This past weekend, campus was graced with spooktacular festivities ranging from a ghost hunter event to beach parties. However, one celebration stood out from the crowd — the Bensonians’ first Spooktacular Concert. On Friday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m., the Bensonians took the stage in the Gonzaga Auditorium, energizing the crowd with a series of favorite, feel-good songs.
Starting off the night with a stand-out entrance, the Bensonians came through the Gonzaga auditorium through the back doors, while singing their opening song, “Good Old Acappella.” They then proceeded to take center stage, with the spotlight shining down on their matching red lifeguard shirts. It was later announced that the red lifeguard shirts were an advertisement to raise money. The Bensonians announced that most of the proceeds from the show would be donated to hurricane relief through the American Red Cross, and the show immediately turned into a party when audience members began clapping along to the rhythm.
“I love the old classic songs, like Good Ole Acapella, but it’s really exciting to hear new songs too, like ‘Hey There Delilah’ and ‘Everybody Talks’,” said Jenny Schwartz ‘18. “The Bensonians have great stage presence and always put on a good show.”
Throughout the evening the Bensonians made sure to place multiple plugs in for their upcoming album, “Brother,” which they explained would be released, “soon.” The album will feature two songs that they sang at the Spooktacular including “Everybody Talks” and “Ignition (remix).” During their performance of “Everybody Talks,” lead vocalist Mike Fitzgerald ‘21 showed not only impressive vocals, but an entertaining stage presence as well. “Remix to Ignition” also provided audience members with a house-party vibe. This song was led by Tiarnan Barrett ‘19, who really invested himself into the upbeat rhythm and made the concert seem like the perfect pre-game for Halloweekend.
A definite showstopper of the evening was when Jack Pavano ‘19 took center stage to lead the Bensonians in, “Good Grief.” Pavano’s obvious connection with the lyrics make him stand out not only as a vocalist, but also as a talented performer, and one who is able to relate to what he’s performing on an emotional level. His alternative/soul vocal style complimented the Indie song — there could not have been a more suitable match.
“It’s always really fun to hear the Bensonians sing,” said John Conmey ‘19. “Two of my favorite songs were performed by two of my favorite Bensonians; Ignition (Remix) as performed by Tiarnan Barret and Good Grief as performed by Jack Pavano.”
The Bensonians even took it upon themselves to get creative and include some audience participation. During their performance of “What’s your Name,” the Bensonians serenaded a volunteer from the audience and ended the song by surrounding her and making the song a comical addition to the concert.
Perhaps the most entertaining portion of the concert was when the Bensonians sang “Goodbye my Coney Island Baby.” The energy the group provided throughout the evening was taken to the next level during this song. Dance skills, comedy and acting all combined during this song that had audience members laughing and smiling the entire time.
Ending the evening on a high note, the Bensonians sang rap song, “Sunday Candy.” Sophomore Ryan Hopkins took the lead spot for this finale, and rightfully so. It was a pleasant surprise to witness a Bensonian able to rap the song as well as Hopkins did, and it provided the concert with an unforgettable ending.
The one drawback of the evening was the lack of audience members. Despite the incredible performances of the Bensonians, it went largely underappreciated due to the small number of people, no more than 20 students, who attended the show. This largely could be due to the fact that they decided to have their concert on Halloween weekend.
Bensonian Ryan Fishbaugh ‘18, explained why the Bensonians decided to have their concert on Halloween weekend. “One reason is because we wanted to raise more awareness about our new album coming out soon, and two, we knew we could donate a portion of our proceeds to help with hurricane relief and other natural disaster relief,” said Fishbaugh. “But most importantly, I think it was just to give me and the other new guys a chance to experience the concert feel before the big winter concert, and get us a bit of exposure to what it really means to be a Bensonian. Plus Halloweekend is always a fun time, and what better way to kick it off than with a little music?”
Regardless of their small numbers this time around, students are optimistic in the turnout for future concerts, and hope that the Bensonians will be greatly recognized in the future.