,” check out their performance of it at last year’s Charity Fest below.
The next two songs were “Color My World” by Chicago and “Sunday Morning(s)” by Maroon 5. The soloists in each of these songs, as well as the entire set list, were fantastic and matched the tone of the song perfectly. One member even did an impressive saxophone imitation, reflecting the mix of comedy and artistry that G-Men possess. Check out the video of their performance of “Sunday Morning(s)” at this year’s MacFest below.
The last song before intermission was my favorite of the night, a stunningly emotive rendition of “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles. After introducing the song with a joke of it being, “the 22nd best Beatles song,” they blew us away with the sheer power of their performance. Below is a video of them performing the song last year.
After a brief intermission, the Sopranos came onto stage and sang two numbers, one of them “Lost in the World” by Kanye West, a video of their arrangement is attached below. They then invited the G-Men back, who rushed onto the stage with renewed energy and fresh t-shirts, only to perform a stunning rendition of “Shadow of the Sun” together with the Sopranos.
They finished the show with three more songs, “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, “Sandcastles” by Beyoncé, and “Ultralight Beam” by Kanye West. Each song was just as polished as the first half.
While snow was falling in blowing frigid air by the time we left the auditorium, my friends and I were filled with enough post-show energy to last for the entire walk home. The conversation never left the fantastic performance we had just witnessed. If you are interesting in listening to more of the G-men and keeping track of their upcoming concerts, check out their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/themichigangmen/