The Daily Illini

No Comment celebrates 10 years with AcX

By Saher Khan

Music without instruments, choreographed dance sequences and matching ensembles take center stage Saturday as a cappella group No Comment puts on their spring show, “A Cappella Extravaganza,” or AcX.

This year will be the tenth anniversary of AcX and will take place at Lincoln Hall Theater. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets will be sold on the Quad and can also be purchased at the door. It is $10 per ticket and $7 for University students.

This year’s AcX will be a comeback show for their decade anniversary. Last year’s performance was pushed to the summer due to No Comment’s illustrious competition season. The group made it through regional quarterfinals and semifinals to represent the Midwest in New York at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) finals last spring.  

With all the success they were receiving during competition season, No Comment was unable to find the time to put together a spring show and pushed it to the summer, resulting in a smaller turn-out. This year, however, they are expecting a large audience.

The show will consist of No Comment performing all the songs on their repertoire. There will also be guest performances from another University a cappella group called Chai Town and another group from St. Louis University called Beyond All Reason. During the show, No Comment will have three costumes changes, and in between each change, there will be short “commercials” that are funny videos made by the group that showcase their quirky personalities.

“They’re meant to be awkward because that’s what you get when you think of No Comment, you think awkward,” said James Fletcher, public relations chair of the group and sophomore in Media.

For the ten-year anniversary, the group is inviting all the alumni back and is going to call them up on stage to sing one of their hit songs: Whitney Houston’s “I Want To Dance with Somebody.“

For Kristin Morrill, senior in LAS, the spring show will be bittersweet.

“As a senior, I’m just trying to absorb every single second, I just want to be able to remember everything,” Morrill said.

When Morrill first started with No Comment four years ago, they were performing at smaller venues and for smaller crowds. Morrill recalled when she first made the group.

“After auditions, they said they’d call us and let us know if we made the group, but they came to our dorms at night, kidnapped us and took us to a party to celebrate making the group. I remember that like it was yesterday,” Morrill said.

Morrill is especially happy that the 10-year anniversary coincides with her final year at the University. She is excited about being able to perform with all the alumni whom she performed with in past years with the group.

For Morrill and Fletcher, No Comment is more than just an a cappella group; it is a family.

“These people are my best friends, I know that they will be my friends for the rest of my life,” Morrill said.

However, the sense of family is not contained to No Comment, as Morrill and Fletcher said they both feel that the a cappella community on campus is a tight-knit one.

“We’re not people who sing for a job or our major. Most of us do it for fun and because we all love to sing,” Morrill said. “That common passion creates a link among all the people in the a cappella community, everyone has a similar passion for music and this brings us all together.”

Fletcher said that different groups on campus all come out to support each other’s shows and invite one another to be guest performers.

“Being a part of the a cappella community makes a campus of 40,000 a lot smaller and really feels like home,” he said.

Muhammed Bhatti, sophomore in Engineering, is public relations chair of Chai Town, an a cappella group on campus that adds a south Asian cultural flare to their work.

“Supporting our peers is something we always try to do,” Bhatti said. “We always want to be there for the other groups on campus. No Comment is going to be drawing in a great audience and we’re really excited to perform for them at their show.”

Morrill and Fletcher said that a cappella is unique, and if student are looking to do something different on a Saturday night, coming to their show will not disappoint.

“I just love to sing, and being able to do that with 14 people I absolutely adore is amazing. And it’s different; it’s not like a band is coming to play. It sets us apart that we are able to create this amazing sound without instruments,” Morrill said.

At this year’s show they will also have a raffle and will be giving out prizes and their new CD, “ELLIPSIS.”

Saher can be reached at [email protected] 

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