Due to some technological hiccups, this camera phone photo is the best we could do for a graphic. We will post a professionally shot video of the performance when it becomes available next week.
Last Friday, the Providence Bruins–the minor-league affiliate of New England’s beloved Boston Bruins–took on the New York Islanders’ minor-league team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. But that wasn’t all. Much more importantly, Brown University’s one and only unofficial official unofficial dubstep a cappella group, Wubappella, performed at some point between the first and second periods. That’s right, right up there on the big screen, was a group of dubstep-singing Brown students performing a remix of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse.” And it’s a good thing they were up there on the big screen, because their perch in section 236 didn’t exactly make for the most ideal viewing angles for many of us. Fortunately, the sounds of Wubappella still boomed through the Dunkin’ Donuts Center loud and proud.
How’d the crowd take it? Well… the opinion of the room seemed to land somewhere between bemused and amused (and, certainly, entertained). Tom, a nearby Boston Bruins fan wearing a Tim Thomas jersey, said of the performance, “Not bad,” which is, of course, faint praise given the spectacle of his very first dubstep a cappella viewership experience. “I couldn’t really hear them that well,” Tom conceded. Shame, shame: this was a common theme. Julie, a middle-aged Rhode Island nurse, said the performance was difficult to hear and suggested: “Maybe they need to adjust the microphone height.” She did add, “I thought they were very enthusiastic.”
Others in the crowd were more forthright in their praise for the performance. Damian, a local music teacher whose school a cappella group performed during the next period break (doing a disappointingly dubstep-free rendition of another, less cool recent pop song), said that he thought Wubappella was exciting. A pair of Providence College students across the aisle from him agreed: “Innovative,” said one, Peter. “Definitely innovative,” added his friend, Craig.
Blog, of course, resides squarely in the Peter and Craig camp, but not everyone was such a fan. Members of the Portsmouth High School Band, which played during the youth hockey games that preceded the Wubappella performance, thought the group simply didn’t compare favorably to their instrumental harmonies. “It was interesting,” said a brass section member named Zoe. Oh yeah? I asked. So they were better than you guys. “No!” said Zoe’s neighbor Bailey. “They were out of sync. They just can’t compare.”
This post has been edited to reflect that the song performed was “Dark Horse,” not “Holy Grail.”
Image via David Oyer ’16.