Amving s,4-how t the Michigan
"Once Upon a Time when We WWe *Colore4' Is striking film which
s ~ i fto th~le f eresldtqof a tight-ilnit, self s fient
Afri an r e'ct Qmn ty intheS# th. Numerous celebrities have
rols i th 1~m, ~Iu~ng~h16.' R1ashatd and Isaac Hayes. Tonight is
th~ i~St -e YOU aetah tt e ih..nTeerTe
%:: I. t p* ndst e'l t#1etS are.
Legendary R.B. King reigns suprem at Hil
Dail Arts Writer
A German nobleman once said after
attending a concert at the royal court,
"If I could ask God for one more earth-
ly delight before I die, I would ask that
f~f IHe allow me to hear Mozart improvise
,. one last time.
This is pretty much my problem.
How do you quantify divinity? How do
you critique a denil-god?
^< Riley B. King held court at Hill
for two hours
proved that live
religious experi- . t'aI. ,. . ....".K"\RE
ence. After openerF
.. ; . ,.i;::' >'excellent country
~ blues set, King's
band took the stage and warmed up with
a couple ofjump blues tunes. And then, in
marched the King. Always the consum-
mate showman, King walked onstage
with a shiny tux jacket and his best gal,
Lucille, cradled in his massive hands like
a holy relic. Which, I suppose, it is.
The first tune, "Let The Good Times
Roll;' is a song made famous by King
and his friend and frequent collaborator,
Bobby "Blue" Bland. After stomping
through that one, King seamlessly segued
into another B.B. and Bobby classic, the
slow and mournful "Stormy Monday."
The slow ones are the killers. King
uses his hollow-body Gibson fatboy and
his powerful yet humble voice to an
absolutely astounding effect. When he
whips out his trademark tremolos and
trills on accented notes, or lets his thick
Mississippi voice come apart at the ends
of phrases, the execution may be
thrilling, but the emotive power is no less
than staggering. There was not a single
person in the crowd who I didn't catch
wincing with King or shaking their head
in time to the heartbreaking music.
The set contained items of the King's
canon, like "Payin' the Cost to Be the
Boss;' "Darlin' You Know I Love You;'
"Rock Me Baby" and the war-horse
"The Thrill Is Gone" as well as stan-
dards like "Five Long Years" and "Ain't
Nobody's Business." But the songs
themselves were immaterial. He could
have played an entire set of the music of
Burl Ives and it still would have been
the bluest thing you ever heard.
One of the more interesting points c
the evening came when King pulled out
a chair, sat down and, with the band
vamping softly behind him, just talked to
the crowd. He commented on the fact
that a pop band.
VIEW Gods, -had sam-
B.B. King spled his "How
Blue Can You
ll Auditorium Get" and sol
yev. 15,1s99demore tarecords 7
Nv. A15, 6 phe ever had. But
since the royalties
were very forthcoming, he asked that the
band borrow two or three more of his
songs, drawing a big laugh from the
crowd. Then, after claiming that he
couldn't play it as well as they did, he
launched into the song and proved that
sampling is not equivalent to imitation,
by any stretch of the imagination.
But the most amazing thing abo a
B.B. King is his consistency. Sin
1952 he has averaged about 330 dates a
year and has made more than 70
albums. At 71, King puts on a show that
could make a deaf-mute sing hymns.
The energy he puts forth and the emo-
tion he imparts to the crowd would be
amazing for a man half his age. And in
an age of three-bong hit arena bands, an
artist with a true sense of intimacy and
a love for his audience is damn ne*
extinct. But we're not talking about a
mortal man here.
The phrases "no one else like him"~
and "totally unique" get tossed around
until they have no meaning, no weight.
But in B's case, it is unequivocally mer-
ited. B.B. King is singularly unique in
the world of the blues. There is no artist
working today who has his density of
emotion and depth of feeling.
All hail the King.
Blues legend B.B. King and his guitar Lucille jammed at his Friday evening show at Hill Auditorium. King was in Ann Arbor on his current concert tour. He has been play-
Ing for more than 40 years, in which time he has played thousands of shows and produced more than 70 albums.
