Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report
October 15, 2004: St. Joseph High School--Lakewood, CA
I took a Pella Holiday from work so that I could help out Karla & Liz with all of the preparations. I was very happy that my new vanity license plate was ready to be picked up, and was even happier that I didn't have to spend more than 15 minutes at the DMV to get them. The DMV has a new method of serving people which is quite efficient, and I'm very impressed. So I just HAD to have the car washed for the new plates, and I called Liz while I waited. We talked about what time I was needed and what chores I could accomplish for them.
After getting pretty, I drove down to Lakewood & called Liz. It seems that she was providing some Pella transportation (Pella Portation?), so I went to Starbuck's to get refreshments for Karla, Stacey & Liz. I arrived at the campus and was guided by some helpful students toward the appropriate room. I actually didn't need to do much, because Karla had many worker-bee volunteers. I did post some stuff, but really just stood around and talked to people, while watching Karla get way too hyped up on caffeine & sugar. So y'all can blame the resulting crazy state on me. Oh, and on Liz, who asked me to get the coffee in the first place.
Laura arrived without her mom, and we chatted a bit. We also chatted with a guy for whom this was his 1st Pella concert. Sorry, dude, that I can't remember your name. Was it "Mike"? That sound good. We'll use that name. Anyway, "Mike" told me that he didn't go to school at St. Joseph's, and I told him that I hoped not, since we were at an all-girls Catholic High School. Wendy & Jeff arrived next & we talked about the Cupertino concert, which got me even more excited about tonight's show. Then my friend Cindy arrived. Well, this made me jump up and down for joy, because I've been pushing Cindy for a long time to get herself to a Rockapella concert. Yes, I knew she was coming, but I was excited to see her actually THERE. Whoo Hoo!!! I calmed down, though, because Liz called and needed me to help with the pizzas for the volunteers. I then did some schmoozing with the people in line, in order to pick up sales on the raffle tickets & pep up the crowd for the concert. I don't think I was effective, though. I felt like they were looking at me like, '"Who are you, and why are you bothering us, you crazy woman?" The only ones that didn't were Hank and Sharyn, whom just wanted to know how to get to the front of the line.
Finally, the doors were opened and I did some frantic searching for keys to the room in which my tickets were kept. During my search, I talked to Fred & Phil, met Karla's mom, and searched for the people whom I was expecting to be in the audience, as I had ordered tickets for them.
I found Cindy, who had graciously saved a seat for me in the second row, by the aisle. Apparently, she had to glare at someone in order to serve our seats. Thanks, Cindy! Linda, Vicky & Todd were seated in the back row of chairs. I had no idea where the rest of my friends were, but whatever. The show was about to start! Hank & Sharyn ended up in the same row as me, so I'm glad that all worked out.
Karla & theater teacher Brian introduced Rockapella, and much screaming ensued. They walked onto the darkened stage and then started "Tonight." George was in a gray suit, while the others were wearing black ones. Scott was wearing his black pin-striped suit, which prompted Cindy to think of an animated character. She apparently wasn't the only one who thought so, because someone mentioned the same character and his resemblance to Scott after the show. He looks great in the suit, he just looks even thinner with those stripes. While Scott was talking, some latecomers passed in front of the audience. He said to them, "Hey, y'all--you're late...go ahead, go ahead..." as they kept walking, some of them stopping on the way. While introducing the guys, Scott introduced himself as the "Head Jester." (The Jester is the school mascot).
They then sang "moments of You." Scott thanked Karla for having them back again, stating that she's a good friend of theirs. I beamed for her. He said, "I love the name 'The Jesters'. I just can't get over that name...the most intimidating name I've ever heard. When you guys are in sports is it like the Jesters against the Ladies in Waiting?"
Cindy decided that she could just watch Jeff the whole time, then realized that maybe she should watch the other guys, too. She was just mesmerized by his Vocal Percussion talent, due to her drummer fandom.
