A Noteworthy Climax to Sex Week


I didn’t know what (or who) was coming upon entering Gomes Chapel for the annual Sex Week a cappella concert on Friday March 17, but unlike most women, I did not leave disappointed. 

Traditionally, the concert features songs primarily about sex, though some groups adhered to this unofficial theme better than others. In fact, if this were the Pitch Perfect riff-off that this concert heavily resembled, some groups would be *cut off.*

The Deansmen kicked off the evening of music with “I Got” by Young the Giant. The rowdy audience seemed receptive to the impressive vocal range and endurance of soloist David Walker ’24. Though I didn’t exactly see the song’s connection to the theme, it was nevertheless fun to watch. 

Soloist Miles Hagerdorn ’25 began their more apt second number, “Sexy Love” by Ne-Yo. His performance was received with an audience swaying along to the rhythm and clapping to the beat. The range of the song was demanding, but Hagerdorn powered through, finishing the group’s performance with a bang.

Next on the stage was the Manic Optimists (better known around campus as the ManOps) singing “Inside of You” by Infant Sorrow. They opened with a spectacle: a circle of jazz hands parting to reveal two members in a compromising position. Their choreography and vocal embellishments paired with the provocative song made for a memorable performance.

They then followed with “Troublemaker” by Flo Rida and Olly Murs. For this number, the ManOps were in crop tops, pulsating to the beat, condoms were flying– the place was hot ‘n heavy. While the execution of the song of itself had room for improvement, their energy and commitment made up for minor mistakes. The final bars of their performance might have felt like boys’ night karaoke, but honestly, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The Merimanders followed this act with “Pussy is God” by King Princess. While Tamrin Ghai ’26 slayed her solo, leaving the crowd screaming her name, the rest of the lingerie-clad group grooved to the song. Their next number was a mashup of “No Scrubs” by TLC and “NO” by Meghan Trainor. Having been to my fair share of a cappella concerts, I felt the group did not take advantage of their talent as best as they could. It could have been a technical error of needing different mics, but the soloists’ voices did not blend as well as I knew they had in the past.

TakeNote was next up, opening with “Kill Bill” by SZA. The trendy song inspired a crowd sing-along when the group reached the chorus. It was well done but wanting in its relevance to Sex Week. 

Their next song, “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado and Timbaland, was arguably one of the best selections of the concert. However, I couldn’t help but feel as though the group had more potential to sell the song than was realized. The number was delivered somewhere between a rap and a melody, creating a sense of tension (not the good kind) that left the audience in want of more. Perhaps the group could have made use of Peer Health’s free lube to loosen up the performance.

The evening finished with a happy ending as the Crosstones took to the stage. They opened with Elle King’s “Ex’s and Oh’s” which showcased soloist Sadie Basila’s ’23 voice brilliantly. The incredible vocals were only magnified by the inflatable penis dancing behind Basila; the motion of the ocean truly is valuable. 

The group then seamlessly transitioned into John Legend’s “All of Me” featuring soloists Thierno Barry ’26 and Sidney Toga ’24. The two absolutely nailed their performance with godly vocals. While the group put on a great show, their song selection was questionably on-theme. With all of the songs out there about sex, I was hoping for something more provocative.

All in all, however, the groups came together to produce a show that embodied the fun and the friskiness of sex week. The Bates College a cappella groups never fail to impress, and this concert was no exception. The concert was a noteworthy climax to Sex Week 2023.