Love Sucks


Or at least, that’s what Southern California’s a Capella groups seem to think.

After an AMAZING morning practice (*cough cough* 12 pm – 2 pm totally counts as morning when you’re in college world, right?) for “Mr. Pinstripe Suit,” a piece for the upcoming Caltech dance show, I was back in my dorm all ready to be a good college student and do some homework when I suddenly collided with a friend of mine who was barreling down the hallway. Simultaneously, I got tackle-hugged by another friend from behind, had a bright red flier shoved into my hand by a third person I didn’t even know, and was enthusiastically informed by one of them, “You’re going to Love Sucks, right!”

I know. You’d think that would be a question. It wasn’t.

And then I spent the next two hours at Love Sucks, Caltech’s fifteenth annual (my first!) Valentine’s Day a Capella concert. Because blowing off homework for a while to hang out with friends and watch stellar vocal groups… and every so often watch Paddy the Hot Math TA watch the groups from the row in front of me 😉 … is totally what makes life worth it.

I got to hear Awaken, the group Sarah Bareilles was in when she was at UCLA!

Caltech, UCLA, UCSD, CSUN – all had groups who made an appearance! I was reminded how integral a part music is of my life. There’s something different, hearing music being made right there, straight out of people’s mouths, instead of being played through my laptop speakers after having been processed multiple times for “sound quality.” There’s a power to music when it’s raw, happening right there in front of you. It’s got an ability to capture you, to pull you right along with it, to hold you and not release until the final note ends.

I never sit still. Ever. My mother’s seriously concerned about whether I might have restless leg syndrome. But during an absolutely gorgeous rendition of Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes” by the UCLA all-girl group Signature, I suddenly noticed that I wasn’t moving. I was sitting still. My foot wasn’t shaking, my crossed leg wasn’t kicking, not even one toe was tapping. I was absolutely captured.

That’s not to say that I wasn’t shamelessly dancing in my seat during the faster songs. Caltech’s Out of Context threw themselves into the Killer’s “All the Things I’ve Done” with so much sheer energy it was impossible not to! Though at one point my friend Leslie did start to actually worry that the main vocalist, who was managing to somehow head bob with his entire body at an impressive frequency, was going to start seizing…

But hey, that’s passion for you. 🙂


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