They sang "Off My Mind" before "Dancing in the Streets." As soon as they started, I said to Cindy, "You'd better dance if he comes up to you!" since she was sitting by the aisle. So, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Kevin takes Cindy's hand & sings to her right here! I yelled at her, "GET UP!" but she didn't. He danced with someone else later, and Cindy said that she would have gotten up if he puled her up, but he didn't. That's OK, he sang to her. Yippee!
Then came "Stand By Me," after which Hank looked over at me and nodded to John, saying, "That'll do!" It was Hank & Sharyn's 1st time to see John that night, and it looks like he passed their test. During "Use Me," the group named themselves "Jeff and the Rockapella dancers." I love all of that stepping. Kevin said that they love coming to CA, and next year, they'll come to CA & tour during the whole FL hurricane season. Big cheers. Aw, our poor Florida guys. He then told us to close our eyes and imagine the "beautiful white sand beaches"...which we don't have here. He said, "No? OK, come to Florida and see white sand beaches." Scott made some bird sounds to give us more atmosphere. Kevin then asked if any guys wore speedos. Scott said that there should be an "SWA: Speedo Wearers Anonymous...where the 1st step is admitting you wear one." That all led into "Under the Boardwalk."
Afterward, they sat on some cool-looking white rectangular stools. Scott said they were for his books, to keep his homework. They sang "one of Karla's favorites," "That's the Way." Scott said, "We like to do a song every night that John's never done before." Hey, he did great for his first time. Scott said that they need a set where he can "throw a microphone: Dave Letterman. They would need to have enough money to just trash the set." Scott wants to be a Rock Star.
They sang "Up A Lazy River," wherein the brass sounds were done by Kevin, John and Scott, and sounded very cool. It was then time to get up off their cute butts and sing "Rock the Boat." That rendition is just too awesome.
During intermission, my latecomer friends stopped by to say hi. Jenn had brought Diane and Mylene to their 1st Pella concert, and they, of course, were having a great time. All 3 of them were alumni of St. Joe's, so they went off to look for some of their former teachers. I think they only found one, though. It turns out that Rudy, Rob & Marie were also seated in the same section as Jenn, as were Aura, April & Jeremy. I went over to say hi, and commented that they were all sitting together. I said, "What did they do? Sit all the Filipinos together?" They told me it was because they all arrived late. Yeah, well, same thing. ;)
The first song after intermission was "It's A Small World," complete with doll-like movements from the guys. Scott said that the song was a tribute to Disney, since they had all, at one time or another, worked for Disney. He talked about the "WDW hot pavement," then talked about their other types of gigs, at one point saying that they did "Schtickapella." I like that. After Folger's, they sang "Long cool Woman in a Black Dress." During George's set-up, Kevin and John were playing "Rock Paper Scissors" before getting called for back-up.
For "My Girl/Ain't Too Proud to beg," Kevin introduced the guys to Nicole. George did his deep-voiced "hello," and Kevin lamented the fact that he always has to follow George with his high voice. "That is ridiculous! We're gonna change the order, and make Scott last!" Oh, Kev, it's OK. don't have a complex. Kevin seemed to have a problem singing, too. He stutter-sang "I'm ''onna I'm 'onna I'm 'onna..." Nicole was great, and after she returned to her seat, George said, "She's pretty." Jeff said, "She's mine." George said, "She's mine infinity." Jeff said, "Actions speak louder than words." Lucky Nicole!
They sat on their stools again, and Scott said that they'd do a "song we've never done in public. We've barely done it in private, either." Ooh! A song debut! It's gorgeous, too. Some sample lyrics: "You're my California sad-eyed girl...pick up trucks, San Bernardino...You'll always be...the summer in my winter world...Come one day...you will always be..." Mmmmm...can you understand why they needed to debut the song in So Cal? To date, it is yet unnamed.