Amazin' Blue wows captivated 'U' crowd with celebrated sound
By Stephanie Love
For the Daily
If there's any musical group on campus with
the talent and personality to win the affection of
the student body, it's Amazin' Blue. Its annual
fall concert, "A Cappellypse Now," continued
the Amazin' Blue tradition of entertaining musi-
. Friday's concert featured a variety of new
pieces along with old favorites, including "I
Want You Back" by the Jackson 5, "Takin' it to
the Streets" originally by the Doobie Brothers,
Nov. 15, 1996
"867-5309 (Jenny)" by Tommy Tutone, Tori
Amos' "Precious Things" and "Come to my
Window" by Melissa Etheridge. In addition,
Amazin' Blue debuted an original piece by
member Greg Martin titled "Used to Be.'
The 14-member group consisting of six
women and eight men is the oldest coed a cap-
pella group on campus; this coming spring
marks Amazin' Blue's 10th anniversary. Over
the past decade, the group has built up an
impressive following as a result of its strong
musicality and personal connection with the
"When we perform for people, we really try
and make it a very intimate, comfortable atmos-
phere. Everyone should be involved in the
music, not just the performers. We want people
to have fun while listening to us, and that can
only occur if there's some sort of interaction
between the performers and the audience;' said
member Lyell Haynes in a recent interview with
The Michigan Daily.
Friday's concert highlighted that
connection, as the group had the
audience laughing most of the
evening while showing off its unit- ti E
ed vocal and acting skills. Group
members engaged in vocal percus-
sion battles and presented their
idea of the casting process for the .
new "Romeo and Juliet" movie.
Amazin' Blue never hesitates to
have fun on stage, but despite the
laid-back image, the group puts in
long hours to create the illusion of
an effortless finished product.
"Preparing a piece takes a bit of
time, mostly because they all have
complicated, weird parts that no
one can figure out. Sometimes
even the arranger gets confused,"
Haynes offered, referring to the
strenuous rehearsal process.
The group rehearses at least
four hours a week. In addition, Amazin' BE
Amazin' Blue goes on a retreat
each semester, spending five hours per day
rehearsing. Friday's concert featured more than
20 songs, an impressive feat to pull off after just
a few months of practice.
Amazin' Blue chooses songs that are fun to
rehearse and perform. Besides intriguing har-
monies and interesting background and instru-
mental parts, the group looks for songs that are
somewhat familiar to their audience.
"It's always neat to hear a song you're very
familiar with done in a totally different way. It
opens your mind to the possibilities of music;'
The group's performance of "Thriller
Medley" was one of the highlights of the
evening. This section showcased the flair of the
entire group as it sang a variety of Michael
Jackson tunes. Amazin' Blue's consistently
excellent soloists commanded this part of the
collegiate and professional groups from around
What makes Amazin' Blue so good? "We
have more people than other groups, which
gives us the opportunity to have more compli.
cated harmonies and more intricate percussion
lines. I do have to say that we are
the best vocal percussionists
around. There is a very special art
to making sounds like Dm, Tss
and Chika sound cool," Haynes
An entirely student-run group,
Amazin' Blue performs for many
r organizations and events
throughout the year, as well as
with other college a cappell4
groups. Amazin' Blue presents a
fall and spring, concert and it is
featured in the annual Monsters
of A Cappella concert. In addi-
tion, the group tours every year
during spring break, singing
everywhere from the East Coast
to California. This year Amazin'
Blue heads southeast to Virginia,
North Carolina and surrounding
With a winning combination
of discipline and zaniness,
Amazin' Blue excels in the performance-of
contemporary a cappella music.
As Haynes noted: "I think Amazin' Blue is
truly unique on this campus. Amazin' Blue has
certainly come a long way since its beginnings.
We hope for many more years of quality a cap-
ue performed In concert this weekend.
Friday's audience experienced the obviously
made-for-a-cappella tune "Janie's Got a Gun" by
Aerosmith, a perfect example of the magic of a
cappella music. Despite some skepticism, the
creativity of Amazin' Blue and the vocals of
soloist Nathan Robbe produced a very good ren-
The talent displayed by Amazin' Blue's mem-
bers sets them apart from other a cappella
groups on campus. The Contemporary A
Cappella Society of America, a nonprofit group
supporting professional groups including Take 6
and Rockapella, gives awards to outstanding
No need to resort
to miming on the
Diag for a little
cash next term!