Joint concert brings ‘Breakfast for Dinner’ with a side of gender politics
On Saturday evening, April 15, The Pikers and the Greenleafs closed the door on another year of a cappella glory with their concert, “Breakfast For Dinner.” Embracing the laxity and liveliness of the ending semester and nearing summer, this duo embraced a lenient dress code with dresses and ties spanning the whole range of the color spectrum. The song list, titled “Good Vibes of the Night” on the program, continued this feeling of easy positivity and emphasized the performance’s strong and meaningful purpose for all-inclusive fun.
Throughout the performance, both The Greenleafs and The Pikers switched off stage time, transitioning with jokes presented by a member or two from both groups. The Greenleafs got the ball rolling with songs “Sway” by Dean Martin and “Not Over You” by Gavin DeGraw. The Pikers followed with their renditions of “Love Me Now” by John Legend and “Flaws” by Bastille. Though having a bit timid of a start, the show really began to take form following “Flaws,” where strong dynamics excited both performers and audience members alike. Mac Slone was the talented soloist throughout the piece. As they rocked on stage, the audience bounced in their seats and settled in for the rest of the short but sweet performance.
Switching spots with The Pikers and The Greenleafs taking the stage, this bouncy and excited mood took a turn in the most beautiful of directions. Kendall Spina, co-music director of the group, introduced the Greenleafs performance of “Quiet” by MILCK, a song that has gained national attention over the past few months around Women’s Marches following the presidential election of Donald Trump. An all-female a cappella group, The Greenleafs made a powerful statement with their performance of this song, emphasizing women’s refusal to “keep quiet” and their capacity to stand up against male dominance and misogynistic ideals. When asked the how, when and why for this song selection, Spina responded that the group had been in an extensive rehearsal together the evening of the election, and that experience left a lasting impact on the entirely female group.
“We wanted to show our audience how we, as young women, can stand together, and the best way we knew how to do that was through our common love of music. Singing and performing ‘Quiet’ is our way of carrying the Women’s Marches with us,” she explained.
Soloist Semhar Mekonnen grabbed the audience’s attention with a quiet introduction, building into the tonal strength the song requires and creating a gradual metamorphosis of sound. Though not an entirely female performance, The Pikers too had implications of female equality in their performance right from the start as heard in the performance’s opening during their light jab about equal wages. Throughout, this performance did well to keep an important conversation light, optimistic and whole-heartedly fun.
The performance continued with The Greenleafs’ performance of “Put the Gun Down,” where soloist Natalie Newman channeled ZZ Ward’s tonal flare to a T. With The Pikers up next, the concert took a turn toward the humorous, getting a chuckle from the entire crowd with their rendition of Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” particularly during performer Jacob Lee’s charismatic solo. This song followed with “Flashdance (What a Feeling!)” by Irene Cara, during which the seniors joined the rest of the guys on-stage and displayed the quintessential “bromance,” or rather, the genuinely close bond that this group shares.
In place of the “senior sendoff” that new members expected to take place at the concerts end was a practical joke on the new members by returnees. Channeling vibes from the hit TV show “The Bachelor,” the upperclassmen played matchmaker for Paul Krucylak and Michelle Eisenberg, creating what they referred to as the first “Greenleafs-Pikers Wedding.” In a cute transition, both bride and groom turned out to be the next songs’ primary soloists, playing the male and female vocal roles in Of Monster and Men’s song “Little Talks.” A plethora of performers graced the stage, singing once more with the seniors to whom they will soon have to say goodbye.
Though brief enough to not require an intermission, this performance proved a fantastic way to spend just a part of one Saturday evening in the depleting number left in the school year. Exuding comradery and “good vibes” throughout, it appears that their goodbyes need not be sad, but rather one of many celebrations that the seniors will have in the coming month.