All the guys, except George, went backstage, and while George was talking, you could still hear their voices. Anyway, to show off his range, George sang a bit of "I Will Always Love You." He said, "I do that every day in the shower." He demonstrated all the vocal ranges of Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass. When he sampled the Bass, he heard a "yeah" from the audience. He answered," I knew y'all ladies like that." he continued, "If I'd ever come back, I'd want to be James Earl Jones, (doing voices like) in "The Lion King,"... "Luke, I am your father..." "25 Peanut butter Sandwiches!" He said about the song "Ol' Man River," though, "Thank God I don't have to sing that in Rockapella." He then sang "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," which included a really long VP section, much to my delight.
They sang "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego," and Scott changed a lyric to "Where in Lakewood is Carmen San Diego?" For their encore, they sang off-mic "Up On The Roof / Wonderful World," during which Scott included the lyric "Speech Pathology," referring to Nicole's major.
Then it was raffle time. Scott was the MC, naming off the items in each basket, which were themed per Pella dude. Each guy gave their basket to the winner. Scott was jealous of Jeff's basket, because it contained a "Star Wars" DVD set. We leaned that John replaced Ben Vereen in NYC on Broadway in "Pippen." Karla then sang the Quadratic Formula with the guys, to the tune of Madness' "Our House," and they also did a little interpretive dance. Jeff said, This is the math teacher I never had!" They closed the show with "Zombie Jamboree" and "Shambala."
Cindy turned to me and said, "I get it now," referring to my Pella obsession. She doesn't think that her husband will let her travel the country with me, though. I told her that she should just try, and ask nicely.
At the Meet & Greet, I introduced some of our Pella virgins (Cindy, Todd, & Marie) to the guys. Jeff was amazed at my huge posse, and wondered just how many people I knew. I told him that I was keeping busy for the Cause. yes, the Cause of Rockapella. I told John that Cindy is a big Phil Collins fan. He said that he sang on tour with Phil for a "Brother Bear" promotion, which included a concert in Central Park. Cindy finally got her "Smilin'" CD autographed by Scott, since that was the only one missing when I had it signed in Bremerton.
Scott said that they were trying to get a gig at the Wiltern Theatre. I reminded him that it was the theatre where they did the Mark & Brian Christmas show. He thought that it would be way too big to fill, saying it was 4 to 500 seats. I said, "You forget that you have ME." He asked if that meant that I was bringing my entire family. Hmmmm....well, my family is huge, but most of them are in the Philippines, and I don't know about having 500 of them, but you never know. I don't know, maybe he meant that the theatre holds 5,000 seats, but if he gives me a little time, the Pella Posse can do a lot of good.
I asked Scott who had written the new song. He said that he did, and I told him that it was beautiful. After he thanked me, and he said that they still need a title. He thought that maybe they should hold a contest. I told him that since he had written it about me, he should just name it "Sherry's Song." He laughed and said, "But you don't have Sad Eyes, you have Happy Eyes!" Well, YEAH, because when I see Rockapella, I'm happy, so he's only seen me that way! he suggested that they can name it after someone every time, like "Karla's song" or "Angela's song..." Wait a minute, Scott. Angela isn't in CA anymore! Oh, and just name the song after me. I called it! ;) I love that he still considers Angela as a CA girl, because, well, she is. But hello? MY song! I gave him some Godiva truffles for his birthday, which he planned on sharing with Jesse, because Jesse loves them.
Liz and I admired his blue shoes. You know, it's just our pattern to admire something that Scott is wearing. She actually talked to him in a regular conversation today! Go, Liz! Karla lamented the fact that Scott forgot to look at her during the "Algebra" part of "Wonderful World," but Scott said that he was too busy trying to figure out how to include "Speech Pathology." I talked to Fred, who told me to google his name, and I'd see a clip of him on TV. I still need to do that. At one point, Jeff & I were throwing barbs at each other, which was entertaining. I was coaxed by my friends to show the guys my new car and personalized license plate, so now they know the level of my insanity. Scott said I have a nice car. Thanks. Do you want a ride? Just kidding. He was driving the FL guys to LAX, so I wished them all a safe trip home. Oh, and yes, I would have given them a ride, had they asked for one. I'm not an idiot!
Linda an I went to Denny's afterward, because I was seriously craving pancakes. I also needed to get all the swooning out of my system. Sigh.....