Need an extra condom, anyone? After attending the Bates Sex Week a cappella concert, audience members are stocked up on both the flavored and lubricated rubbers that covered every table in the Fireplace Lounge this past Wednesday night. Sex Week organizers also provided information regarding healthy sex and STD statistics amongst college-aged students.
Once audience members had filled into the intimate atmosphere and observed the various condoms and pamphlets, the Deansmen strolled in snapping and singing “L-O-V-E” with Henry Baird ’17 as the soloist. I was surprised to see the Deansmen out of their tuxedos and in much more casual button-up shirts and pants, but their performance made up for their absent attire. After their first song, Baird introduced the group and the concert to the audience while making jokes regarding his lack of preparation and awkward wording.
The group quickly maintained their energy with a Deansmen classic: “Let Me Go.” My personal favorite, this song incorporates both wonderful vocals and entertaining armography; you cannot go wrong with that pair. Finally, they sang, “Sexual Healing.” The song begins by whispering, then grows into a confident and comfortable song about the power of sex in a relationship. Towards the end, the group gradually fades from the strong instrumentals of the chorus to the repetitive line “heal me my darling.” As the voices fade and ascend higher in pitch, the intimate nature of the song is revealed.
The Merimanders followed, performing the most technically strong set. Starting with “Feeling Good,” Emily Tan ’19 and Sarah Curtis ’18 demonstrate note-for-note perfection through their clear voices while the rest of the group exemplifies typical Merimanders skill for arranging scores.
After uproarious applause, the group shifts into their second piece: a mash-up of “Scrubs” and “No.” Aside from the originality of this combination, the bridge of the song builds in such a way as to truly render the frustrating experience of receiving attention in undesired ways. Towards the end of the number, the women share knowing glances; soon they break out into giggling choreography in time to the “Untouchable, untouchable” repetition in “Scrubs.” Throughout the song, they were in anticipation of this exciting and dramatic portion of the piece.
As the Merimanders leave the stage, they welcome the Manic Optimists (ManOps) to the front.
As the ManOps trickled in from the audience, I was unprepared for the drama their performance would bring. After giving pitches, they break out into the song “Inside of you.” A clear reference to sex, the song includes such phrases as “inside of you, please let me inside” and “so nice, so very nice.” The audience responds in laughter as soon as the innuendo is realized, and the ManOps maintain a serious façade until the last few lines of the song. Reaching a climax (pun intended) at the line, “it’s so much more than just a screw” the group starts to smile and the audience hardly manages to stifle their uproarious laughter.
Transitioning into their second song, the ManOps keep up their energy with the song Magic Mike made even more seductive than it already was, “Pony.” Replete with lines offering a “ride” you “won’t want to get off,” this song maintains the giggly and sexual atmosphere of their previous song. Some audience members cheer and screamed at lines such as, “juices flowing down your thigh,” suggesting that such lyrical content was unexpected due to its racy nature previously not performed so openly. Miming grinding, the singers enjoyed joking and playing with the sexual themes of both their songs.
As the above description highlights, the songs chosen by each a cappella group discuss sexual and romantic themes- appropriate choices for Bates Sex Week activities. I look forward to next year’s sex week and the songs chosen to represent what the week means to each group.