The Village Club Series Student Showcase is a place for people to show their talents to the student population. The first VCS student showcase of the year took place on the chilly Thursday night before fall break and served as both a celebration of the Green Dot program and as a way to showcase the talents of the Bates student body. Featuring only five acts, the lineup for the Green Dot Student Showcase was smaller than it has been in past years. Luckily, the shorter lineup allowed many performers to extend their sets.
The VCS student showcase was packed with talent. It began with rock outfit Pepper Flip, who played a set of rock covers beginning with Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun.” Lead vocalist Kelly McDonald ‘19 provided powerful lead vocals, and drummer Ian Robertson ‘21 added his voice to produce tight, 90’s rock-inspired vocal harmonies. Bassist Christine Bordeau ‘21 came to the forefront on the group’s second song, a cover of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back.” The band closed out their set with a strong cover of “Paris” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
The night’s second act was a solo set from singer-songwriter and guitarist Becca Kraft ‘20, who began by performing two original songs. Both featured interplayed vocal melodies and versatile song structure, and Becca was able to display her songwriting abilities and dynamic vocals. Kraft brought her set to a close with a cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide,” which had the entire audience singing along.
Josie Blanchon ‘20 and Auguste Perl ‘20 were the next act of the night. They played three covers that featured gorgeous, tight harmonies between the two vocalists. Blancheon’s guitar playing provided a wonderful backing to the two experienced singers, who opened with Wet’s “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl,” and closed with a more somber, slowed down version of Cyndi Lauper’s smash hit, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Their voices worked beautifully together, no doubt from years of singing together in the Merimanders, Bates’ all-female a capella group.
Following was Mark Su ‘22, who brought with him a guest on the keyboard. They played a beautiful rendition of Secret Garden’s “A Song From a Secret Garden.” It was well rehearsed, meditative, and gorgeous, and allowed everyone to close their eyes and be transported by the music.
Jacob Rothstein ‘19 closed out the night. He performed a powerful, moving set and echoed some of the great American songwriters of the 70’s and 80’s in his three original songs. Playing with just a keyboard and his voice, Rothstein’s sound was stripped down yet undeniably full, speaking to both his voice and the content of his lyrics.
He began with an original song called “The Ballad of George,” named for the character in the popular children’s series, “Arthur.” The song was about isolation and loneliness as a child. Rothstein put an incredible amount of energy and passion into his performance, both of which were clearly shown by the vocal power and range he exhibited throughout his set. He even made sure to speak on the importance of Green Dot programming between his songs.
This semester’s Green Dot Student Showcase was the best student showcase I have seen in my time at Bates. It really exhibited the passion and creativity of our student performers.
The next student showcase will be on December 6, and VCS encourages everyone to submit an application before then. From music to spoken word to stand up, all talents are welcome.