No Instruments Aloud

Students braved the cold and trekked across campus to
Mellon Institute for the annual No Instruments Aloud concert this past Friday, Feb. 28. Hosted by the C# Singers, the event brought all of Carnegie Mellon’s a cappella groups together for a night of free entertainment.

First up for the night was the largest group, the Db Singers Choir, who started off the night with “Jenny” by Nick Myers. The several dozen voices mingled beautifully and impressed the audience further with their next song, a rendition of Moses Hogan’s “Elijah Rock.”

Next was Carnegie Mellon’s all-male South Asian fusion group, Deewane. They offered unique takes on some popular songs, “Fix You” by Coldplay, followed by “Tonight” by Enrique Iglesias. I was surprised by how well the songs meshed with South Asian music, particularly “Tonight.”

Soundbytes continued the night with “Paper Hearts” by Tori Kelly — which I feel like I’ve heard at every a cappella show I’ve ever been to — and “Movement” by Hozier, both solid performances.

Counterpoint, the all-female group on campus, clad head to toe in denim (a stark contrast to a majority of the groups in red and black), performed “Scars” by Sam Smith and “Creep” by Radiohead, the latter of which was my favorite performance of the night.
The co-ed Treblemakers followed up with “Fighting for You” by Us the Duo and “The Last of the Real Ones” by Fall Out Boy.

Saans, the all-female South Asian fusion group, took some risks that really paid off with their arrangements of Adele’s James Bond track, “Skyfall,” and Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music.” I would be terrified to tackle Adele or Rihanna, but they did a fantastic job infusing the two artists’ work with their own sound.

The Originals went a bit meta with “A Cappella” by Daniel Caesar, a song that felt like it was over before I could blink — the original track is only 1.5 minutes long — and followed with “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by Stevie Wonder. They performed well as usual, but the typical favorite lacked a bit of their usual luster.

Joyful Noise, the Christian a cappella group, was the penultimate performance. Their selections for the night were “You’re Not Your Mistakes,” a song from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and “Witness” by Jack Halloran.

C#, the hosts, closed the night with “Make it Better” by Anderson .Paak and Smokey Robinson and “Try” by Lawrence.

All in all, No Instruments Aloud was a fun time, and it was a good way to relieve stress after a long week of midterms.