Vocal Point arrived in Rexburg on Jan. 25, sold out tickets for the Hart Auditorium, and filled the room with beatboxing, vocal guitar solos and their best dad jokes.
People crowded the Hart Auditorium long before the show actually started in preparation to hear the acapella group sing. Students from BYU-Idaho and members of the community in surrounding areas of all ages lined up waiting for their tickets to be scanned at the entrance.
Austin and Amanda Neubert shared their feelings about seeing the group perform.
“I remember they came a few years ago for Power to Become, they were really good and I’ve been into their music since I was a little kid,” said Amanda Neubert, a senior studying psychology. Her husband, Austin Neubert, a junior studying biomedical science, had never seen them perform and said he was also excited for the live performance.
While the crowds were waiting, Vocal Point was backstage preparing to come onstage. They said that before they go on stage they have a couple of special traditions.
“We do the cinnamon roll, we all put our hands in and we swirl like a cinnamon roll, the fingers curl around and we say something that’s usually weird or kind of fun, and of course we pray,” said Nathan Cazmersen, a member of Vocal Point.
The crowds screamed and cheered as the members came onstage. None of the music they perform is ever lip–synced, and as the concert began, the familiar melody of the Star Wars theme song filled the room.
Those that are familiar with a capella groups know that all of the sounds have to be produced by their mouths, without the assistance of outside instruments. The crowd cheered as they demonstrated their vocal abilities.
“This was my first time seeing them live, and I really liked the beatboxing parts the most; it was just fun feeling everyone’s unity and hearing them testify of God and goof off in the same place,” said Clay Breeden, a junior studying communication and board member for Center Stage.
One of the musical numbers that got the most cheers from the crowd, was Matt Newman’s beat-boxing session. Other numbers included hit pop music, country songs, a Finnish number, gospel music and even some songs from the ’60s.
They received multiple standing ovations, and the audience clapped and sang to the songs as the lights flashed throughout the auditorium. “I think it‘s a nice combination of worldly entertainment that we hear on the radio with gospel songs,” said Kayla Edwards, a senior studying English education.
The crowd’s screams got louder as Vocal Point interacted with their audience. Three girls from Eagle Rock middle school, Claire Petersen, Karlie Mickelsen and Tori Thomason, were invited to speak during Vocal Point’s attempt to get to know the audience better.
“It was really exciting, and I didn’t think that they were going to come and talk to us; so I was just jumping up and down, and then they came over,” Petersen said.
McKay Crockett, director of Vocal Point, said that every week the members usually spend 25 to 30 hours just practicing. The number of hours increases when they have performances coming up.
This performance demanded a lot of their time both in the hours they spent practicing and the time it took for them to travel to Rexburg.
“We spend so much time for Vocal Point, but it is very rewarding; I feel like the Lord blesses us so we’re able to handle the workload for school and work,” said James Thorup, member of Vocal Point, about the time commitment that it takes to be a part of the group.
The members volunteer their time to practice and have learned to balance the required work from their classes with their passion for being a part of the group.
“It’s very rewarding and it taught me a lot of time management skills that I did not have before, but trying to fit everything in is totally worth it,” said Cabe John, a member of Vocal Point.
They spend a lot of their free time doing homework. This means they find time to study in between sound checks, practice and traveling by bus or plane. One of them, Yaphet Bustos, even had homework due at midnight and still took the time to interact with audience members after the show.
Their meet and greet was very popular and many of the people that waited to meet them left with a smile. The line went along the hallway, down the stairs and even into the lower level of the John W. Hart Building.
Malarie Hahn, the Center Stage director, said about half of the people who came to see the performance stayed for the meet and greet. She estimated about 1500 students in line got to meet them.
They personally greeted each of their fans and signed Vocal Point merchandise until 11:30.
A couple of their fans, Emily Cassel, a freshman majoring in general studies and Hannah Rowley, a freshman studying sociology, went to Wendy’s and bought them food.
“We went to Wendy’s and ended up buying nine small fries and a twisted frosty to give them so that they could eat,” Rowley said. They had noticed that the performers were tired after their long day and said the members of the group were grateful when they brought the food to them.
As the last of the audience filed out of the building, they finally went to pack everything and get ready to leave campus. They all expressed their gratitude for being able to perform here.
The director of the group, Crockett, and one of the merchandise coordinators, Hope Merrill, said they were excited to see where the band would go next, as the group will continue to have new opportunities after signing under a new label.
“They’ve really launched now, and we are super excited about the opportunities that are being presented with this, just the exposure, and this will let them reach an audience that they never have been able to before,” Merrill said.
This concert showed the bond that exists between Vocal Point and their fans. They shared a message with the students of the school.
“Listen to music, because music is incredible,” said David Steele, a member of Vocal Point. “If I’ve learned anything from being in Vocal Point with these eight other guys, it’s that you really are never alone, and if anyone feels like they are, know that they can listen to our music and know that we’re there for them and we always will be. As Vocal Point, we want nobody to ever be alone.”