GBSS Idol 2014 kicked off last Friday night (February 28), with an exciting night of performances. 20 acts performed at GBSS in front of an appreciative audience, marking the first round of competition.
The cafeteria was packed with an impressive 165 in attendance, causing a last minute scramble to add more seating.
The night featured a great variety of music. A wide range of instruments were played, from guitar and piano, to an electric ukulele, a saxophone, cups being tapped on a table rapidly to create a unique percussion, as well as a variety of other forms of sound. The selection of songs was also quite diverse, with acts performing songs all the way from Carrie Underwood to John Mayer to Arctic Monkeys.
“It was very successful,” said Music Student Co-President Joanna McMurchy. “It was a very well attended event. We love having locals out, as it is a community event. There was a really high calibre of talent. Cutting down to the top 15 will be so hard,” she concluded.
And indeed, it was difficult. The results were announced Tuesday, which saw the elimination of the five acts who received the lowest number of votes. The voting was close, and it was apparent that all acts had strong support.
The night began with Idol host Patrick Delaney introducing the night of music. A brief recap of previous Idol competitions surely sent the competitors stomachs into knots. Chelsea Randall, the 1st Idol winner, went on to get prestigious music degrees, and is now working in comedy. Connor Vilaca, the next winner, went on to perform on Broadway. Clearly, this competition can have a significant effect.
The undesired position of the first performance went to the duet of Sydney Foster and Eryn Clement-Goudy, by process of random selection. The duo performed “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse, and did an impressive job in opening the show.
After her performance Sydney Foster said that although she didn’t remember a lot of the performance she was pleased. “The stage was more welcoming than I first imagined, it was nice,” she commented.
The first group of acts continued along with Grade 11 singer and guitarist Greg Smith performing “Leon” by John Mayer, which has been described as one of the hardest songs to play on the guitar. The newly formed band ‘Second Aid’ was up soon, and thanks to the impressive vocals of singer Abby Woodhouse, part of the crowd were on their feet, and the audience really came alive.
Sara Harvey proved to be one of the most comical performers of the night, taking the audience into the palm of her hand, by pleasing the audience with her unique sense of humour, as well as her powerful voice.
Other first act performers Sean Cop and Gillian Hallman also gave strong performances, the latter of which sung & played guitar while battling sickness.
The second group of acts featured a great diversity of acts. The bands ‘Outliers’ and ‘The Ted Brownlow Band’ rocked the stage, the acoustic act featuring returning singers Sara Harvey and Greg Smith cast a spell, as did the strong vocal performance of soloist Julie Ann Sheridan. This group ended with a uniquely captivating performance by the group ‘C.U.P.S.’, to the song “Call Your Girlfriend”.
The third act proved not to disappoint, continuing with the high level of performances. Male soloist Nick Hallman gave a strong performance to “Hummingbird”, followed by another strong female vocalist in Jocelyn Smith, who although entered as a soloist, featured one of the biggest bands of the night, creating a dynamic sound.
The final two acts of the night brought the night to an exciting conclusion. The duet featuring Grade 10 students Kailum MacKenzie and Jonah Neumann, gave a great acoustic performance proving themselves to be one of the several great duos in the competition. The final act was the band ‘Just Synesthesia’ featuring the lead vocals of Becky Harrison and Nick Hallman, as well as a strong backing band. This act finished off the night well, performing “Little Talks” with confidence and skill.
At the end of the night, it was clear that the audience was appreciative of the great night of music. No two people had the same favourite acts, as all the competitors laid down impressive performances. Although some have know been eliminated, all acts truly were enjoyable to watch and hear.
The night went by smoothly thanks to the student technical crew, who brought the show to life, as well as all those helping at the front door, the canteen, and backstage.
The top 15, who will now advance to the second round on March 28 are as follows:
Syd and Eryn
The Ted Brownlow Band
Kailum and Jonah
Sarah and Unnamed Ukulele
Greg and Sara