Tuesday night, Java Jive was arguably the most packed it has been all semester. Everyone seemed to be there to see the two student groups. Who wouldn’t want to come see a large group of men and women who can sing with impeccable ease and strength? Tuesday night, it was The Maine Steiners and Renaissance, two acappella groups full of talent in all areas of stage art.
Renaissance was up first, stealing the stage with their beauty and power mixing for one impressive outcome. Kicking off the show with a classic, Alicia Keys “Fallin’” carefully composed to suit and sweetly caress the audience’s ears. That, mixed with a delicately placed increase in snowfall created a warm feeling in everyone having the pleasure of listening in. Just as things were quieting down is when the girls kicked it up a notch and kept the audience perched at the edge of their seats with K.T. Tunstall’s “Black Horse and a Cherry Tree.”
Renaissance also pulled some interesting surprises out of their goody bag of talents. They not only had beat boxers and singers in their group, they had a girl who can play the vocal trumpet. During a cover of “Let it Be” by The Beatles, after a vocal solo, the claps subsided and the crowd lulled. There was another sound that had taken hold. It took a moment for everyone to determine just exactly what it was. Had Renaissance scouted out a trumpet player to help them? No, it was simply a mouth and a microphone.
Soon enough, it was time for The Steiners. Not to be outdone by a bunch of beautiful women and their singing and mouth trumpet, these guys brought the comedy. With banter back and forth between the members of the group. They were so excited to be performing in front of college kids, four-letter words were flying everywhere. It wasn’t all just props and pranks. These guys had the talent to back up their sexy statements. Making all of the girls in the room flutter an inch off the ground with their rendition of another Beatles song “Black Bird” and an original by Seth Grondin, called “Bitches”. This is one of the song titles that was much funnier to say “when [they're] at an elementary school,” asking the kids to please not go home and ask mommy what that word means.
Finally, the all-male group of singers and beat-boxers did a medley of Pearl Jam’s “Better Man,” TCP’s “Yeah, I’d Like to F- You too!” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something. The crowd went wild with all of the “seamless transitions,” as described by one of the singers, as he was singing the songs.
To hear more of The Maine Steiners head over to Umaine.edu/steiners. You can also pick up their CD at the University Bookstore, but honestly one needs to hear them live. It’s not just about the singing, these guys are all about the showmanship.