Acapella Rock Vocalists
Rockapella arrived with a case full of Shure Beta 87 wireless microphones and a rack of receivers. Jeff, the "drummer", also brought a throat mic setup with a wireless transmitter, and a system of switches and pedals to provide him with the effects necessary to produce all of the drum sounds using only his voice.
With five wireless vocalists on stage, we needed to provide lots of monitor coverage. There were five wedges across the front of the stage in an arc, and another wedge on a 4x8 foot drum riser for Jeff. Monitors were LOUD!
Most people in the audience new Rockapella from the PBS show "Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego". They have also had many TV appearances on the morning shows, and have been performing together for years. I had seen them on many of these TV gigs, and had heard about them for a long time. Once again, something about seeing an act live cannot compare to seeing them on TV or hearing their albums. These guys absolutely blew me away.
As many people now now, acapella vocals are not now (nor have they ever been) the exclusive territory of doo-wop singing. That's only one facet of band-less vocalization. Rockapella, as their name implies, performed mostly rock and roll type music. Their vocal harmonies were incredible. Barry, the bass, has an unbelievably resonant voice. He literally shook the whole theater when he did his solo number. Sean and Scott, the two highest voices sang lead in many of the songs, and Elliot (a slightly lower voice), did a beautiful solo tune. Finally, Jeff sang on a couple of selections, but mostly he was the band's drummer. He didn't play drums, they did not have a tape playback for drums, there was no drum machine hooked up. Jeff did a phenomenal imitation of an entire drum kit for almost every song. Even after being told twice by the group that Jeff did the drum sounds, people were asking me where the drum machine was.
The show as a complete experience. At no time did the fact that there wasn't a single instrument on stage even enter your mind. They blended into one solid sound, and it was like nothing you have ever heard before. It was great!
The audience reaction to the show was as huge as any I have ever worked on. People were shouting and cheering after every number. The group's energy level was almost off the scale, and they really looked like they were having a good time, too. They did 3 (count 'em, 3) encores because the audience would not let them go!
If you EVER have the opportunity to see these guys live, DO IT! You won't be sorry.
Check out some of their recordings below.
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